Cosmetic surgery is a sub-speciality of surgery, in which medical professionals will specialise in surgical treatments such as reconstructive surgery for burn victims, tattoo removal, tummy tuck and hand trauma. A surgeon is likely to specialise in a specific area of cosmetic surgery, such as breast uplifts, reductions and implant removal.

University course

A cosmetic surgeon would need to attain a medical degree as certified by the General Medical Council (GMC), which would usually last five years. You would then need to complete a two year foundation programme incorporating general training, two years of core surgical training and then further specialist training. Further training is where you will begin to get a more specialist insight into plastic surgery. The educational route will differ for some.

Education pathway

In order to get onto on to a medical course you would need to have a minimum of five GCSEs graded A-C, including mathematics and science, after which you would need to attain three A Levels at AAB, including biology and chemistry. A medical degree would give you firm grounding in scientific and medical theoretical thinking and would involve a great level of hands on experience in clinical settings. The MBChB Medical course available at the University of Birmingham is one such medical degree you may choose.

Work experience

Work experience is one criteria university admission teams always look out for in potential students. It will demonstrate your eagerness to succeed and will give you experience in a medical environment. This will enable you to discover whether this is the right career for you or what area is of particular interest. Hospitals and local clinics are good places to look for placements. The NHS Jobs website may also contain information about placements.

Career pathway after graduation

Once graduated, plastic surgeons are preferred to acquire around five years experience before moving into plastic surgery. Registration with the Royal College of Surgeons would improve your credibility, and you can work to can get on the GMCs Specialist Register of Plastic Surgeons. Plastic surgery is a competitive arena but there are places available with the NHS and private clinics. Once several years experience has been acquired you will likely choose to specialise in one area, such as facial reconstruction and aesthetics.