Can a Surgical Tech Become a Surgeon?

Considering a career in surgery? Here’s what you need to know about becoming a surgeon, from the training required to the average salary.

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Job Description of a Surgical Tech

A surgical tech, also called a scrub tech, is an integral member of the surgical team. Surgical techs work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, and registered nurses to ensure that each surgical procedure is performed safely and efficiently.

Duties and Responsibilities

A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons, nurses and other members of the surgical team. Surgical technologists play a vital role in ensuring that the operating room is ready for surgery and that patients are prepared for surgery.

Surgical technologists are responsible for sterilizing and organizing the operating room, preparing instruments and supplies, and helping to position patients on the operating table. In some cases, surgical technologists may also be responsible for setting up electronic equipment such as monitoring devices.

In order to become a surgical technologist, one must complete an accredited surgery tech program. Most programs take between one and two years to complete. Upon completion of a surgical technologist program, one must pass a national certification exam in order to become certified as a surgical technologist (CST).

Salary and Job Outlook

Surgical techs earned a median annual salary of $47,300 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The best-paid 10 percent in the field made $68,530, while the lowest-paid earned $33,140 or less.

Aspiring surgical technologists can expect strong competition for jobs because of the growing popularity of minimally invasive surgery, which requires smaller incisions and shorter hospital stays than traditional surgery. As a result, many facilities are able to perform more surgeries with fewer staff members. In addition, many individuals are attracted to this career because it typically requires only a one- or two-year educational program.

Educational Requirements

In order to become a surgeon, one must attend and complete an accredited medical school program and earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. After medical school, surgeons must complete a residency program in their chosen specialty. Surgical techs who are interested in becoming surgeons can complete a residency program and earn their MD or DO.

Surgical Tech Programs

There are a number of accredited surgical tech programs across the United States that can provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in this field. While there is no specific educational requirement to become a surgical tech, completing an accredited program can give you an edge in the job market and help you become more qualified for positions.

Most surgical tech programs take between one and two years to complete, and they typically lead to an associate’s degree or certificate. During your course of study, you will take classes in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and other health-related topics. You will also gain practical experience through clinical rotations, which will give you a chance to work with patients and learn how to assist surgeons in the operating room.

Licensing and Certification

There are no specific educational requirements to become a licensed surgeon in the United States. However, most surgeons complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by a four-year medical degree from an accredited medical school. After completing medical school, surgeons must complete a five-year residency program in general surgery.

After completing their residency, surgeons must obtain a license to practice surgery in the state in which they plan to work. To do this, they must pass both the written and oral portions of the exams administered by the American Board of Surgery. In addition to being licensed, many surgeons choose to become certified by the American Board of Surgery or another specialty board. Certification is not required to practice surgery, but it does demonstrate that a surgeon has met certain standards and has extensive knowledge in his or her field.

Steps to Becoming a Surgeon

If you are interested in becoming a surgeon, there are a few steps you will need to take. Firstly, you will need to complete an accredited surgical technology program. After you have completed the program, you will then need to take and pass the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting examination. Once you have done this, you will then be able to apply for a surgical residency program.


A prospective surgeon must complete four years of college and four years of medical school, followed by a five-year residency program in general surgery. After the residency, a surgeon may choose to complete a fellowship in a particular specialty such as cardiology or oncology. To become certified by the American Board of Surgery, a surgeon must pass written and oral exams.

Medical School

Most people become surgeons by completing a 4-year undergraduate degree, followed by 4 years of medical school, and then 3 to 8 years in a surgical residency program.

In order to be eligible to apply to medical school, you will need to complete a few prerequisite courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, and math. You will also need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

Once you have completed your undergraduate degree and taken the MCAT, you can apply to medical schools. The majority of students are accepted into their first or second-choice school.

After you have been accepted into medical school, you will complete 4 years of training. The first 2 years focus on classroom and laboratory work in subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology. The last 2 years consist of clinical rotations in various surgical specialties such as ENT (ear, nose, throat), general surgery, orthopedics, urology, and pediatrics.

Upon completion of medical school, you will then enter into a surgical residency program which typically lasts 3-8 years depending on the specialty you choose. A surgical residency is a period of intensive training during which time you will work closely with experienced surgeons in order to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to become a successful surgeon.

After completing your surgical residency program, you will then be eligible to take the exams necessary to become certified by the American Board of Surgery. Once you have passed these exams and achieved board certification, you will be a fully licensed surgeon and can begin practicing surgery independently.


After medical school, graduates must complete a residency program. A residency is a period of supervised training in a hospital. The length of residency training varies by specialty, but is typically four years for general surgery.

During residency, surgeons-in-training learn how to care for patients before, during and after surgery. They also learn how to manage surgical teams and make decisions under pressure. In addition to hands-on training, residents also participate in didactic activities such as lectures and small group discussions.

Can a Surgical Tech Become a Surgeon?

A surgical tech is a medical professional who works closely with surgeons during operations. Surgical techs are responsible for preparing the operating room, Sterilizing instruments, and handing instruments to the surgeon during surgery. They also may apply dressings and close incisions. Although surgical techs do not perform surgery, they play a vital role in the operating room. Some surgical techs may choose to become surgeons. Becoming a surgeon requires a significant amount of education and training.

Pathway to Becoming a Surgeon

Becoming a surgeon is a long and arduous process that requires years of schooling and residency training. However, for those who are interested in pursuing this career, it is important to know that it is possible to make the transition from surgical tech to surgeon.

The first step is to complete a bachelor’s degree program in pre-medicine or a related field. Once you have completed your undergraduate studies, you will need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT is a standardized exam that assesses your knowledge of the basic sciences and your ability to think critically. After you have taken the MCAT, you will need to apply to medical school.

Once you have been accepted into medical school, you will complete four years of training. During your fourth year, you will be required to complete a residency in either general surgery or a specialty area such as cardiovascular surgery or orthopedic surgery. Upon completion of your residency, you will be eligible to take the board certification examination in your chosen field of medicine.

Pros and Cons

The job of a surgical technician is to assist surgeons and other medical personnel during surgery. They must have excellent knowledge of human anatomy and be able to work well under pressure. Although many surgical technicians do eventually become surgeons, there are a few things to consider before making the jump.

– Surgical technicians already have extensive knowledge of human anatomy and how the body works.
– They are also familiar with the operating room environment and know how to sterilize equipment and keep the area clean.
– Surgical technicians are an important part of the surgical team and are often treated with respect by surgeons and other medical personnel.

– The job of a surgical technician can be stressful, as they are often required to work long hours on their feet.
– There is a lot of responsibility involved in the job, and surgical technicians may sometimes feel like they are not able to make decisions that could save a patient’s life.
– Although many surgical technicians do eventually become surgeons, the path is not always easy, and it can take years of hard work and dedication to achieve this goal.

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