Some More Advice for Future Surgeons

After a positive response to our first post about advice to future surgeons, we have put together another selection of quotes from people working in surgery, which we hope you will find helpful.

“You need to be hard-working, dedicated. You don’t need to be particularly academic or into research, you just need to work hard and be prepared to put the hours in. If you are, then you’ll get far. You have to have a balance of work and life and you will have to make sacrifices. If you are prepared to do that, then it will be fine – and it is definitely worth it. I can’t imagine doing anything else and I don’t want to do anything else, so I’m quite happy to make a sacrifice here and there. When you are a more junior trainee, it is a little bit more difficult with the hours that you have to work, but as you get a bit more senior… I’ve found that I have a great work-life-balance. I still go on holidays, I still go out with my friends all the time. I just watch less TV, so I can get my work done during the week and then have fun on the weekends.”

“It is not an instant glorification career. It’s a marathon run rather than a sprint. It’s not glamorous on a day-to-day basis like you see portrayed on television, but it is doable and workable and if you are prepared to put in the hard work, it is a very rewarding career to have.”

“It is a lifestyle choice, but it is a lifestyle choice I knew I was getting into and I absolutely love it and there is nothing like the buzz you can get when you have done something and you have done it well.  So how do you get a good work-life-balance? I think you have to have really understanding friends and really understanding family and you have to be really organized. People say ‘Oh, I bet you don’t get to do very much’, but actually I think I do more because I plan everything meticulously, so in my spare time I actually do something all the time and I am making time for people. I think it is easy. I do have lots of hobbies. If you want to fit stuff in, you just do it.”

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3 thoughts on “Some More Advice for Future Surgeons

  1. Thank you for this post! It’s really helpful and inspiring, especially today. I had a particularly unhelpful encounter today with yet another (male) non-surgical doctor who, as soon as he found out I want to become a surgeon, took it upon himself to tell me how I will not have a family life at all, and that a lot of women drop out of training because they dont have what it takes, etc etc. I realise the disadvantages of the career, but there is nothing else I would like to do more, that would make happier than doing surgery, and that makes me determined. So it’s really good to hear it ‘from the horses mouth’ as it goes, and remind myself that it’s possible.

    • Hi Amira, We’re really pleased that you found this helpful! Our research shows that it is very easy to feel discouraged based on these kinds of comments or feelings that we don’t fit in a profession. The important thing to realise is that these feelings are natural, but they are not meaningful. If you are determined and love your job, nothing should stop you from living a full, rich and well-balanced life (with a family and children, if that is what you want). You can see lots of stories along these lines in the vodcast on this blogsite.

  2. Pingback: And Yet Some More Advice for Future Surgeons | Women in Surgery

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