At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Endoscopic surgeons are medical professionals specializing in minimally invasive surgery. This type of procedure uses instruments that allow a physician to observe inside the human body without requiring a large opening. Endoscopic surgery has several advantages, such as smaller incisions and faster recovery than with traditional surgery. To become an endoscopic surgeon, individuals must complete many years of specialized medical education.
The career path for any physician, including endoscopic specialists, often begins at the high school level. At this stage, students should focus on earning good grades and taking college-prep classes. Typically, math and science topics such as biology and chemistry can be helpful. High school students with the desire to become an endoscopic surgeon should seek entry into colleges that are recognized for strong pre-medicine or science programs.
At the college level, high grades and demanding classes continue to be important. Four years of undergraduate study are typically required before a student can be accepted into medical school. Classes including organic chemistry and physics are usually required for students in a pre-medicine program. Future physicians should optimally take courses that offer hands-on laboratory time, and pursue volunteer extracurricular activities in hospitals or clinics to enhance their resume.
A student who seeks to become an endoscopic surgeon must be accepted into an accredited medical school. The application process for a medical graduate program is very stringent. Individuals usually must have strong grades, high admission testing scores, and letters of recommendation from college professors. Even after acceptance into medical school, a student has several more years of work before they can become a surgeon.
Medical school is split into two years of classroom training, and two years of clinical experience. In the classroom, medical students continue their coursework with topics including pharmacology and microbiology. The last two years of medical school focuses largely on real-world experience. Here, students work directly with patients under the close supervision of physicians.
The majority of medical school graduates enter a residency program. At this stage, new doctors continue to gain important experience in hospital and clinical settings. Medical residents can choose which health specialty to pursue. Those who desire to become an endoscopic surgeon typically must be accepted as a surgical resident, and learn endoscopic procedures under the direction of an experienced surgeon.
After a doctor has completed residency, he or she commonly becomes an attending physician, a long-term position at a hospital. Even after many years of study, the training requirements for endoscopic surgeons are ongoing. Surgeons must stay up-to-date on the latest procedures and medical advances, and maintain their medical license.