General Surgeon
Dr. Ghassan Nawfal

About the job:

What you do

As a General Surgeon, you care for patients with a broad range of conditions that commonly require surgery. You do not specialize in a field that requires additional training, such as heart surgery or neurosurgery. Your job varies from removing a tumor to repairing a broken leg. Before pursuing this career, you must consider whether you can thrive under pressure and enjoy managing crises. 

The tough stuff

As a General Surgeon, you will have to:

  • Work long hours, which makes it hard to balance your work and personal life
  • Be aware of medical mistakes, especially the ones that can get you sued!
The cool stuff

As a General Surgeon, you will get to:

  • Save lives
  • Generally be well paid, depending on the opportunity
  • Get benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance, and vacation time
Typical work hours
  • 50+ hours a week

Are you the right fit?

Classes you should be good at
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
Best high school track(s)
  • Life Sciences
Personal qualities
  • Expressing yourself verbally
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Dexterity (hands and fingers)
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving

Will you make money?

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Education stuff:

Education required

 To become a General Surgeon, you will study between 14-16 yearsYou should: 

1. Complete a Pre-Med Program: Although pre-med is not a requirement for entry into medical school, it will give you a big advantage over the competition. Pre-med entails coursework in fields such as biology, organic chemistry, and statistics. These courses will satisfy medical school prerequisites, and help you prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

2. Take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

3. Complete your Medical Doctorate. In general, a medical doctorate takes four years to complete. The first two years entails coursework on a range of medical issues. In the final two years of the degree, you will complete a series of medical rotations, working with patients under the direction of licensed physicians in many fields. 

4. Complete a residency program. You will spend between three to seven years completing your Residency. You will essentially serve as a surgeon under supervision.

5. Add a fellowship. When you’ve finished your residency, you will have the option to continue training for up to three years as part of a fellowship. 

6. Get licensed. 

Helpful resources
Local universities
International universities

Video Description

Are you considering becoming a General Surgeon in the future? Watch our latest interview with esteemed Dr. Nawfal to learn about the requirements.


Having finished his Medical School studies in 1987, Dr. Ghassan completed a 5-year General Surgery Specialty Training Program and a 2-year training program in Liver and Pancreas Surgery in London. He returned to Lebanon late 1994 as director of the Surgery Department and Consultant Surgeon in Beirut.

In addition to his Medical and Surgical studies, Dr. Ghassan completed a 2-year Master Program in Hospital and Health Management in 2012 in Paris. Dr. Nawfal is a member and has served on the executive board of several national and international Medical and Surgical Societies.