Surgeons Can Wear Many Different Hats

If you read over the job profiles on you'll find the median salary for Surgeons is $271,000.

While that is true you may have to really work hard to get to $271,000 per year of income. There are many other tasks that a Surgeon must perform during the course of the day besides running into surgery and being "dashing" and the "knight in shining armor".

Yes, Surgeons work on a "per service" basis and they DO work in offices where they see patients for "regular" appointments as well, and do some surgeries as well. However, you must bear in mind that a Surgeon can only perform so many surgeries per day and per week. Many times surgeries take much longer than you previously thought and you can't just go running around cutting people open with no rest or recooperation.

Yes, the pay can be very good, but you just have to be able to manage your time. Plus, you really need to know your limitations in order to keep yourself from doing "too much". The work a surgeon does doesn't always happen in the hospital. In fact, many surgeons own private practices that are housed outside the hospital. This is good if you like a "change of scenery" because you'll be moving back and forth from your office to the hospital and vice versa.

Also, you may spend whole days working in your office seeing patients for follow-ups and that means you are not performing surgeries (which pay really well), but you can't just schedule surgeries all the time just for the sake of "a buck". Many times the consultations you offer your patients are more valuable to the patients than the surgery itself. If you have been working long enough you will get patients coming in JUST to get your opinion. This kind of "bedside care" that relies on empathy is very important and also keeps your schedule in check.

If you're working a particular specialty you may have the opportunity to work at different hospitals where there may not be a surgeon available to do the work that only YOU can do. You may also be able to present papers and workshops to doctors and medical staffers about the kind of work that you do. Not only would you be the "expert" in your field, but you would have the chance to help thousands upon thousands of people without ever having to leave your office. Plus, we have technology that allows people to perform surgeries electronically with robots and high-tech machinery. You could easily save lives halfway across the world just because of technology!

Working as a Surgeon can be highly lucrative for you, but it may come at the expense of much of your time. Sometimes when you become "the man" you also have to pay the price for that status with your time and energy (and the lack of a 5-day work week.) There's nothing better than the opportunity to "fix" problems through surgery, and to consult and reassure patients at your desk. The combination of the two (plus any specialties you have) can make for an exciting "roller-coaster-ride" of a career.

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Medical Careers Mentioned

  • Surgeons
    Salary: $271,771
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 10 years
    # Employed: 47,070
    Part Time: 8%

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