How To Become A Plastic Surgeon 2023

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a plastic surgeon? Well you can’t do anything by just dreaming, that is why you need to make sure you are going to do everything you need to do to become a plastic surgeon.
Plastic surgeon is a very high profile job that most of us dream of doing. You will get to operate on high profile clients or people recovering from injuries. The plastic surgeons also help those who want to change the body shape as well. Whether performing a cosmetic surgery or a surgeon on patients that went through skin burns or any other kind of damage to the skin, plastic surgeons would be called.
Let’s go ahead and find more about the job of a plastic surgeon and what it takes to be one.

The job of a Plastic Surgeon:

The job of plastic surgeon involves performing cosmetic surgeries. People who would like to change their appearance would go to a plastic surgeon. Not just this, they would also perform reconstructive surgeries for patients with body and facial abnormalities caused by injury, birth defects, disease or aging.
Other specific procedures performed by a plastic surgeon would depend on their specialities. So whether you want to become a cosmetic surgeon, burn surgeon, or any other kind of plastic surgeon would depend on your speciality.

How To Become A Plastic Surgeon

Now we are back to the main question, here are a few following steps that you would need to take in order to become a plastic surgeon.
You should know that becoming an established plastic surgeon can take more than 10 years. This period of time is valid given the training and the high level of skill you would have to develop to become a plastic surgeon.

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

One of the first steps that you need to take is to get a Bachelor’s degree. This is where your education would begin. You need to graduate from your high school with subjects like biology, physics and chemistry.
There are a few schools that offer you a pre med program to make you ready for medical school.
Once you have completed your school, you would need to take admission in medical college where you would get your Bachelor’s Degree. To get an admission in medical college you would have to pass the entrance exam. Based on your marks, you will get a medical college. The medical college would prefer students with leadership qualities, decision making and with some medical experience as well.

2. Complete a four year doctor of medicine degree

You must get a doctor of medicine (M.D) or doctor of osteopathy (O.D) degree before you can apply for postgraduate training in plastic surgery. These programs would take four years to complete.
The first two years of your program would teach you advanced anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, and pathology. Whereas, the last two years of the programs would be devoted to clinical rounds where you would get experience working directly with the patients.

3. Obtain License

If you want to practice plastic surgery, you would require a license. This rule is applied to almost all the countries. To get the license you would have to pass an exam as well. In these exams for obtaining a license, you would have to know how well you can apply the basic and advanced science concepts to the practice of medicine.

4. Complete residency

The next step would involve completing a residency after you have got your license. There would be a three year program in general surgery. These programs involve clinical rotation of various types of surgery. You can opt for a plastic surgeon residency program where you would go on a clinical rotation through various types of plastic surgeries.
Within the residency program for plastic surgery, you would get to see surgeries involving head, facial, burn, neck surgery, skin grafting, plastic microsurgery techniques, and cosmetic surgery for breast, neck and head. You would also come across injuries like burning, wounds healing, fluid replacement, and relation of basic science to surgical techniques.
This program may also involve press conferences, gain teaching experience, research conducting, participating in journal clubs and dissect cadavers.

5. Complete a fellowship in a sub-specialty

If you wish to acquire a sub-specialty then you must enroll in a fellowship program for this. Fellowships are available in many areas so there would be plenty of options for you. Apart from completing a training program, you would be required to do research projects as well.

6. Acquire Certification

Now, the next step would be to get a certification for your speciality. This certification would demonstrate a surgeon’s exceptional expertise in a particular speciality and subspecialty.
There can be more than one certification that you would have to obtain as a plastic surgeon. These certifications would be like your resume. So make sure you obtain all the necessary certification in your country to start practicing plastic surgery on your own.

Get a Job!

Now that you have become a plastic surgeon, the final step would be to get a job. You can apply to a hospital that you like the most and search for the better opportunities as well. You may consider the location and pay scale while looking for jobs. You might have to go through an interview as well.

What would be the environment for a plastic surgeon?

The environment would be busy and you would perform various kinds of surgeries. You would work for more than 40 hours per week depending on various factors.
A plastic surgeon would practice in various settings including in community and academic hospitals, trauma wards, private practice, multi specialty practices, and private practices.
Plastic surgeons may be called on a very short notice to perform emergency surgeries.

What kind of skills would be needed to become a plastic surgeon?

There are a few skills that a plastic surgeon should have, they are the following:
  • Motor skills
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Patience and stamina
Each of the skills is necessary to become a plastic surgeon and to make their patients a priority for them.
Some of the duties and responsibilities of a plastic surgeon include:
  • Conducting consultations with patients and recommending the best treatment
  • Performing test before the surgeries
  • Providing follow up care post surgery
  • Referring patients to other specialist to complete their recovery
  • Performing some administrative tasks such as updating the medical records of patients


That would be all that you needed to know about becoming a plastic surgeon. This won’t be an easy path but if you are ready to show some dedication and hard work into this, you would certainly become a successful plastic surgeon. Thank You and Best of Luck.