So you want to be a surgeon?
Pursuing a surgical career—what you can do in your early years
As a medical student, it is sometimes difficult to know what is expected of you. Even when you have a goal, it can be unclear how to go about achieving it. Sometimes you realise what is needed too late and have to rush to do everything just before the application. Knowing in advance what you need to do can help you plan your time and do things at a more relaxed pace. This guide aims to help those who are interested in surgery use their time at medical school and as a junior doctor constructively to build their experience and skills.
The current pathway for surgery in the United Kingdom is a medical degree followed by two years of foundation training and then application to the two year core surgical training programme. After core surgical training, you apply to specialty training in one of the eight surgical specialties (box 1).