Some Advice for Future Surgeons

Just as any other career, surgery has its good and bad sides. While it is very rewarding, it can also be very challenging. Here is some advice from people working in surgery to those who might consider surgery as a career:

“I think surgery is a fantastic career if you love it. If you’ve done a bit of surgery or seen some of the ways that surgical patients are treated – it’s quite a quick process very often compared to medicine. If someone comes in and needs an emergency operation, everything happens very quickly. And I think if you love that, it’s a fantastic thing to do and worth spending the time, if that is something you love. If you were to do it because somebody else wanted you to, you’d be better of choosing something else because it takes a lot of effort. “

“Have a life plan. Where do you see yourself in 10-15 years? What kind of hours do you see yourself doing? Do you see yourself wanting to spend more time with friends and family? Are you willing to make the sacrifice, depending on specialty, when you just have to get up and go because you are on call, you can’t sit at home watching TV. You’ve got to have a clear idea of what you want in your life and how you would probably feel at that age. If still you are committed to performing surgery, wanting to be a surgeon and willing to make those sacrifices then absolutely do surgery. … for me, I think I made the right choice. … the fact that it makes such a difference in someone’s life fairly immediately is very satisfying.”

“Just think about the next step, what you need to do for that step to get forward, rather than being daunted by the whole long process, which actually, when you go through it, doesn’t seem all that daunting as long as you as long as you keep your horizon at a manageable scale.”

“I have no hesitation to say: If you love it, go for it. You have to keep your enthusiasm up. You have to be enthused about wanting to do this specialty and I think it’s probably the same with any career choice. You have to love it to continue because there are down times and great times and you have to take the down times, too. And it requires hard work – so you have to be motivated.”