How long does it take to become a general surgeon

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In this article, I’ll tell you everything that you need to know about how long does it take to become a general surgeon. I’ll answer a few common questions that might be on your mind and help you navigate toward a career in medicine.

General surgeons are surgeons who specialize in abdominal organs, such as the intestines, liver, and gallbladder. Most general surgeons complete an internship and residency before they can practice on their own. The exact length of time it takes to become a general surgeon depends on whether you attend an accredited medical school or not, and where you attend your training.

The first step to becoming a general surgeon is to meet the prerequisites for medical school. These include earning at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with an overall GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale (or equivalent) and taking and passing two years worth of science classes with labs (usually biology). In addition to this basic education requirement, candidates must have taken courses in chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, differential calculus and English composition.

Once they have been accepted into medical school, students spend four years studying all aspects of medicine with some courses focusing on surgery. They also take classes on social sciences such as psychology and sociology which are important for understanding patients’ needs outside of the operating room setting; humanities including literature; communication skills like public speaking; communication theory like linguistics; anatomy including human physiology

How long does it take to become a general surgeon


  • You must complete a bachelor’s degree to apply for medical school. It takes four years of college to obtain this degree, and you can major in any subject that interests you. However, if you want to become a general surgeon, it is necessary that you take the required pre-med courses. Some medical schools require more than one year of biology and chemistry before applying as well as completing an undergraduate research project or volunteering at either a hospital or clinic (this can also be done while still in high school).
  • The MCAT exam has three sections: Biological Sciences (60 questions), Physical Sciences (70 questions), Verbal Reasoning (89 questions). This test is given once per year during April/May, but registration deadlines vary depending on location so check with your program advisor before taking any action.

Medical school

Medical school is typically a four-year program. Students of medical school receive either an M.D., or D.O., degree, which is a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Medical students are required to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in order to graduate and practice medicine in the U.S., however some states do not require it as part of their licensing process.

Internship and residency

The first step to becoming a general surgeon is applying to medical school, which you can do after completing your undergraduate degree. Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll complete a three-year residency in surgery and then a two-year residency in general surgery. This means that it takes seven years of schooling before you’re even eligible for certification as a certified surgical specialist.

After completing all of these requirements, the next step will be getting licensed by the American Board of Surgery (ABS), which requires passing 3 ABS examinations: one on surgical skills and knowledge, one on professional behavior and communication skills, and another on surgical judgment/professionalism.


The fellowship is a chance to specialize in a particular area of surgery. It can be in an area of general surgery, or it can be related to surgery but not performed on patients. Anesthesiology and pathology are two examples of fields where physicians may pursue fellowships after completing their residency training. A surgeon who has completed a surgical residency will often go on to complete a fellowship as well for specialized training and/or certification.

Fellowships usually last from 1-3 years, depending on the field chosen. Fellowships generally require additional work hours (40+ per week) compared with registrar positions (30-35 per week). This extra time commitment makes it difficult to hold down other jobs while completing your fellowship training; however, many programs will pay you during this time period so that you do not have to worry about working elsewhere while in school.

Licensing and certification

Once you’ve completed your training, certification and licensure are required. In order to get licensed in the state where you’re doing your residency program, you’ll need to pass a national exam that covers basic medical knowledge; this is called the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam). After passing this exam, you can become licensed in any state that accepts it as part of their licensing process.

Once you have completed your formal surgical education and passed all the necessary exams, it’s time for board certification. To become board certified as a general surgeon (or any other specialty), you must take and pass an exam through either the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) or AOA (American Osteopathic Association). These examinations test whether medical practitioners have learned everything they need to know about their specialties in order to practice safely and effectively with patients under their care — which is why they’re required for both surgeons who want to practice independently as well as those who’ll be working under other physicians’ supervision at hospitals or clinics. You may apply for these exams at any time after finishing residency training; however, most applicants prefer waiting until completion of their residencies before taking them because this gives them more practical experience than simply studying independently would provide!

Finding work

  • Gain experience as a general surgeon.
  • Network with other surgeons and ask for help finding work.
  • Search online job boards for opportunities or apply directly to companies you’re interested in working for, such as hospitals and surgery centers.
  • Talk to a headhunter if you want someone else to do the work of finding jobs for you. Be aware of the potential costs involved with this option, though — some headhunters charge a percentage of your first year’s salary and may take up to 6 months before they find you anything at all!

Once you’ve landed an interview and gotten hired, there’s still plenty more training before becoming an expert surgeon!

Becoming a surgeon can take a looong time.

Becoming a surgeon can take a long time.

In order to become a general surgeon, you need to go through a lot of training, which is why it’s best not to think about becoming one until you are out of college. The average student gets their bachelor’s degree in 4 years, but if they want to go into medicine, it may take longer (6-8 years). After that comes medical school for another 4 years where the majority of your time will be spent learning about various diseases and how the human body works—this is also where you’ll take your first anatomy class!

Following this will be an internship or residency program lasting anywhere from 3-7 years depending on whether you choose internal medicine or surgery as your specialty. You might wonder what makes up those last 2-5 years after medical school? Well, this depends on whether or not another level of education (fellowship) is needed before becoming licensed as an MD/DO physician

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