Is becoming a colorectal surgeon right for me?

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What do colorectal surgeons do?
What are colorectal surgeons like?

Still unsure if becoming a colorectal surgeon is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a colorectal surgeon or another similar career!

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How to become a Colorectal Surgeon

Becoming a colorectal surgeon requires a significant amount of education and training. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a colorectal surgeon:

  • Obtain a Bachelor's Degree: The first step to becoming a colorectal surgeon is to obtain a bachelor's degree in a related field such as biology, pre-med, or another health-related field. It typically takes four years to complete a bachelor's degree.
  • Attend Medical School: After obtaining a bachelor's degree, the next step is to attend medical school. Medical school typically takes four years to complete and includes both classroom learning and clinical rotations. During medical school, students learn about anatomy, pharmacology, and other medical concepts.
  • Complete a Residency: After completing medical school, aspiring colorectal surgeons must complete a residency program in general surgery. General surgery residencies typically last five years and provide hands-on training in a variety of surgical procedures. During the residency, the trainee works closely with experienced surgeons and receives progressively more responsibility as they gain experience.
  • Complete a Colorectal Surgery Fellowship: After completing a general surgery residency, the next step is to complete a colorectal surgery fellowship. Fellowships typically last two to three years and provide specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the colon, rectum, and anus. During the fellowship, the trainee works with experienced colorectal surgeons and gains experience in a variety of surgical procedures.
  • Obtain Board Certification: After completing the fellowship, aspiring colorectal surgeons must obtain board certification from the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. This requires passing a rigorous examination that tests their knowledge and skills in the field of colorectal surgery.
  • Obtain a Medical License: Finally, aspiring colorectal surgeons must obtain a medical license in the state where they plan to practice. This typically involves passing a licensing examination and meeting other state-specific requirements.

Board Certification
Board certification is an important credential for colorectal surgeons. It demonstrates that they have met the rigorous standards of their profession and have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality patient care.

The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery (ABCRS) is the organization responsible for certifying colorectal surgeons in the United States. To become board certified, a surgeon must complete an approved colorectal surgery fellowship, meet specific training requirements, and pass a comprehensive written examination.

The examination covers a wide range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions affecting the colon, rectum, and anus. The exam also includes oral and practical components, where the surgeon must demonstrate their ability to perform specific surgical procedures.

Once a surgeon has successfully passed the examination, they become board certified in colorectal surgery for a period of ten years. To maintain their certification, they must participate in ongoing education and training and periodically pass a recertification examination.

Board certification is not required to practice as a colorectal surgeon, but it is strongly recommended. Patients often seek out board-certified surgeons as a sign of expertise and quality care. Additionally, some hospitals and healthcare facilities require their surgeons to be board certified as a condition of employment.