How to become a surgeon

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

To become a surgeon you'll need to complete:

  • a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • 2 years of core surgical training in a hospital
  • up to 6 years of specialist training

You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine without A levels or equivalent qualifications in science. The course includes a one-year pre-medical foundation year.

If you already have a first class or upper second class science degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. Some universities will also accept non-science graduates.

When you apply for a course in medicine, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

There's a lot of competition for places on medical degrees. Most university admissions departments will expect you to have done some relevant paid or voluntary experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 7 (A* or A), including English maths and sciences
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry

More Information

More Information

Registration

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a surgeon from the Royal College of Surgeons and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • meet the patient before the operation to decide on the best course of action
  • explain the procedures and risk
  • take tests and arrange X-rays
  • carry out operations with a team of people
  • carry out ward rounds
  • write to GPs about your patients’ conditions and treatments

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior or consultant roles, go on to lead a team, or manage a department.

You could also move into teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a surgeon right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Certificate in Applied Science

  • Provider: WADDESDON CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL
  • Start date: 03 September 2021
  • Location: Aylesbury

APPLIED SCIENCE EXTENDED CERTIFICATE

  • Provider: THE BLUE COAT COFE SCHOOL
  • Start date: 07 September 2021
  • Location: Oldham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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