A surgeon is a medical professional who conducts surgical procedures on the human body to treat injuries and diseases such as broken bones and cancerous tumors. Surgeons are required to review test results to identify abnormal findings and recommend a plan of treatment to patients. They must manage surgical technicians during the surgery process to ensure all standards of care and safety are followed in the operating room. Surgeons must also address concerns that the patients have about their health and well-being.

Surgeon Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real surgeon resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the filing, maintenance of all patient records in accordance with HIPAA practices.
  • Edit the Dr's daily dictation.
  • Maintain personal CME and training logs.
  • Interview, hire, train and supervise new CMA staff.
  • Forward patients' messages to the Dr's pager when necessary.
  • Suture removal, assisting the doctor in reviewing x-rays and MRI reports.
  • Assist nurse with scheduling MRI's, assist in submitting surgical claims.
  • Full counts of instruments, suture, and soft products with circulating RN.
  • Obtain prior authorization and benefits on behalf of patients prior to MOHS procedure.
  • Perform vision screenings, EKG's, blood draws, urinalysis, and throat cultures.
Surgeon Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Compassion is a skill that is necessary for working with others as you're able to put aside your differences and show genuine kindness toward others.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Surgeon Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a surgeon does, you may be wondering, "should I become a surgeon?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, surgeons have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 7% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of surgeon opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 55,400.

On average, the surgeon annual salary is $328,629 per year, which translates to $157.99 an hour. Generally speaking, surgeons earn anywhere from $256,000 to $420,000 a year, which means that the top-earning surgeons make $164,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a surgeon, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a physician, doctor, eye physician, and upper extremity surgeon.

Surgeon Jobs You Might Like

Surgeon Resume Examples

Surgeon Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Surgeons are proficient in Surgery, Healthcare, and Emergency. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Compassion, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Surgeons that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Surgery, 12%

    General Surgery and endoscopy caring for veteran population

  • Healthcare, 11%

    Coordinated and organized post-deployment healthcare assessment (PDHA) standard operating procedures for subordinate units in Iraq.

  • Emergency, 10%

    Research medical products for purchase and distribution to include Pharmaceuticals and emergency medicine life sustaining equipment.

  • Surgeons, 9%

    2010*Maintained sterile surgical field while exhibiting a strict surgical conscious*Anticipated needs of surgeons and OR staff*Proficient in knowledge of surgical equipment

  • Patient Care, 9%

    Completed administrative functions associated with patient care.

  • Trauma, 8%

    General orthopedics including trauma with emphasis on pediatrics and sports medicine

"surgery," "healthcare," and "emergency" aren't the only skills we found surgeons list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of surgeon responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a surgeon to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a surgeon resume, you'll understand why: "physicians and surgeons need to be excellent communicators" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a surgeon in order to "developed a new emergency communication system within the hospital organized a team of local volunteers"
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many surgeon duties rely on compassion. This example from a surgeon explains why: "patients who are sick or injured may be in extreme pain or distress." This resume example is just one of many ways surgeons are able to utilize compassion: "provided comprehensive medical treatment including surgery, prescriptions with compassionate instructions and counselling. "
  • Surgeons are also known for detail oriented, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a surgeon resume: "patients must receive appropriate treatment and medications" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "register new patients and update existing detailed patient information including personal and financial information. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "dexterity" is important to completing surgeon responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way surgeons use this skill: "physicians and surgeons may work with very precise and sometimes sharp tools, and mistakes can have serious consequences." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical surgeon tasks: "gained invaluable knowledge of the medical industry and patient care; developed diagnostic and problem-solving skills through hands-on clinical experience. "
  • Yet another important skill that a surgeon must demonstrate is "leadership skills." Physicians who work in their own practice must manage a staff of other professionals. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a surgeon who stated: "updated the medical and srp trackers for 500 thousand service members for leadership review. "
  • While "physical stamina" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to surgeon responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "physicians and surgeons should be comfortable lifting or turning disabled patients, or performing other physical tasks" Here is an example of how this skill is used, "manage all service members' medical readiness and physical profiles. "
  • See the full list of surgeon skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a surgeon. We found that 40.5% of surgeons have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 8.9% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most surgeons have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every seven surgeons were not college graduates.

    The surgeons who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied medicine and nursing, while a small population of surgeons studied biology and business.

    Once you're ready to become a surgeon, you should explore the companies that typically hire surgeons. According to surgeon resumes that we searched through, surgeons are hired the most by VCA Animal Hospitals, VCA Antech, and Pekin Public Schools. Currently, VCA Animal Hospitals has 13 surgeon job openings, while there are 9 at VCA Antech and 8 at Pekin Public Schools.

    If you're interested in companies where surgeons make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Marshfield Clinic, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and Mercy. We found that at Marshfield Clinic, the average surgeon salary is $383,745. Whereas at NorthShore University HealthSystem, surgeons earn roughly $381,963. And at Mercy, they make an average salary of $376,645.

    View more details on surgeon salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a surgeon include United States Navy, United States Army, and Kaiser Permanente. These three companies were found to hire the most surgeons from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious surgeons are:

      What Physicians Do

      Physicians' general responsibility is to check, diagnose, and treat a patient's condition to improve their overall wellness. A physician could be General Practitioners or Specialist Physicians, wherein General Practitioners are physicians who provide regular checkups for patients depending on their needs and refer them to a Specialist Physicians who are more skilled in a particular field of expertise for a thorough diagnosis. Physicians monitor a patient's medical history and ensure follow-up checkups to observe if the condition of a patient is changing over time. A physician may refer a patient to other health professionals for further examination as needed.

      In this section, we compare the average surgeon annual salary with that of a physician. Typically, physicians earn a $138,429 lower salary than surgeons earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both surgeons and physicians positions are skilled in surgery, emergency, and patient care.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a surgeon responsibilities require skills like "healthcare," "surgeons," "trauma," and "mohs." Meanwhile a typical physician has skills in areas such as "family practice," "urgent care," "diagnosis," and "oncology." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Physicians really shine in the health care industry with an average salary of $169,390. Whereas surgeons tend to make the most money in the health care industry with an average salary of $280,520.

      On average, physicians reach similar levels of education than surgeons. Physicians are 0.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Doctor?

      A doctor is a medical expert who diagnoses and treats illnesses and injuries, often specializing in particular areas. Their responsibilities revolve around conducting initial interviews and examinations, studying a patient's medical history and laboratory results, providing consultations and care advice, prescribing medication, and referring patients to specialists when necessary. They must also coordinate and maintain an active communication line with nurses, administrators, and technicians for a smooth workflow. Moreover, a doctor must educate patients about their health conditions, helping them understand their situation better.

      Now we're going to look at the doctor profession. On average, doctors earn a $86,049 lower salary than surgeons a year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both surgeons and doctors are known to have skills such as "surgery," "emergency," and "patient care. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real surgeon resumes. While surgeon responsibilities can utilize skills like "healthcare," "surgeons," "trauma," and "mohs," some doctors use skills like "customer service," "dr," "physical therapy services," and "diagnosis."

      Doctors may earn a lower salary than surgeons, but doctors earn the most pay in the retail industry with an average salary of $243,090. On the other side of things, surgeons receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $280,520.

      In general, doctors study at lower levels of education than surgeons. They're 5.5% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 1.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Eye Physician Compares

      The eye physician profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of surgeons. The difference in salaries is eye physicians making $78,483 lower than surgeons.

      While looking through the resumes of several surgeons and eye physicians we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patient care," "medical records," and "exam rooms," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a surgeon is likely to be skilled in "surgery," "healthcare," "emergency," and "surgeons," while a typical eye physician is skilled in "eye drops," "consent forms," "ehr," and "gathering information."

      Eye physicians are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to surgeons. Additionally, they're 4.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 21.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Upper Extremity Surgeon

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than surgeons. On average, upper extremity surgeons earn a difference of $25,125 lower per year.

      While both surgeons and upper extremity surgeons complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like patient care, mri, and surgical procedures, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "surgery," "healthcare," "emergency," and "surgeons" are skills that have shown up on surgeons resumes. Additionally, upper extremity surgeon uses skills like physical therapy services, cht, treatment plans, and outpatient clinic on their resumes.

      Upper extremity surgeons reach higher levels of education when compared to surgeons. The difference is that they're 28.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 23.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.