It can take a total of 16 years to become a heart surgeon, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This time frame includes 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school at least 8 years of residency and specialized training.
In order to become a cardiac surgeon, students must obtain a bachelor's degree at minimum before enrolling in medical school. This is a competitive process, and it requires satisfactory scores on the Medical College Admission Test, as well as letters of recommendation.
After completing 4 years of medical school, graduates must spend at least 5 years in a surgery residency program, followed by at least 2 years in a specialized cardiothoracic surgery residency program. They must then become licensed to practice in their state.