How to Become a General Surgeon?

8 minute read
General Surgeon

Healthcare covers a broad range of job profiles but the most coveted is that of a doctor. The profession requires hard work to prepare for it and tireless efforts while discharging duties. General Surgeons perform both pre-and post-operative care to patients apart from performing surgical procedures. In diagnosing diseases that are related to the abdomen and the organs attached to it, professionals perform an array of roles. But the question is, what it takes to become a surgeon? In this blog, we will understand the process of becoming a General Surgeon. 

The Different Types of Surgeons

The human body is undoubtedly extremely complicated. This is why there are numerous surgeons who have specialities in different areas of the body. Here are the most common specializations:

  • General Surgeon
  • plastic surgeon
  • Hand surgeon
  • Endocrine surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Transplant surgeon

Why You Should Become a General Surgeon?

Even though the medical sector is harder than any other educational sectors, there are also numerous benefits. Pursuing a career as a general surgeon is undoubtedly duper beneficial. Although there are some drawbacks, but the pros can overwigh them. Here are the advantages of becoming a general surgeon:

  • Lucrative payscle: Despite working in a stressful job, the payscale of a general surgeon is very attractive. And if you work at private hospitals, you will earn even more.
  • Job satisfaction: As you will be making people’s lives better, you will feel more satisfied with your job. With the help of your medical and technical skills, you can save people’s lives.
  • Flexibility: You will be able to leverage benefits of fliexbile work hours as per yiour choice and area of specialization.
YouTube – ND MD

The Steps to Become a General Surgeon

If you want to become a general surgeon, you need to have at least 13 years of academic experience as well as extensive knowledge of the medical field. You also need to gain numerous field experiences so that you can receive your license to practise. Here are the steps you need to remember to become a general surgeon.

Qualifying Entrance Exams

The fundamental thing in the process is to qualify for an entrance exam which guarantees your admission to a medical school. Owing to the level of competitiveness, medical entrance exams are among the toughest exams in India and abroad. The medical colleges in India offer admissions through NEET except for AIIMS which has its own exam to enrol students. A large number of students appear in the exams competing for limited seats. The cutoff can vary each year but to become a General Surgeon, you need to aim high to get admission into MBBS or related Medical Science courses

Earning a Degree in Medicine

Once you secure admission into a medical college, you will take up an MBBS degree. The degree spanning over 5-7 years is the most popular among the courses after the 12th Science stream in India. Covering all the basic and advanced concepts of healthcare and medicine, the degree will prepare you professionally for the role of a General Surgeon. If you are seeking overseas education in the domain and want to join top medical schools abroad, then the MBBS admission process unlike in India requires you to have a bachelor’s degree to get admission. If pursuing MBBS in the USA is your dream then you need to qualify for the standard MCAT exam to get admission. 

To know more about the syllabus for the degree, read our detailed blog on the MBBS syllabus.

Want to know the popular destinations to study MBBS from abroad?

Complete Your Medical School

After you complete the undergraduate program, you have to complete your medical school, which will take four years. During the first two years of your study, you need to go through general coursework in biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, patient interactions, and medical basics. During the final two years, you will get to know more about the form of rotations. Third-year rotations will last for a year.

Undergo Residency

After completing your medical school, you will also have to complete a residency. You can choose from numerous surgical residencies, from pediatric surgery to general residencies. Depending on the residency you choose to follow, it can last more than 5 years. During the residency process, you will have opportunities to gain more knowledge in the in-depth field. After you complete the residency, you will be able to work with your own patients as well as perform different operations. But keep in mind that a licensed physician will supervise you.

Obtain a Medical License

If you want to practice, you need to ensure you’re getting a medical license. To apply for a valid medical license, make sure you submit proof of your medical degree such as MBBS. You also need to prove that you’ve passed the three steps of USMLE. In some specific states, you might need to provide additional documents. Therefore, make sure you pay close attention to their guidelines. Based on the guidelines of the state, you might also need to renew your licenses.

Gaining Experience to Become a General Surgeon

The MBBS degree is followed by a mandatory internship. During the internship, medical aspirants are apprenticed to a senior doctor under whose guidance, they learn the practical aspects of the field. In some cases, the internship that lasts for a year is a part of the degree while in others it is done at the end of the degree. Apart from this, gaining relevant experience is central to becoming a General Surgeon. Some top medical schools for their advanced learning programs ask you to have a minimum of 3 years of working experience. 

Free photo happy doctor holding a clipboard with patients

Choosing a Specialization

Once you complete the MBBS program you should be looking for specialization courses after MBBS to help you become a General Surgeon. The specialization degree will polish your skills and give you in-depth knowledge of the field. Spanning over 1-2 years, the degree focuses on giving you advanced understanding and hands-on experience to handle hi-tech surgical equipment. To pursue a specialization program, you need to qualify for the entrance exam specific to the medical college to which you are applying to.

Passing General Surgeon Licensure Exam 

Having a license to practice medicine is crucial. In India, the Medical Council of India conducts the licensure exam. The highly competitive exam evaluates a candidate on various parameters which includes testing the subjective knowledge and aptitude for the job. Every country has a different licensure exam and it may not be valid in other countries. Those who qualify for the exam become certified medical professionals. To become a General Surgeon, passing the licensure exam is necessary. 

Also Read: FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination)

Prepare a CV or Resume

If you’re looking for jobs in the medical field, you need to develop a curriculum vitae that will showcase all of your experiences, educational qualifications, training, and publications. The CV or resume might become long as you need to include multiple pieces of relevant information. The employers will determine whether you’re eligible for their needs or not from your resume. Hence, don’t forget to proofread the resume properly.

Eligibility to Become a General Surgeon

This is one of the most important things you need to keep in mind if you want to become a general surgeon. You need to make sure you’re paying close attention to the eligibility criteria so that you don’t face any problems later. Here are the basic eligibility criteria you need to know about becoming a general surgeon:

  • If you have plans to pursue MBBS, make sure you have at least 60% exam in your class 12th examination in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. Then you need to appear for the NEET exam, which is the most important exam to become a general surgeon. You can choose a college as power your ranking on NEET.
  • After you complete your MBBS degree, you cam choose MS General Surgery. The total duration of this course is 3 years.
Free photo portrait of a doctor

What Procedures Does a General Surgeon Perform?

  • Examine patients and make a diagnosis to evaluate the need for surgery.
  • Review the medical history of a patient and suggest the best treatment.
  • Conducting surgical procedures while keeping high ethical and professional standards in consideration.
  • Prescribe preoperative and postoperative treatment.
  • Ensure all equipment are sterile and up to date. 
  • Conduct research to contribute to improving procedures and surgery.
  • Coordinate with hospital staff for efficiency in healthcare. 
  • Oversee treatment and surgical procedures for associated risks.

Need that extra push and fuel to get through your medical journey? Read our blog on motivational quotes for medical students to reach your pinnacle of success.

Essential Skills to Become a General Surgeon

As a general surgeon, if you want to achieve success in your career, you need to develop some essential skills such as:

  • Critical thinking: You need to make proper treatment decisions as per the pieces of equipment available.
  • Communication: You need to convey different pieces of relevant information to the patients and other medical professionals without any confusion.
  • Dexterity: You need to perform different types of complex procedures on complicated body parts and systems.
  • Problem-solving: General surgeons need to come up with solutions quickly, even if the situation is highly pressurizing.
  • Attention to detail: You need to complete numerous steps during the operation of the patients to ensure they don’t suffer from irregularities.

Careers and Job Prospects

This is another important thing you should know. When you become a general surgeon, there will be no limit in your salary structure. Many experienced general surgeons earn more than crores per year.

Job Roles

There are numerous specialities in the job field that you can choose as per your interest. Here are the different job profiles you should know:

Free vector hospital service concept flat illustration.

Top Recruiitement Companies

There are multiple government as well as private hospitals that recuit talented general surgeons. Here’s a list that would prove informative:

  • Apollo Hospitals Group
  • Fortis Bangalore
  • Max Healthcare and Super-Specialty Hospital
  • Fortis Escorts Heart Institute
  • Narayan Health


As mentioned earlier, a general surgeon can earn in laksh or even crored depending their field of practice as well as experience. In general, an entry-level surgeon earns more than INR 10 lakhs per year. Whereas, professionals with 3-5 years of experience eanrs more than INR 15 lakhs per year. When you have more than 10 years of experience, you will earn 30 lakhs per year.


How many years it will take for you to become a general suregon?

If you want to become a successful general surgeon, it’s going to take at least 7.5 years, especially if you have plans to pursue an MBBS degree.

Which doctors receive the most lucrative salary?

Gynecologists, Surgeons, and prosthodontists are the highest-paid doctors in India.

Is general surgery a hard topic?

Yes, you need to be able to devote both time and effort to become a successful general surgeon.

If you want to get into a high-ranked university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realise your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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