Plastic Surgeon

About the job:

What you do

As a Plastic Surgeon, your job is to operates on a patient's face or body in order to repair or reconstruct the area. You may perform two types of surgery: Cosmetic Surgery to improve appearance and Reconstructive Surgery to correct appearance after an injury or to improve bodily function.

The tough stuff

As a Plastic Surgeon, you will have to:

  • Study and train for at least 15 years to prepare for this career
  • Ensure patients have realistic expectations about cosmetic procedures, because otherwise, they may resort to slander or legal action to rectify the situation
  • Work long, demanding hours
  • Be prepared to take a lot of responsibility since you literally hold a person's life in your hands - mistakes can kill your patients!
The cool stuff

As a Plastic Surgeon, you will get to:

  • Be very well paid
  • Enjoy the gratitude of your patients
  • Specialize in different fields
Typical work hours
  • 48 hours per week
  • Occasional Night Calls 

Most plastic surgery involves a mix of planned or elective surgery and emergency work. A high proportion of the non-emergency work involves treating patients with skin cancer. Emergency work involves dealing with severe burns, often for children and operating on patients following an accident or trauma. This can mean call-outs during the night on occasion.

Are you the right fit?

Classes you should be good at
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
Best high school track(s)
  • Life Sciences
Personal qualities
  • Understanding what you hear
  • Understanding written information
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Dexterity (hands and fingers)
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail

Will you make money?

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Education stuff:

Education required

To become a Plastic Surgeon, you typically must:

  • Hold a 4-year undergraduate degree and complete pre-medical courses, such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Spend another four years in medical school to earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree
  • Train for an additional five years during residency training in which you focus solely on general and plastic surgery 
  • Obtain a license to practice in your country of choice
Helpful resources
Local universities
International universities