How to become a trauma surgeon

  • Trauma surgery covers the most severe and dangerous organ penetrating injuries. Trauma surgeons are doctors who treat the patients who are victims of car accidents or physical assaults and who have had multiple injuries. Some of the common organ problems treated by trauma surgeons are: Pancreases, Colon, spleen and stomach. They treat patients who come with multiple fractures, deep cuts, shock, severe internal injuries and burns. Though emergency room physicians also treat injured patients, trauma surgeons are professionals who specialize in critical surgery procedures. They also work along with surgeons who specializes in other areas to stabilize patients who are in critical condition and usually work in the emergency unit of a hospital or a healthcare center.

  • Trauma surgeon educational and career requirement

    The career of a trauma surgeon can be an extremely exciting choice but it is equally stressful. Before choosing this field of medicine as a career, one should consider what is involved and whether it is suited for them. In the surgery field, a trauma surgeon’s career is the most demanding one. The educational requirements for trauma doctors to practice in the United States include gaining an undergraduate degree followed by a 4 year formal education in a medical school and several years of residential surgery training and completion of fellowship programs. Aspiring students can choose their specialty during the 3rd year of medical college education and can apply to residency training programs in the last year. A prospective trauma surgeon has to complete at least 14 years of formal education and training.

    After completion of a basic surgery residency training program, aspiring surgeons must complete a 1 year critical surgical care program or a fellowship program which is for 2 years. Combination programs include trauma surgery with orthopedic trauma, acute care and critical care. Fellowship programs prepare a trauma surgeon with clinical and administrative abilities which are essential to manage critical situations. The key skills needed for a trauma surgeon are leadership skills because, they must be prepared to make critical decision on a particular case in emergency situations.

    Trauma surgeon Certification and License

    Every state has its own licensing requirements, but most of the states require trauma surgeons to complete around 1 to 3 years of residency training program to become eligible for obtaining physical license. In addition to that, all surgeons must pass the United States Medical Licensing exam. The Board certification processes are different from state licensure which are specific for each specialization.Surgical board certified exams are conducted under the administration of the American Board of Surgery which offers certification for basic surgery and critical surgical care. There are no separate certifying exams for trauma surgery alone. All licensed doctors are required to continue several years of continuing medical education (CME) hours to maintain the board certification. Every surgeons should have more than 50 CME credits in their account annually and they must report to the American Board of Surgery every three years. They must also participate in various quality assurance assessments and other exams in order to maintain the board certification.

    There are professional trauma surgery associations and organizations that offer annual medical seminars, conferences and meetings which may last for 4-5 days. Aspiring trauma surgeons should actively participate in workshops and social gatherings. By participating in such programs, you can earn CME credits.  In addition to participating in the annual meeting, surgeons can also apply to professional organizations for membership which provides access to job vacancies and fellowship.

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