JobsNow: Saving lives on operating tables is taxing, but worth it

Surgeons need up to 15 years of schooling and training

surgeon surgery

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Surgeons realize there’s no easy way to get beside the operating table. Training for the job can take a while and is expensive, but it can ultimately mean saved lives.

Your health is important and so is the doctor you trust with it. So it’s a good thing there is a lot involved for surgeons to get to the point where they’re performing operations.

“Four years of college, four years of medical school, general surgery residency, thoracic surgery residency,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Fulton.

All of that can add up to 15 years.

Surgeons study anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and more to learn all of the body’s intricacies. Areas of specialty can include pediatrics, orthopedics, even oral or plastic surgery.

Some people just want all the extra schooling to push themselves, learn as much as they can, and see where it takes them.

Fulton was in his fourth year of residency when he did a rotation on the cardiac side and made it his specialty.

“It’s one of the fields in medicine where you can truly, truly have instant gratification. Sometimes a very dire emergency and a successful operation will keep the patient alive,” he said.

Fulton said saving lives is pretty cool, but it’s still just part of the job.

“I think when you first start and you’re scrubbing these cases, there’s definitely a coolness factor, no question. But after a while, it becomes what you do.”

He said some of the drawbacks can be feisty patients and dealing with insurance companies.

“You have to realize it’s always going to take years and be very demanding on your life, family life, everything,” Fulton said.

But surgeons will always be in demand, and then there’s the gratification of being able to help make a difference in somebody’s life.

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