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How to Become a Plastic Surgeon

plastic surgeon

How to Become a Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgery is considered to be the most glamorous in the field of medicine and plastic surgeons are one of the highest paid medical practitioners. This is due to its popularity among celebrities and well known individuals. Plastic surgery involves the restoration and correction of function and form of the different parts of the human body. It does not only involve cosmetic surgery but also the treatment of burns and other types of surgery such as microsurgery, reconstructive and hand surgery. Doctors who perform these kinds of surgeries are called plastic surgeons. They are engaged in the restructuring or remodeling of specific areas of the body in order to correct a medical defect or as a form of enhancement.

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is divided into two kinds – cosmetic and reconstructive. Cosmetic surgery involves enhancement of a part of the body. The common plastic surgeries are breast augmentation, buttock augmentation, rhinoplasty or nose job, tummy tucks and liposuction. Anti-aging cosmetic procedures like face lifts, collagen injections, cheek and brow lifts are also performed to reverse the signs of aging among patients. On the other hand, reconstructive plastic surgery corrects a medical defect or problem among patients due to traumatic accidents or birth defects. This includes skin grafting, tumor removal, scar repair, cleft palate surgery and otoplasty.

How to Become a Plastic Surgeon

The road to a plastic surgeon career is long and challenging. Like any other medical profession, it takes long years of education, training and hard work. The decision to become a plastic surgeon usually begins as early as high school. One must keep a good scholastic record in order to be admitted to reputable colleges and universities. An aspiring medical student needs a four year bachelor’s degree, preferably in science-based or biology-related. After graduating, you have to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test. This is a requirement before admission to medical schools. Another four years is spent in medical school.

The first two years is dedicated to medical training that involves subjects on histology, anatomy, medical ethics, psychology and pathology among others. On the other hand, the remaining two years is for clinical rotations. After finishing your medical degree, you need to complete a surgical residency program under a licensed physician. For plastic surgeon aspirants, you can either follow the independent model or the integrated model. The independent model requires a three year residency on general surgery and another three years for plastic surgery residency while the integrated model involves a six to seven year residency on all surgical training. Upon completion of residency, you need to pass the national board examinations and apply for certification. The certification is renewable every ten years.

Plastic surgery is often perceived as pure vanity. It is more than that. Despite its popularity as a tool to enhance areas of the body, it is also useful in helping people suffering from defects to live normal lives and regain their confidence.

Plastic Surgeon Salary

Career opportunities in plastic surgery are endless. With the rising demand for cosmetic surgery as well as plastic surgery, being in this kind of profession can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding. Plastic surgeons can choose to maintain a public or private practice. By pursuing fellowship trainings, a plastic surgeon can specialize in various subfields of plastic surgery like hand, eyelid and craniofacial surgery, breast reconstruction and hair replacement. Plastic surgeons also need not worry about being on call since most of the procedures involved do not require immediate attention. Plastic surgeons also enjoy high income. Newly licensed plastic surgeons earn as much as one hundred thousand dollars or more in their first year on the job. This amount will even more increase as they gain experience and prominence in the years to come.