Surgeons are highly respected professionals that perform a vital role in our hospitals and healthcare centers. They are responsible for carrying out delicate, risky procedures and operations, and as such, the role demands a high level of training and education.
Operating on patients requires expert anatomical knowledge, and surgeons must have the skill and experience to handle equipment and instruments such as medical retractors and forceps. Does a surgeon’s salary reflect the responsibility of the role? Read on to find out.
How Much Does a Surgeon Make?
All qualified surgeons and specialty doctors start on a base salary which then increases the longer they serve in their post.
The initial base pay for a consultant surgeon is an annual salary of around £88,000. This increases to £91,000 after one year in post and continues to rise every year thereafter. A surgeon who has been in the post for four years can expect to earn a salary of £99,000, and this will increase to £119,000 after 19 years.
However, surgeons who work within certain specialties can earn more. Neurosurgeons generally earn the most, closely followed by cosmetic surgeons and orthopedic surgeons.
Surgeons can also see their salaries skyrocket by taking on additional private work. Private health services allow patients to skip long waiting lists but charge a premium. Surgeons who take up private work can see their salaries more than double in some cases. Also Read – Yoga and Its Impact on Physical and Mental Health
How Long Does It Take to Become a Surgeon?
Given how much responsibility the role carries, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that it takes a long time to become a surgeon. First, you’ll need to obtain a medical degree, which takes five years. After that, you’ll need to finish a two-year general training program and then a two-year surgical training program. Training as a specialist after that will take an additional five years.
For the first two years of their post-degree training, prospective surgeons can earn a salary of between £29,000 and £34,000. In the two years after that, they can earn between £40,000 and £51,000, and for the final five years, they can earn between £51,000 and £58,000.
The Roles and Responsibilities of a Surgeon
Surgeons often rank highly among the most stressful jobs. This is due to the fact that surgeons are dealing with life and death every day and that one wrong move could be catastrophic.
While performing operations is what being a surgeon is all about, there are various other duties and responsibilities that come with the position. Surgeons will also have to liaise with patients both before and after procedures. They need to explain what’s going to happen and allay any fears the patient might have and then follow up post-operation to monitor recovery.
Surgeons also have to carry out administrative tasks. They need to write to GPs and patients for record-keeping purposes and to ensure data and information is shared efficiently.
A surgeon has an incredibly important job that is often high-pressure and stressful. However, this is reflected in their salary, and they are among the biggest earners in the healthcare sector.