Medical Careers : How to Become a Heart Surgeon

Uploaded by eHow on 27.11.2008

Hello my name is Mark MacBayne I'm the Practice Administrator for Hematology Oncology and
Adult Bone Marrow Transplant at UCSF Medical Center. I'm here today to talk about how to
become a heart surgeon. Heart surgeon is a physician who specializes in cardio thoracic
surgery. As with any MD you must start by first going to college. You will need to obtain
a degree from a four year college or university. Typically majoring in a science, this is not
required however. But if you choose not to major in a science, you must make sure that
you take all of the science prerequisites for school. Being two years of biology, two
years of chemistry, a year of physics, and a year of calculus. Towards the end of your
undergraduate career you'll need to take what's know as the MCAT. Or the Medical College Admissions
Test. This is a standardized exam that is used by medical schools to evaluate a candidates
application for med school entrance. They use this along with your GPA. Medical school
is highly competitive, in fact most less than a third of those who apply will actually be
accepted on any given year. Therefore it's very important to maintain a strong GPA, and
do well on the MCAT exam. Medical school itself is an additional four year educational commitment.
the first two years of which are typically reserved for didactic instruction and the
health sciences, and the second two years are typically reserved for training in clinical
skills. After completing your four years of medical school, you are an MD. However you're
not quite ready to be a heart surgeon. In order to become a surgeon, and in fact really
any type of physician. You must complete what's know as a residency. Residency programs can
vary in length. Surgical residencies typical being longer. A surgical residency will be
a minimum of six years, and for heart surgery will often be eight years or more. This is
formal training past your medical school education. During these years you will learn first how
to become a surgeon, and second how to become a heart surgeon. After you've completed your
residency in cardio thoracic surgery many will go on to do a fellowship, which is an
additional one to two years of additional post graduate training. After completing all
of your post graduate training you are ready to sit for the board exam as a cardio thoracic
surgeon. And upon passing you are a board certified cardio thoracic surgeon ready to
practice in the community. This is Mark MacBayne, Practice Administrator for Hematology Oncology
at UCSF Medical Center.