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Skills and Qualities of a Surgeon

Surgery is an extremely enjoyable, intellectually demanding and satisfying career, and many more people apply to become surgeons each year than there are available places. Those who are successful have to be ready not just to learn a great deal, but have the right kind of personality for the job.

Is a surgical career right for you? You will need a mix of the following skills and qualities:

  • Specialist knowledge for accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition.
  • Good communication skills – for speaking to your medical team, your patients and their families; for listening to and understanding the concerns of a wide range of people and earning their trust.
  • A bright, eager mind, manual dexterity and physical skills for performing an operation.
  • Extensive experience of preoperative and postoperative care.
  • Ability to adapt to a changing environment – as healthcare evolves and there are medical developments, you will need to have commitment and enthusiasm for learning new skills and techniques.
  • Leadership skills to manage your team and help to train the surgeons of the future.
  • The ability to inspire confidence in others.
  • Emotional resilience and the ability to support your team in sometimes difficult circumstances.

Find out about entry requirements and training to become a surgeon.

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