The middle 50% of general surgeons should see an annual income range between $290,000 and $404,000. This is between $139 and $194 per hour. This means that the median annual general surgeon salary is about $341,500, or $164 an hour. This is a hefty sum of money, and one normal to top physicians working in the medical fields. The top 10th percentile of general surgeons will bring home at least $461,000, or $222 every hour, sometimes more. Even the lowest 10th percentile of general surgeons receive a high annual income. Their salaries can be around $244,000 or $117 per hour.
Many factors will determine the annual general surgeon salary. These are factors that determine the salaries for most medical physicians. These may include region, area of employment, and group types. Doctors working in metropolitan areas often see more income, but it is common to see physicians earning a higher median income in Midwestern states. Area of employment is also important. General surgeons working in hospitals earn higher incomes than those working in clinics or physician’s offices. Finally, group type is also important. Clinics or offices who specialize in one type of medicine may sometimes receive higher pay for their doctors. However, general surgeons tend to make a higher income when working in multi-specialty groups.
The total compensation package for a general surgeon after benefits is around $442,000 on average. These benefits may include social security, pension, vacation, and health insurance, among other paid benefits.
Job Description of a General Surgeon
General surgeons are involved with surgeries, as per their job title. The surgical procedures involved in the daily work of a general surgeon can be extensive and eclectic. Operations may be performed on the endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, liver, colon, and other major organs in the human body. Some common surgeries done by a general surgeon may include appendix or gallbladder removals, colonoscopies, thyroidectomies, and bariatric surgeries.
General surgeons are multi-talented. Some surgeries may not be very invasive, and laparoscopy can usually be done to treat many problems. However, organ removal or transplantation is also done by a general surgeon, and these surgeries are extremely invasive.
General surgeons can often branch out into subspecialties based on their skills. These may include plastic surgery, pediatric surgery, or organ transplantation. Plastic surgery is a broad range. It could include anything from repairing injuries to the skin to more invasive procedures, like breast augmentation. LAP-BAND and bariatric surgeries are also a specialty performed by some general surgeons.
Certain general surgeons may also work with cardiologists on surgeries which involve the heart. These surgeries may include valve repair or even heart transplant surgeries.
How to Become a General Surgeon
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- Surgical Technology - Associate's
Like most practicing physicians in the medical field, general surgeons require a vast amount of schooling and training before they can be licensed to work in their field. A minimum of three years of undergraduate education must be completed first. Courses must include biology, chemistry, physics, and the humanities. An extra year of school and the obtaining of a bachelor’s degree in pre-med is done by many aspiring surgeons.
A four-year medical program must next be attended. This cannot be done without first passing the Medical College Admission Test and performing an interview with the school. The first two years of medical school will be spent in classroom training with courses in anatomy, genetics, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, and neurology. The following year, clinical rotations will be completed. A number of different medical specialties will be practiced, including surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry. The final year of medical school will focus on the specialty desired by the student. General surgeons will most likely take courses in various surgical proceedings.
After graduating from medical school, a license must be obtained. The United States Medical Licensing Examination must be passed. There may also be some state-specific licensing requirements that must be fulfilled before a license will be granted to a prospective doctor.
A five year general residency program must also be done at this time. For general surgeons, the residency must obviously be in general surgery. As a resident, students will be able to help perform some surgeries, as well as give pre and post-operative care to patients. Different clinical rotations in specialty areas may be a requirement, and research may also need to be completed.
As with many doctors, general surgeons must continue their education after licensing to ensure they have the most up-to-date and current medical knowledge in their respective fields.
General Surgeon Salaries in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
The United Kingdom offers much less on average to general surgeons. The average annual income of a general surgeon in the United Kingdom (U.K.) is about £97,000, which is equivalent to about $155,000 in the U.S. There could be many factors to this, including the health care system in the U.K., as well as different standards of living abroad.
The average salary for general surgeons in other first-world countries are only slightly less than those offered by the United States. Canadian general surgeons can expect an average annual income of about C$278,000. Australian general surgeons will see slightly less income, at A$207,000 annually on average.
Verdict on General Surgeon Salary
General surgeons can make a pretty penny every year. While they may not receive as much income as specialized physicians and surgeons, this is still a life of luxury. However, medical school is not easy, and many years will be spent training before entering into the field of general surgery.
An interesting factor in the job of a general surgeon is the ability to perform many different types of surgery. This is one advantage to not specializing in any given field. The work must never get boring, since there are so many opportunities to fulfill, so many patients for a general surgeon to save.