The process for becoming a plastic surgeon involves completing an undergraduate degree program in a premedical major, completing a doctoral program in a medical school, and completing residency and fellowship programs, according to the Houston Chronicle. The process also involves obtaining a license, which permits the surgeon to practice his profession, as Study.com reports. Typically, an aspiring plastic surgeon must pass an exam to get the license.
The undergraduate premedical degree acts as a prerequisite for entry into a medical school, notes the Houston Chronicle. During this program, an aspiring plastic surgeon learns courses such as calculus, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and organic chemistry. The doctoral program typically lasts for four years and involves both classroom work and hands-on training. The classroom work occurs during the first half of the program and involves providing students with knowledge on medicine and science, which cover courses such as medical ethics and law, treatment philosophies, human physiology, and pharmacology. The hands-on training occurs in the last half of the program and involves learning what happens in a surgery room.
The residency program lasts for six years, and involves learning surgery skills practically under supervision, states the Houston Chronicle. The residency first covers generally surgery skills followed by plastic surgery skills. Upon successful completion of the residency period, aspiring craniofacial surgeons or hand surgeons have to learn skills needed to practice their specialties for an extra year.