How Long Does It Take to Become a Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon?

For those interested in pursuing a career in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, the time it takes to become a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon may vary greatly depending on the individual. Generally, it can take anywhere from 10 to 15 years of education and specialized training to become a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon.

To begin, it is essential to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program in order to be eligible to pursue a medical degree. Depending on the school, the major can be chosen from any of the sciences, such as biology, chemistry, or physics. After earning a bachelor’s degree, the next step is to apply and be accepted into a medical school program. The duration of this program is typically four years, although it may be shorter or longer depending on the medical school.

After medical school, the next step is to complete residency in a field related to cardiothoracic surgery. This residency typically lasts five to seven years and is a combination of classroom work and hands-on clinical experience. During this time, the doctor-in-training will specialize in the cardiac and thoracic areas of the body, learning the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the organs.

Once the residency is completed, the doctor-in-training must become board-certified to become a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. This is done by taking and passing the

American Board of Thoracic Surgery written and practical exams. After the exams are completed, the doctor-in-training must complete a two to three-year fellowship in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. This fellowship allows for specializations in specific areas of cardiothoracic surgery, such as congenital heart surgery or thoracic surgery.

The total time it takes to become a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon depends on the individual, but typically it takes a minimum of ten to fifteen years of education and specialized training. The process is rigorous and requires a significant commitment of time and energy, but it is well worth it for those who wish to pursue a career in this field. 

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