How do I Become a Plastic Surgeon?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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There are four steps required to become a plastic surgeon: complete medical school, gain admission into a cosmetic surgery specialist program, complete the training requirements and obtain a medical license. Plastic surgeons are fully qualified medical doctors who specialize in performing surgery to enhance the physical appearance of the patient. This type of surgery can involve work on the face, bust, stomach and lower body.

Many people associate plastic surgery with cosmetic procedures designed to enhance the appearance of youth or to reduce unwanted body fat. Plastic surgeons also perform necessary surgeries to repair birth defects, and assist both accident and burn victims. Although these procedures are often considered elective or optional, they greatly improve the quality of life for most patients.

In order to become a plastic surgeon, you must become a qualified medical doctor. This requires the completion of both a bachelor and a medical degree. The combined program typically requires six to eight years of post secondary education. The requirements for admission into these programs are quite high and typically combine academic knowledge with interpersonal skills.

Cosmetic surgery is actual a subspecialty of the surgical specialty program. An additional four to five years of education is required to learn the surgical techniques for plastic surgery. During this program, candidates receive extensive training in the precise surgical skills needed to enhance the appearance while minimizing scarring.


To gain admission into a cosmetic surgery program and become a plastic surgeon, you will need a combination of high marks in medical school and recommendations from surgical supervisors. The opportunity for revenue as a cosmetic surgeon is quite high, so the competition for entrance into these programs is very steep. Many doctors learn needlepoint or embroidery to enhance the fine motor skills required to become a successful plastic surgeon.

The training requirements for this specialty include a grueling schedule of work in a hospital environment, working with accident and burn victims. Many doctors also work in pediatrics, to assist children with birth defects. This type of surgery requires a combination of technical precision and interpersonal skills. The academic course load is quite heavy, due to the wide range of locations for plastic surgery.

In order to become a plastic surgeon, you must successfully complete two medical license exams. One is as a medical doctor and the other is as a cosmetic surgeon. The examinations are typically held twice a year and cover a large amount of knowledge.


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Post 1

Actually, a lot of medical schools do not specifically require a bachelor's degree. Technically, if you complete one year of biology, one year of calculus, one year of chemistry, one year of organic chemistry and sometimes additionally one year of physics, you have satisfied the requirements for entry into top medical schools in the country.

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