Surgeon Job Description


Surgeons are physicians who've specialized in the treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities, or other ailments through both invasive and non-invasive operations.

Typically, surgeons are consulted and used under the most extreme circumstances, such as life-threatening traumas resulting from events such as car accidents or falls.

Surgeons experience some of the highest levels of stress throughout their work due to the nature of their job. With the patient's life depending on their success, aspiring surgeons must be capable of thriving under pressure to get the job done.

Aspiring surgeons can choose from many specialties, including brain surgery, heart surgery, trauma surgery, and others.




Depending on the surgeon's specialty, responsibilities can vary. However, these are the primary responsibility that all surgeons are tasked with:

  • Gathering information and maintaining proper medical records to ensure the best course of action depending upon the patient's condition.

  • Arranging and manage x-rays and other tests to gather information.

  • Prescribing both pre- and post-operative treatments including sedation and antibiotics.

  • Explaining treatment plans and procedures to the patient and their family, as well as the associated risks.

  • Coordinating with other medical professionals, including nurses and physicians, before and after operations, to ensure proper care.

  • Conducting research to develop new surgical techniques that may improve outcomes.

  • Maintaining the operating room by ensuring the sterility of equipment and instruments.





Must be able to clearly explain test results and treatment path to patients. Must correspond with other members of the medical team to ensure the best care for the patient.


Monitoring/assessing patient to make sure they are responding well to treatment and make improvements or take corrective action when necessary.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Must be able to pinpoint small details that could make or break patient diagnosis and evaluation. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions.


Must be able to empathize with a patient's pain and difficulties. Need to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves since they deal with people with medical needs.


Must know all about the human body and interactions it has with its environment. Must know chemicals and reactions.


Must be able to hypothesize and test theories to ensure that the proper diagnosis is found and the best treatment path is taken.


Must be able to put in long hours and have patience when it comes to trying to create comprehensive treatment plans.


Working Conditions 


Surgeons can work in hospitals, academia, institutional practices, private practices, emergency settings, and government programs, including military.

Surgeons experience long hours and are often on call 24/7, so overall hours can vary dramatically.

They also experience some of the highest levels of stress in the healthcare industry due to the nature of their positions.

Those who manage stress well and thrive in high-pressure situations should consider becoming a surgeon.



Salary Outlook