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Advice for Premed Students Interested in Surgery | Medical School Admissions Doctor

Many students attending medical school are not sure which major they would like to pursue. Med School is a great time to explore majors and identify an area. The third and fourth year of medical school are of particular interest, as this is when students rotate through different specialties and get first-hand knowledge of areas such as internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry or obstetrics and gynecology.

While the clinical years of medical school are when most students choose a major, some students come to medical school already knowing the field that interests them. This is probably the most correct of the surgery. Many students decide in high school or early in college that they want to become surgeons.

If you have a focus on a career in surgery, be glad you have identified your field of passion. When preparing for medical school and surgery, remember that there are things you can do to increase your chances of success.

Practice manual dexterity skills

It’s never too early to start honing your manual skills in preparation for a career in surgery. Surgical residency programs such as candidates who have demonstrated a strong ability to work with their hands.

An eye surgeon once told me that in the early stages of his training, he used his left hand less control for everyday manual tasks like buttoning his shirt or using eating utensils. In doing so, he aimed to develop dexterity in that hand.

There are many ways to develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination, such as playing a musical instrument, drawing, or doing ceramics. Studies have shown that even playing video games can improve surgical skills!

If you have the time, choose a hobby that involves working with your hands. You can also benefit from laboratories or workshops where you can practice basic surgical tasks such as sewing animal skin or surgical models. Learning how to tie a surgical knot can also be a useful way to develop manual skills that you can apply in your future work. Try to get suture material and use online video lessons to practice tying knots.

By practicing these skills early on, you’ll get a better idea of ​​whether or not a surgeon’s work interests you. You will also be better prepared for your surgical courses in medical school.

When you are in your third year of medical school surgery course, there is a good chance that your treating surgeon will ask you for help by cauterizing small blood vessels or closing the wound. Getting some practice in these areas will enable you to do a better job and impress your professors and the evaluators who teach you.

Get Foundation in Anatomy

Anatomy is the basis of surgery, and any good surgeon needs to know anatomy well.

If you are interested in a career in surgery, you must have a good understanding of the various anatomical landmarks. These landmarks tell you where different vital structures lie and help you avoid damaging important nerves or blood vessels.

To prepare for a career as a surgeon, having a good grounding in anatomy is very beneficial. If you have the opportunity, build on your previous career by taking an anatomy course. Ideally, consider a gross anatomy course with a lab, where you can visualize different structures in three dimensions.

Don’t make your Med School app all about surgery

If you’ve set your eyes on surgery early on, that’s a positive. However, do not make your trip fully prepared and medical school application about surgery fully in advance.

While medical schools value your interest in a particular chosen field, they want to see that you are broadly interested in the medical profession. After all, before you can become a surgeon, you will need to become a doctor and learn the basic aspects of patient care. Most of your time in medical school will be devoted to this and you need to show that you are ready and eager to learn medicine more broadly.

You can take advantage of your previous years to learn more about surgery by following surgeons or participating in surgical research. But also be sure to spend time in other areas of medicine. For example, you could work in a primary care clinic or volunteer in an emergency department. In doing so, you will happen to be an expert and knowledgeable about medicine more comprehensively.

When it comes time to apply to medical school, show this approximation well in your application. Don’t just focus on your personal statement and other articles about why you want to become a surgeon or why you find surgery rewarding. Instead, show more broadly the aspects of medical care and medical science that appeal to you.

You can use certain parts of your application to highlight your interest in surgery, but this should not be the norm.

Keep an open mind

Committing to any major in medicine is a serious decision, as you will spend most of your life working in that field. This is especially true of surgery, which can be a demanding field that requires you to fully immerse yourself in it.

While your impressions of surgery may be positive from your college career, the best way to find out if you will love this profession is to fully immerse yourself in it during your medical courses. Take advantage of these courses to thoroughly explore the field.

Also, do not refuse other fields. Dive into them with an open mind. Some students are afraid to change their mind by doing so. But the only way to know if an area is what you’re really passionate about is to test it out, explore alternatives, and see if you still like it that much.

If, in the end, you emerge convinced that surgery remains your passion, you can be more confident that you made the right decision. On the other hand, if you find another area of ​​medicine that draws you in, you can rest assured knowing that you don’t have to spend an entire career in a field that isn’t the best for you.


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