Surgeons perform operations on patients who have suffered a trauma or have a disease which requires surgical treatment. Surgery, as with medicine, encompasses many different careers, some of which will be looked at more closely on this site, including cosmetic surgery and laser eye surgery. A surgeon would need to make use of their expertise in order to decide upon the best course of action when referred a patient. Treatment performed can range from vasectomy reversal to the removal of tumours.

University course

A surgeon would need to attain a medical degree as certified by the General Medical Council (GMC), which would typically last around 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. This is the typical route for surgeons but may differ for some.

Education pathway

In order to get onto a degree course you will need to attain a minimum of five GCSEs graded A-C, including science and mathematics, followed by the attainment of three A Levels at AAB, with subjects including chemistry and biology. Degrees would involve training in basic medical science and clinical training on the wards. The MBChB Medical course on offer at the University of Birmingham is one such course.

Work experience

Work experience will form a fundamental part of your medical degree. However, one of the most valuable assets a student can possess is work experience. This will demonstrate your keenness to university admission teams. Work experience can be acquired by getting in contact with local clinics and hospitals, where you can help out or merely monitor medical professionals while they perform tasks.

Career pathway after graduation

Following graduation you will need to undertake further training, as described above in the ‘education pathway’ section. However, the route you take in your career will vary according to the specialist surgical area you partake in. This is a competitive arena and there may be the need to relocate, but the NHS and private clinics are always on the look out for surgeons. Once enough experience has been acquired you may be able to manage a surgical department. Continuous training during the career of a surgeon is essential.