How Long Does It Take To Become A Pediatric Surgeon

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

This infographic explores the education and training that pediatric surgeons undergo to become skilled, highly-trained medical practitioners. Prepared by, it may come as a surprise just how much time and effort is required to become a pediatric surgeon and provide your child with the best possible care. We hope this visual is educational and informative as well as interesting.

It takes more than 11 years of intensive training to become a pediatric surgeon. The process typically starts with an undergraduate education, which is followed by four years of medical school. Then, a four-year residency program has to be completed before one can take the board certification exam. After that, board certified pediatric surgeons obtain full privileges and can start working on their own . . .

It takes at least a decade to become a world-class pediatric surgeon. It’s probably the most difficult and stressful form of medicine, even more so than brain surgery, but it’s highly-rewarding for those who succeed. And we all know about the excellent job market for nurses who assist them.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Pediatric Surgeon -

When your child needs medical treatment, you want him or her to have the very best care available. So it stands to reason that if your child needs an operation, you will want to consult with a surgeon who is qualified and experienced in operating on children. Surgeons who specialize in general surgery often provide surgical care for children, and they are fully qualified to perform many operations on children. Do you love working with children and treating them. Need more information concerning How Long Does it Take to Become a Pediatric Surgeon, pediatric surgeon salary, pediatric surgeon license requirements & steps to become a pediatric surgeon.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on how long it takes to become a pediatric surgeon, who is a pediatric surgeon. Read on to learn more. We at infolearners .com have all the information that you need about pediatric salary and job outlook. I would recommend you save time and effort by visiting our website as soon as possible for the answer to hoe to become a pediatric surgeon.

The first step in your journey to becoming a Pediatric Surgeon is to become a doctor. The education will take 7-8 years of schooling. Then you have to complete a 5 year residency training program. After you are done, your career as a Pediatric Surgeon can officially begin!

Who Is a Pediatric Surgeon?

Becoming a pediatric surgeon is no small feat or a minor accomplishment. It is among the most difficult career paths to pursue in medicine — taking a total of 13 years of medical school, residency and fellowships to become licensed as a pediatric surgeon. Pediatric surgeons are highly specialized medical doctors who perform surgery on infants and children, such as to correct damage from trauma, a genetic condition, or a disease. It’s not easy to become a pediatric surgeon, but it is possible if you work hard, and it can be an incredibly rewarding career. Start by completing the required degrees to become a doctor, and then complete the residencies and certifications required to begin working as a pediatric surgeon.

11 to 15 years. In general, if a student completes a traditional 4-year bachelor’s degree program, 4-year medical school program, two-year to five-year general surgery residency, and a one-year to two-year pediatric surgery residency, it may take 11 to 15 years to become a pediatric surgeon.

Pediatric surgeons specialize in performing surgeries on children and young adults. They have similar surgery training to all other surgeons, but they require a degree of specialization to work with younger patients. Because pediatric surgeons work with vulnerable patients, they need a unique skillset that helps them to communicate clearly with children and teenagers and to create a safe environment for their patients to receive what will likely be very frightening medical treatment. Pediatric surgeons should be aware that while this job can be highly rewarding, it can also be emotionally challenging.

How to Become a Pediatric Surgeon: Career Roadmap

What is the pediatric surgeon’s role in treating the child?

Pediatric surgeons are primarily concerned with the diagnosis, preoperative, operative and postoperative management of surgical problems in children. Some medical conditions in newborns are not compatible with a good quality of life unless these problems are corrected surgically.

These conditions must be recognized immediately by neonatologists, pediatricians and family physicians. Pediatric surgeons cooperate with all of the specialists involved in a child’s medical care to determine whether surgery is the best option for the child.

These medical professionals consult other physicians and surgeons as needed, perform operations and monitor patient progress. They may choose to concentrate practice in prenatal surgery, neonatal surgery, trauma surgery or pediatric oncology. These surgeons have the opportunity to work in a variety of medical environments, such as city hospitals, university hospitals and children’s hospitals. The following chart provides an overview about the career of pediatric surgeon.

Degree RequiredDoctor of Medicine (M.D.)
Training Required5-year residency in general surgery followed by 2-year residency in pediatric surgery
Key ResponsibilitiesExamine patients; evaluate and diagnose medical conditions in infants, children and adolescents that may require surgery; perform surgical procedures for medical situations involving injury, illness or disease or to correct congenital defects
Licensure or CertificationLicensure for doctors is required in all states; board certification in general surgery and pediatric surgery is available
Job Growth (2016-2026)14%* for all surgeons
Median Salary (2019)$440,503** for pediatric surgeons

Pediatric surgeons are highly trained medical professionals. These doctors have a diverse training for their position that usually takes years to complete. Once they enter this field, they often work in hospitals and check on the health and progress of children.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pediatric Surgeon

How Long Does it Take to Become a Pediatric Surgeon - College Learners

What is the focus of pediatric surgery?

Pediatric surgeons utilize their expertise in providing surgical care for all problems or conditions affecting children that require surgical intervention. They participate in transplantation operations, and like most surgeons today, they use laparoscopic techniques for some operations.

They also have particular expertise in the following areas of responsibility:

  • Neonatal:  Pediatric surgeons have specialized knowledge in the surgical repair of birth defects, some of which may be life threatening to premature and full-term infants.
  • Prenatal:  Pediatric surgeons, in cooperation with radiologists, use ultrasound and other technologies during the fetal stage of a child’s development to detect any abnormalities. They can then plan corrective surgery and educate and get to know parents before their baby is born. Prenatal diagnosis may lead to fetal surgery, which is a new forefront in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery. Application of most fetal surgical techniques is still in the experimental stage.
  • Trauma:  Because trauma is the number one killer of children in the United States, pediatric surgeons are routinely faced with critical care situations involving traumatic injuries sustained by children that may or may not require surgical intervention. Many pediatric surgeons are involved in accident prevention programs in their communities that are aimed at curbing traumatic injuries in children.
  • Pediatric Oncology:  Pediatric surgeons are involved in the diagnosis and surgical care of children with malignant tumors as well as those with benign growths.

What difference can a pediatric surgeon make?

Pediatric surgeons specialize in the surgical care of children. They are surgeons who, by training, are oriented toward working with children and understanding their special needs.

In addition, they work with various specialists who are also oriented towards the next century. Pediatric surgeons are able to save whole lifetimes, and have the opportunity to follow their patients through a productive young life into adulthood.

How long does it take to become a Surgeon? - Education Projects Group

Steps to Become a Pediatric Surgeon

Have you been thinking, ”I want to be a pediatric surgeon”? Pediatric surgeon education and training is highly specialized and prepares these professionals to diagnose and treat a range of diseases, injuries, and deformities in children and adolescents through surgery. Individuals interested in how to become a pediatric surgeon generally need to complete the following:

  • Undergraduate school
  • Medical school from an accredited institution
  • Surgery residency
  • Pediatric surgery residency
  • Licensure

We’ll explore pediatric surgeon education requirements and licensure in more detail below, as the requirements for this profession are extensive.

Step 1: Undergraduate Education

All surgeons begin their education path by earning a bachelor’s degree. Although there is no specific major requirement for becoming a surgeon, it is helpful for students to pursue a pre-med program or to choose other programs that meet medical school entrance requirements.

Pre-med programs are commonly paired with majors in areas like chemistry, biology, biomedical science, or another science-related field. These programs help students prepare for medical school by completing prerequisites in subjects like:

  • Biology
  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Organic chemistry
  • Biochemistry

The general pediatric surgery training program takes 4-6 years to complete and includes a 4-year residency after medical school. After completing undergraduate education, many students attend an 8-week mandatory training in general surgery, which is the first year of the residency. Some students choose to do an extra year of training in a certain specialty, such as cardiothoracic surgery or transplant surgery, before starting a pediatric surgery residency; such additional training can be completed in up to 3 extra years of training.

Step 2: Medical School

After earning their bachelor’s degree, aspiring surgeons need to take the MCAT exam and apply to medical school. Undergraduates in a pre-med program should begin studying for the MCAT long before they graduate, as the examination is highly detailed and challenging. At this point, students may begin searching for schools that align with the kind of doctor they wish to be and find programs that offer coursework and training for prospective pediatric surgeons.

Questions to ask the doctor before consenting to surgery

Medical schools typically award either a MD (Doctor of Medicine) or a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree. Students in these programs spend time completing coursework, laboratories, and clinical rotations to begin exploring various areas of medicine. Coursework generally includes the study of different systems and areas of the body, such as the nervous system and respiratory system, and may include other topics in areas like:

  • Genetics
  • Ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Patient safety

Step 3: General Surgery Schooling

After medical school, all aspiring physicians and surgeons must complete a residency program in their area of specializations. For pediatric surgeons, this means first completing a residency program in general surgery. These residency programs usually include a wide range of clinical rotations to expose students to various types of surgery and equip them with the necessary surgical skills to perform the surgeries. These programs may also include research opportunities in the field.

Step 4: Pediatric Surgeon Schooling

Once they have completed their general surgery residency, students can complete a pediatric surgery residency or fellowship. These programs are typically shorter in length than general surgery residencies and help train students in pre- and post-operative care of children. Students in these programs have the opportunity to work in inpatient and outpatient settings and participate in research. During the fellowship program students are exposed to all major topics in pediatric surgery, such as:

  • Pediatric oncology
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatric urology
  • Pediatric radiology
  • Mortality
  • Pediatric surgical pathology

Step 5: Licensure/Board Certification

All physicians and surgeons must obtain national licensure through the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) for MDs or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) for DOs. Although certification is not required, the American Board of Surgery offers board certification for pediatric surgeons through Pediatric Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams. Board certification may increase employment opportunities.

Pediatric Surgeon License Requirements

All 50 states require practicing surgeons to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). You should also check your state board for specific requirements. Becoming board certified in pediatric surgery involves first obtaining board certification in general surgery, according to the American Board of Surgery (ABS) ( Certification is obtained by passing written examinations and ensures that you have achieved a minimum level of skill and knowledge

How Long Does it Take to Become a Pediatric Surgeon?

Just how many years of college does it take to be a pediatric surgeon? The time it takes to become a pediatric surgeon depends on the specific degree programs, schools, and program formats chosen by the student. In general, if a student completes a traditional 4-year bachelor’s degree program, 4-year medical school program, two-year to five-year general surgery residency, and a one-year to two-year pediatric surgery residency, it may take 11 to 15 years to become a pediatric surgeon.

Pediatric Surgeon vs General Surgeon

Pediatric Surgeon

Pediatric surgeons operate on children from newborns to young adults. They collaborate and consult with pediatricians and other physicians before and after surgery. Their work can include surgery on a physical injury or a type of birth defect. Pediatric surgeons examine patients to check for their surgical needs, and understand the unique differences of operating on children versus adults. These surgeons typically work in hospitals and may work long hours for emergencies or involved procedures.

Job responsibilities of a Pediatric Surgeon include:

  • Interpreting various physical exams and MRI imaging
  • Keeping patients and parents informed of surgical expectations
  • Monitoring a patient’s health throughout and after the procedure
  • Performing surgical procedures and determining outcomes

General Surgeon

The surgeon is responsible for the preoperative diagnosis of the patient, for performing the operation, and for providing the patient with postoperative surgical care and treatment. … During the course of an operation, the surgeon must make important decisions about the patient’s health, safety, and welfare.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Pediatric Surgeon

Pediatrician job duties include taking patients’ medical histories, examining patients, ordering any necessary medical tests, and creating a plan of treatment for the patient. They must be able to communicate this plan and any medical options to the parents of the patient and answer any questions that they may have concerning the course of action. Pediatrician responsibilities may also include administering vaccinations, providing preventative healthcare, and teaching patients and their parents about proper healthcare, like hygiene and nutrition.

EARN YOUR BACHELOR OF SICE DEGREE – The Average Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree $12,000
All physicians, no matter their specialty, must obtain a bachelor’s degree followed by a 4-year medical degree. Generally, aspiring doctors can earn a bachelor’s degree in any field, but must have plenty of coursework in biology, physics, math, chemistry, and English. Medical schools are usually competitive and train students in topics of anatomy, medical ethics, biochemistry, pharmacology, and more. The program generally concludes with medical rotations to allow students to experience different specialties within the field, such as pediatrics.

MEDICAL SCHOOL – The Average Cost of a Medical School $155,000
Medical schools may also vary in the kind of medical techniques they teach their students. Depending on how they are trained, pediatricians may use holistic medicine approaches, integrative medicine approaches, or alternative and complementary medicine options. These programs result in either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. There are a number of top schools for holistic, integrative, and alternative and complementary medicine practices across the country.

After completing medical school, students must enter a residency program. For aspiring pediatricians, this residency program must be in pediatrics and may last about 3 to 4 years. Commonly, these residencies take place in a hospital and provide students with invaluable hands-on learning experiences.

Pediatricians in all 50 states must obtain state licensure to practice medicine. Requirements do vary by state, so students should be sure to check the specific requirements for the state in which they plan to work. A part of the licensure process includes passing a standardized national licensure exam. Based on how they were trained, MDs take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination, while DOs take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination.

Entry requirements

Before you train as a surgeon you must complete a degree in medicine and have obtained a MBBS or equivalent qualification. Find out about getting into medical school.

You then need to complete a two-year foundation programme and then two years of core training. After successfully completing your first year of foundation training you become eligible for registration as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC)Foundation training includes undertaking rotations in a range of specialties including surgery.

To find information about the Foundation Programme, visit our applying for foundation training page.

After foundation training you will need to undertake further specialist training (see training and development page).

Skills and interests

Paediatric surgeons require a very special set of skills. Not only do they need the entire skill set of a surgeon, but also the added dexterity needed to operate on the smallest of patients.

The ability to communicate cheerfully with children and their patients is also vital. At times the circumstances will be very challenging – from dealing with the child with cancer or a life-limiting disease to the parents of a very sick baby in neonatal intensive care. You’ll need a delicate balance of empathy and emotional detachment.

Paediatric surgeons also need:

  • the ability to work effectively under pressure and to remain objective in highly pressurised and emotive situations
  • practical skills such as good hand-eye co-ordination, manual dexterity and visuo-spatial awareness
  • the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with young patients, their families and medical colleagues
  • the capacity to monitor developing situations, anticipate issues and to show initiative
  • excellent organisational skills to manage a demanding workload and to manage information systems
  • good team-working skills and ability to lead, manage and support a team effectively
  • emotional resilience and stamina to cope with the demands of the job
  • a sense of humour to help communicate with children and their families

If you’re applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you’ll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you’re applying for a university course funded by the NHS.

Pediatric Surgeon Salary and Job Outlook

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report specifically on pediatric surgeons. However, they do report on surgeons in general and pediatricians in general. In May of 2019, the BLS reported that surgeons received an annual median wage of $207,720, which is high even among medical professionals. Surgery as a job field is expected to grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is about average for all jobs in the United States.

Pediatricians, on the other hand, made a median annual wage of $175,310 as of May, 2019. Their job outlook was also projected at 4% by 2029. The actual wage that pediatric surgeons will receive will generally be closer to that of surgeons, but it is useful to keep the pediatrician statistics in mind, particularly for those who decide at some point during their education that they would prefer working as a general pediatrician than working as a pediatric surgeon.

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