How do I Become a Gastric Bypass Surgeon?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 April 2019
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A person who wants to become a gastric bypass surgeon normally goes to school to become a physician first and then goes on to complete required surgical training. Usually, the educational path for someone in this career includes high school followed by four years of college. After college, an individual interested in this career goes on to complete medical school and then receives training in general surgery. Finally, an aspiring gastric bypass surgeon receives special surgical training that prepares him for a career in bariatric surgery.

A gastric bypass surgeon performs surgery on severely obese patients. This type of surgery essentially takes weight loss out of the patient’s hands by limiting the amount of food his stomach can hold. An individual who has this type of surgery normally feels fuller faster and takes in fewer calories. Additionally, this type of surgery ensures that food bypasses part of the patient’s intestine. This reduces the calories and nutrients the patient absorbs, further facilitating weight loss.

To become a gastric bypass surgeon, a person usually completes high school or earns an equivalent diploma. Advanced science and math classes can provide good preparation for undergraduate study, and high school language and writing courses can help build the aspiring surgeon’s writing and verbal communication skills. Volunteering at a hospital or clinic may give the aspiring surgeon exposure to the medical world and may look good on his college application forms as well.


In college, a person who wants to become a gastric bypass surgeon may pursue a pre-medicine or science major. He doesn’t have to choose a science major, however. Medical schools usually accept students who have pursued a wide range of majors.

After college, a person who wants to become a gastric bypass surgeon usually goes on to complete four years of medical school. He typically follows that with five or more years in a general surgery residency, which is basically on-the-job training. After he’s completed his general surgery residency, an aspiring gastric bypass surgeon usually goes on to complete a fellowship, which is training a surgeon receives while working for a hospital and receiving a stipend. The fellowship must include bariatric surgery training, but may also cover other techniques. This training often lasts for an additional one to two years.

Most countries require surgeons to seek licensing before practicing medicine. This usually involves taking and passing the jurisdiction’s licensing exam. Some places may have certification requirements as well.



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