Medical Field: Surgeons

By Yulissa Perez

What They Do

Surgeons are physicians who specialize in taking surgical procedures in order to treat an invasive or non-invasive illness. They recommend certain procedures to their patient depending on the severity of their illness and they also identify the risks of the procedure. They are responsible for choosing the best surgical procedure to use to treat an illness and they are responsible for doing their best to help the patient get better.

Skills and Education/ Training

Surgeons have a very important job- to save a life - and in order to be able to do their job they undergo a lot of schooling and training. A bachelor's degree is the minimal requirement for a surgeon, but many choose to get their PhD and their masters degree. At an early stage of their career they usually know they have the skills needed to take the responsibility of being a surgeon since most get training during school; for example, working in a clinic or visiting a hospital.

Surgeons need a lot of different skills in order to their job; for example, they need to analyze the situation and more importantly they need to pay attention. Here are the three most important skills needed for a surgeon.

  1. Working Under Pressure
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Communication
Surgeons Careers Overview

Outlook and Salary

Surgeons get paid depending on their education and experience. A cardiologist gets a higher salary than an orthopedic surgeon; it really depends on the education. The average median salary is $350,509. The surgeon employment outlook is high considering the increase in the health care industry and is expected to increase by eighteen percent. The chart below shows the employment rate in Illinois in 2014 and studies show that the rate will continue to increase.
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Work Environment

Surgeons are usually working in a hospitals, but they also have private offices in order to analyze work and simply- think. Others choose to work in smaller facilities; such as, health clinics. Surgeons always have to deal with high stress situations and are always ready to handle the worst. They must have the skills to work in a stressful and pressuring environment. Most surgeons are very careful and concentrated in their work. Below are the pros and cons about being a surgeon.


  • Involves many years of schooling
  • No set schedule
  • Always on call
  • High stress and pressure


  • High salary
  • Easy to get a job
  • Well respected
  • Good Reputation

High School Preparation and Volunteer Work

The usual science classes would prepare a future surgeon, but Leyden offers some key classes that can help prepare a future surgeon. It would also be smart to do some volunteer work to help gain experience for the job. Below is a list of classes, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work that can help prepare a student:

Volunteer Work

  • Local Clinic
  • Hospital
  • Helping out a surgeon

In High School

  • Biology
  • Medical Careers (Elective)
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Physics Bio
  • Student Council (Extracurricular)

References and Career Connections

Career Connections

My mom works in the hospital as a nurse and surgical technologist, so she works with surgeons all the time. I do not know anyone personally, but I have heard that they are usually working very hard and under pressure. They are careful while performing surgery and thorough in their explanations.


  1. Adam Buklis-Teacher, School District #212: Mr. Buklis was my basketball coach who can describe my leadership and cooperation skills.
  2. Future Medical Careers teacher- Teacher, School District #212: Can describe the skills I have to offer in the Medical field.
  3. Norbert Pozen- Teacher, School District #212: Mr. Pozen was my biology teacher who can describe my progress and learning skills.