Am I cut out for it?
Surgery is an extremely enjoyable, intellectually demanding and satisfying career and many more people apply to become surgeons each year than there are places. Those who are successful have be ready not just to learn a great deal of knowledge, but have the right kind of personality to deal with the job.
To decide whether surgery is right for you, think about what you are good at and what you are looking for in your career. Surgery requires a mix of:
- Specialist knowledge for accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition
- Good communication skills – for speaking to your medical team, your patients and their families; for listening to and understanding the concerns of a wide range of people and earning their trust.
- A bright, eager mind, manual dexterity and physical skills for performing an operation
- Extensive experience of pre-operative and post-operative care
To decide whether surgery is right for you, think about what you are good at and what you are looking for in your career:
- Making decisions – Can you think on your feet and learn from mistakes?
- Life long learning – Would you like to have a career where you need to constantly update your knowledge?
- Building up trust – Could you explain things clearly to patients and other doctors in your team?
Surgery is an extremely enjoyable, intellectually demanding and satisfying career. However, if you prefer working alone or don’t like working under pressure, surgery may not be for you.