How Do I Become a Pediatric Surgeon?

A student must study and practice for years in order to become a pediatric surgeon. Students must first graduate from high school and earn a bachelor’s degree. They must first apply to medical school before completing the four-year program. The next step is to complete a five-year general surgery residency program, followed a two-year fellowship in pediatric surgery. Students can take a licensing exam to become fully certified practitioners in this field once they have completed these experiences satisfactorily.

Graduating from high school and earning a bachelor’s degree are the first and most basic educational experiences required to become a pediatric surgeon. Despite the fact that no specific undergraduate major is required, students must complete the required prerequisites in order to be admitted to medical school. Calculus, biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physics, and English are among them. If they plan to start medical school right after graduation, many students take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)® during their junior year of college.

To become a pediatric surgeon, you must first complete medical school. The first two years of this four-year program are typically spent in class, where students learn the fundamentals of anatomy, physiology, and pathology. In fields like pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, and neurology, the third and fourth years provide more practical experience. During their medical school careers, students interested in pediatric surgery may be able to complete elective rotations in this field.

Prospective pediatric surgeons must complete a five-year general surgery residency after medical school. They may be able to participate in a number of pediatric surgery rotations, depending on their residency program. During these years, they learn more basic surgical techniques, which is more important. Because obtaining a pediatric surgery fellowship, the final step in training to become a pediatric surgeon, is extremely competitive, many students conduct research in the field before applying for a fellowship. This research can often take another year or two, lengthening the time it takes to get into this field.

A two-year fellowship that focuses solely on this surgical sub-specialty is the final training experience required to become a pediatric surgeon. In the United States, only 44 fellowship positions are available each year. Once a fellowship spot is secured, the training surgeons are solely focused on performing pediatric surgery. They learn how to deal with issues specific to the pediatric population, such as congenital abnormalities and growth issues. The prospective pediatric surgeon must pass a test after completing the two-year fellowship to become a fully certified practitioner in this field.