Trauma surgeons are responsible for restoring the muscles, bones and organs that were damaged during an injury. These surgeons need to know their way around using surgical instruments.
Trauma surgeon preparing for Medical School
People who are interested in becoming a trauma surgeon should have a bachelor’s degree. This is a prerequisite in going to medical school. Getting into medical school is competitive, so aspiring trauma surgeons must have a high cumulative grade point average to increase their chances of getting accepted. Although medical schools do not specify a major among their applicants, many of them prefer students who have taken biology, physics, and chemistry.
Medical schools look for applicants who got a competitive score in the MCAT exam. Admissions usually choose applicants who know the field of trauma surgery, considering their test scores, coursework, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.
What to Expect from Medical School
The first two years in medical school are usually spent in classrooms and laboratories. They study courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, immunology, ethics, and pharmacology. They will also be trained in patient care and communication.
The last two years will be spent in clinical rotations. During this time, medical students will be supervised by a licensed doctor and work in the emergency, psychiatry, and obstetrics wards.
After completing the medical program, the students will earn their medical degree and specialize in trauma surgery. Aspiring trauma surgeons have to complete a general surgery residency program, after which they have to proceed to completing a one-year trauma surgery program, or a two-year combined fellowship program.
Those who want to become trauma surgeons may choose to take a trauma surgery fellowship. This program prepares the students’ clinical and administrative skills to be able to handle even the worst situation for severely injured patients taken to the emergency department. It also hones the students’ leadership skills since their work requires them to lead other physicians, residents, and nurses, as well as make difficult decisions.
Another program available to aspiring trauma surgeons is surgical critical care fellowship. This requires interns to have clinical rotations in organ transplantation, trauma, pediatrics and burn care. They also conduct rotations in surgical wards and intensive care unit. A surgical critical care program usually requires a year to be completed. However, another year might be required to let the students focus more on trauma care.
Trauma surgeon additional training
After completing medical school and residency programs, trauma surgeon graduates must take a licensure and certification exam. But even as surgeons, they still need to participate in annual medical conferences that often run for three to four days. These conferences usually offer social gatherings, networking, and other workshops. They also include presentations, lectures, and panels of surgical experts.
Trauma surgeons will also benefit from being a member of trauma surgery organizations. Their membership will qualify them to attend annual meetings, get updates about job postings and fellowships, and access trauma-related library materials online. The members may also get a chance to get research funding as scholars.