Career outlook for surgeon
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
Being a surgeon is a hands-on job where you help others and even save lives. It comes with a lot of responsibility, with people putting their trust in you.
You'd carry out operations on patients who need them. It might be because they're injured or have a worsening health condition. They could also wish to have plastic surgery.
Other hospital doctors and GPs would refer patients to you, or they might come from an accident and emergency department. They may be anxious and upset so you’d need to communicate with them to help them calm down.
What you'll do in this job:
- meet patients to choose the best option
- explain the process and risks of surgery
- take tests and arrange X-rays
- carry out operations working as part of a team
- meet with nurses and junior doctors after operations
- carry out daily ward visits to check on your patients
- write to GPs about your patients’ health and treatments
- train and look after junior doctors and other medical staff
You might also carry out research and publish papers.
You could be a general surgeon with a wide range of skills and knowledge, or you could specialise in one area.
This could be operating on a specific part of the body. For example, neurosurgeons perform operations on parts of the nervous system including the brain. You could be working with a particular group of people. Paediatric surgeons work with children and young people.
You could also specialise in doing a particular type of surgery that isn't localised in one part of the body. For example, plastic surgeons carry out surgery to restore, reconstruct or alter the body. They can also perform non-surgical treatments such as Botox injections or lip fillers.
There's more information about NHS roles on the surgery page on the NHS Careers website.
UK employment status
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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.
- Verbal communication
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Developing a plan
- Making decisions
- Taking responsibility
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