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How long does it take to become a surgeon?

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After high school: 4 years of college + 4 years of medical school+ 5 years of residency MINIMUM to become a (general) surgeon

TOTAL: 13 years (after high school)

Surgery residency can be 5-7 years long, depending on which residency you do (some require 1-2 years of research in addition to the 5 years of clinical work). If you want to subspecialize, you have to do a fellowship after residency, which is usually 1-3 years of additional training. These include: Trauma/Critical care, colorectal surgery, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric surgery, endocrine surgery, breast surgery, plastic/reconstruction, transplant, hepatobiliary surgery, minimally invasive/laparoscopic, etc.

Other surgeons do not do a 5 year General Surgery residency but go straight into their specialized surgical training. Their residency lengths (after medical school):

Neurosurgery: 7 years, Orthopedic surgery: 5 years, Ear/Nose/Throat: 5 years, Urology: 6 years

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