How should a future plastic surgeon go about their education?
Second medical related q of the day for me, sorry!
So, I have a really strong interest in becoming a plastic surgeon. I'm wondering, what do I major in for bachelors? I thought it goes bachelors, then med school, and then residency. So, what should my pre-med major be? I don't think plastic surgery is a major, so what should I do? Also, side question- how much debt does med school carry?
Also: in this https://blog.collegevine.com/is-pre-med-a-major/ collegevine article, it says being a humanities major will help you stand out for medical school applications. Does this mean you still have to take pre-med prereq's?
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A great major to be in college prior to entering Medical School for Plastic Surgery would be Psychology with a minor in Art (Sculpture). Whether you are operating on someone that is trying to look more attractive or someone that survived a horrific accident or someone that was born with a missing (X) or too much (Y) or a deformed (Z), the goal is always the same which is to make the person feel whole and complete. Often that requires both technical and artistic skills and many people forget about the psychological skills required to make the patient comfortable and to get inside their head about what the drivers are for doing the surgery. If you are a plastic surgeon in the military, you work on fixing damaged parts. If you are a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon you are someone that is helping a patient be their best version of themselves even though nothing may appear out of place.
The average debt load for someone graduating from Medical school right now is about $250,000. And in 4 years that's going to be more like $300,000. When you consider that the average cosmetic plastic surgeon makes about $350,000 a year and the best ones making twice that or more, even if the schooling was more, it would be worth it. You can easily pay off $50,000 a year when you are making $350,000.
Your last question is something you should already know how to answer based on my previous post. If you are required to have a top MCAT score to gain admission to Med. School, then you already know that you are going to have to master all your STEM coursework. You will be tested on math, biology, Bio-chemistry, physics, chemistry, etc. So if you are asking, can you get around these subjects in undergrad? No, unless you are a certifiable genius and already can score a 520+ on your MCAT which is a 98-99% percentile score. So you can gauge how well you are prepared as a high school student right now. If you got a 34+ on your ACT or a 1500+ SAT composite score, then you would be expected to the same level of excellence in 4-5 years when you submit your MCAT score.
If you go with a humanities major, you won't have to take the track with pre-med courses. People forget this, but med/law/grad school admissions function a lot like undergraduate admissions. They want a diverse student body and many movies that deal with the subject of the main character attending school after having a bachelor's shows this. You can go for a humanities major, but be prepared for the MCAT since it does require mastery of several STEM topics but it is something you can focus on while in college.
Your education path is going to follow that of a typical doctor, but you will have to take residency at a general hospital before going into specific training. Becoming a plastic surgeon does take quite a bit of time, so expect about 16 years of your life to be devoted to learning all that (this includes going to an undergrad, medical school and the two residencies you will have to take). You will have to take a test showing that you can do plastic surgeon.
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