Is being a surgeon a good career & worth it? Pros & cons

In this article let’s take a look at is being a surgeon worth it by looking at some important pros and cons in detail.

So if you are confused regarding whether you should choose surgery as a career option or not then you should read this article till the end because

I will help you to make your decision easy by letting you know all the benefits and drawbacks of being a surgeon in detail.

So without further ado let’s get started.

Pros and cons of being a surgeon

Pros of being a surgeon

High salary

This is one of the primary benefit of being a surgeon.

According to bls the average salary of a surgeon in United States is approximately $208,000 per annum.

And as per payscale the average salary of a surgeon in India is around 11 lakh rupees per annum and you should know that there are different types of surgeons and

the average salary of cardiac surgeon according to pay scale is around 25 lakh rupees per annum.

Because of high salary the surgeons also ranked as the second of top 2 best jobs in America

Apart from high salary job you can get many other benefits like health insurance paid leaves and paid vacation, pension & life insurance, etc.

Job satisfaction & exciting career

Job satisfaction is another most important benefit we have when it comes to being a surgeon.

You will have high job satisfaction and happiness because from your job you can save life of people from danger at the same time this job can also be exciting because you will meet new people every day and

you can treat different patients with different diseases and problems so your life will not be routine but thrilling and challenging everyday which can be exciting for some people.

Because of the fact that surgeons can save the life of patients from danger and death surgeons are also one of the most highly respected professionals in the society because of their immense contribution.

Because of high job satisfaction physicians and surgeons are also ranked in top 50 best jobs in America.

Growing job growth

The very job of surgeons is ever green because it is related to health and wellness of people and the population of the world is constantly growing so the demand of surgeons and physicians will also grow.

The projected job growth of surgeons between 2016 to 2026 is 15% at the same time you can find more than 7000+ open jobs to apply on website.

Wide career options

Another important benefit of being a surgeon is that you can have different career options like,

  • General surgeon
  • Cardiac surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Trauma surgeon
  • Vascular surgeon
  • Podiatric surgeons
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  • Otolaryngology surgeon
  • Plastic surgeon
  • Oculoplastic surgeon

And many more.

Apart from having wide variety of career options you can also work in different sectors like you can work for government or work for a private company at the same time you can also start your own clinic and hospital or you can work for NGO.

Because of wide variety of career options you can choose anyone depending upon your interest and skill and it can give you freedom to choose your specialization and excel in that field.

Future proof career

The last main advantage of being a surgeon is that it is a future proof career which means that the artificial intelligence which is going to replace millions of jobs in the coming years it cannot replace surgeons, practitioner’s and people in the health industry.

There are a few reasons why artificial intelligence cannot replace surgeons like empathy, Complex digital technologies require competent professionals, etc cases can’t be replaced by AI but

some of the machines will definitely be useful while doing surgery in order to reduce the human errors and increase the accuracy of surgery.

Positive influence on others

Another big advantage of being a surgeon is that you can not only save the life of patients which can be extremely rewarding experience at the same time using your influence you can change the life of others as well by talking and removing some misconceptions and superstitions regarding diseases by talking with patients

at the same time you can also get a chance to educate and train new doctors and students and be an inspiration to them by your work and you can also involve yourself in doing research and publish white papers in the medicine industry.

These are all the advantages of being a surgeon.

Cons of being a surgeon

Long years of education

This has to be one of the main disadvantage if you want to be a surgeon.

if you want to become a surgeon you will have to invest a great deal of time and energy in education.

If you want to become a surgeon in India then you will have to first complete your under graduation of MBBS then you will have to take MS in any specialisation which will take more 3 years after completing your 5 years of MBBS education

so to conclude if you want to become surgeon in India you’ll have to spend more than 8 years of your time and energy in studying and education.

This can be very terrific for some students because they do not keep themselves focused towards one goal for this much of time and because of this reason

only doctors and surgeons are also one of the most respected people in the society because it is not easy to become one.

Expensive education

Another big disadvantage of being a surgeon is that it is not only very time consuming but also equally expensive as well.

Being a surgeon is not a joke as you will have to invest a lot of money in your education.

The average MBBS fee for government medical colleges in India ranges from INR 20,000 to INR 7.5 lakh, whereas the MBBS fee for private colleges can range from INR 20 lakh to more than INR 1 Cr.

For example The approx. Annual fee of the MBBS programme at St John’s Medical College which is the top private medical college in India is Rs 6.28 lakh.

You should know that AIIMS Government College which is the top college of medical students in india and it invests 98 lakh rupees to produce single mbbs student out of the college but the fees is around 850 RS per year.

Similarly in America if you want to study medicine then it will cost you around 37000$ per annum in American medical colleges and in other private colleges, the fees is double at 60000, so you can clearly see, studying medicine in America is also very expensive, and

for 4 years it will cost you around $150,000 on average because of this the median debt of a student is around $20000 and statistics say that one out of five American student has a debt to pay off, the overall student debt is more than 1.5 trillion dollars which is humongous figure.

Constant learning

This is both advantage and disadvantage of being a doctor and surgeon.

This is advantage because it helps you by making your career and profession less boring and more exciting and you will learn new things everyday.

You should know that the field of medicine is constantly changing with new techniques and advancements in the technology and new diseases coming in at the same time each surgery operation

you conduct will be different from each other in majority cases which can also be a challenge for you so you’ll have to constantly update yourself with the knowledge and skills.

Work load & stress

Another big disadvantage of being a surgeon is that you can have a lot of workload and work pressure, stress.

Normally surgeons can work up to 40 hours per week in general.

There are a lot of things you need to do as a surgeon apart from operations and treating patients like doing the research and writing research papers and white papers, teaching young students, attend meetings and talk with the patients, etc

Apart from that you also have to conduct lots of complex surgeries which can take a lot of time because you should know that not every surgery will be the same as the previous one and

also there is a great deal of responsibility involved of saving someone’s life from death so it can also increase your stress and mental fatigue.

Apart from that there is no fixed time for doctors and surgeons to work so it can also interfere your social and personal life and you can have to spend less time with your family and friends and in events.

All of this combined gives alot of work pressure, load and physical and mental fatigue.

Risk of injury & diseases

Another big disadvantage of being a surgeon is that you can constantly have risk of getting diseases and injury because you will be working very close to the diseased person for long hours of time during the surgery at the same time

you will have to use lots of different equipment while surgery and if you do not properly handle the equipment during the surgery it can hurt you as well.

Bad work environment

Another disadvantage of being a surgeon is that you can have to work in bad environment.

Basically humans are emotional creatures and because large percentage of your work will be in done in hospitals and when you see other patients losing their life by disease and when you are treating diseased people then

obviously you can also feel bad about it at the same time you will have to spend a lot of time during the surgery operations in the operation room where the smell of all the medicines and patients can be really terrific sometimes.

And some of your memories, work experiences can interfere and hurt you in your personal life as well.

Increased guilt

Another big disadvantage of being a surgeon is that it can have higher level of guilt feeling.

Because this profession deals with saving someone’s life from danger and any mistake you do as a human can be the cost of some one’s life.

As a matter of fact According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the US die every year due to medical mistakes, and this my friend is the third largest cause of death of people in america after heart disease and cancer so it is a serious issue.

Because of this it can create a great deal of guilty feeling and also cause a lot of stress both physically and mentally for the surgeon because once some one dies, you can’t have a second chance to get him back alive.

Malpractice suits

The last disadvantage of being a surgeon is that sometimes the patients who are not happy with doctor or surgeon work can sue them.

A type of medical malpractice, surgical malpractice refers to improper, negligent, or even illegal activity conducted by a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or any other medical professional during surgery that results in injuries to a patient.

According to the survey, in the USA, there are 15,000 and 19,000 malpractice suits on doctors every year.

Recent studies have shown that obstetricians and surgeons are most likely to be sued among all physicians and with Medscape survey shown that, 83 percent of general surgeons had been sued at some point in their careers.

Malpractice suit from the patient not only cause financial damage but also hurt your credibility and reputation of being a trustworthy surgeon at the same time some of the malpractice suits can also last long time sometimes a few years.

These are all the important benefits and drawbacks of being a surgeon.

Is being a surgeon worth it and a good career?

After learning all the pros and cons of being a surgeon if you are still confused then I would say being a surgeon is definitely worth it for a couple of reasons like

it has a high paying salary and it also has a high satisfaction job and good job growth and their are a few signs you should choose surgeon as a career like,

  • You have good hand eye coordination
  • You can easily adapt with changes
  • You have the patience and money for education and especially the passion to help people
  • You enjoy working with other people and you are good team member
  • You are open minded humble and constantly learning new things, open minded.

In all these cases you should definitely choose surgeon as a career option and it is definitely worth it.

With that said let’s end the article.


These are all the things you need to know about being a surgeon as a career option.

Do let me know what are your thoughts about surgeon as a career option in the comment section below

Share the article with your friends and subscribe to my blog and receive notifications regarding whenever I publish a new post in future.