|MadSci Network: Medicine|
The training required to become a surgeon includes high school, college*, medical school and a surgical residency. A typical course of study would include 4 years of high school, 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school and 5-7 years of residency. This adds up to about 12-15 years of training after high school. There are a few combined college/medical school programs that may cut a couple years off college.
Other career options with less training might include being a surgical technician (technical college after high school), physicians assistant (bachelors or masters degree), nurse practitioner (masters degree after bachelors in nursing), or even a podiatrist (podiatry school after college). The less training you have, the less you will be be "running the show" but you won't have all the responsibility/liability either.
If you do decide to go into surgery, take some consolation that you won'r be paying tuition the whole time. While you are still training in residency, you are not technically a student. Residents do make a modest salary (40-50K/year) and don't have to pay any more tuition. They may however have to start paying back loans.
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