The Plastic surgeon salary, job description, education and training is one of the most misconceived in the medical profession. Some assumptions are true while some are misconstrued, for example the Plastic Surgeon Salary is one of the highest in the medical profession, there are several specialties in the field of Plastic Surgery. What most people do not know is that Plastic Surgeons spent more hours standing, gaining admission to study the Plastic Surgery is highly competitive. And finally it costly to study this field of surgery and also requires working long hours.
Who is a Plastic Surgeon?
Plastic surgeons perform reconstructive plastic surgery which restores form and function following illness or trauma. They also perform aesthetic or ‘cosmetic’ surgery which changes appearance or form. There is specialization in the field which includes, reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery, Non-Surgical Procedures and Surgical sub-specialties.
Plastic Surgeon Job Description
A plastic surgeon performs an operation on a patients body, face or parts in order to redefine its sharp or current form; this is usually called reconstruction. A plastic surgeon also performs cosmetic surgery to change, improve, modify or correct the appearance of a body part or face.
The job role also involves post-operation procedures and they are licensed medical doctors trained in patient interactions, trauma care and basic surgery techniques, as well as specialized areas, such as tissue transfer, body contouring and laser surgery.
A plastic surgeon must have a clear focus, must be physically fit to work and stand for long hours. In addition to this continuous education is very important.
Examine, assess and diagnose patient deformities caused by accident, disease or congenital abnormalities; perform invasive procedures to correct deformities and abnormalities to restore normal function and appearance; perform elective surgery to enhance physical appearance; order diagnostic tests and prescribe medications and treatment
Skills required include the following:
- Practical skills such as good hand-eye co-ordination, fine coordination and visuospatial awareness
- Excellent vision
- Good organizational and communication skills
- The ability to lead and manage a team effectively
- Stamina to cope with a busy and demanding role
- The ability to inspire confidence in others
Plastic Surgeon Salary
An average plastic surgeon earns $220,000 per annum, this varies due to their level of skills, experience, reputation, location and institution they work for. However they can earn an average of $350,000 per annum in some states.
A reconstruction surgeon and cosmetic surgeon are in high demand, especially for breast reconstruction and the top earners can earn up to $500,000 per annum. Salary growth can be achieved over years, your age and experience can guarantee that.
The profession is now in high demand and more job openings are available for plastic surgeons to fill, a few fraction of plastic surgeons open a private practice.
Plastic Surgeon Education and Training
A plastic surgeon undergoes several years of education, first an undergraduate degree with science courses taken, then another 4 years in the medical school and 5 years in a residency program. Other training and educational qualification include a Fellowship program as part of a continuous education program.
The education and training of a plastic surgeon is quite extensive and it requires 13 or more years to fully qualify as a plastic surgeon. As described earlier you need to complete an undergraduate degree with courses in science like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics taken. Then you can sit for the MCAT exam which is the admission test for entering into a medical college.
The duration of the medical college is 4 years with the first two years, students split their time between classroom study and laboratory work. The final two years place students in hospitals and health clinics, where they obtain clinical experience. Upon completion you will awarded a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.). Then another 5 years in a residency program, and an exam upon completion to begin practicing.
Most states issue licenses to plastic surgeons before they can practice within their jurisdiction. Continuous education program is required for plastic surgeons who wants to pursue a fellowship program, this will allow them to specialize in a particular specialty. American Board of Plastic Surgery or American Osteopathic Board of Surgery (AOBS) is the awarding authority for plastic surgeons.
This profession is in high demand, so you can start searching a job during the last year of your residency.