Wanna be a plastic surgeon?

Published on March 30th, 2012
Wanna be a plastic surgeon?

You don’t need to be an actor or a rockstar to get up close and personal with the A-list celebs. In fact, no one gets closer and more personal than the expert plastic surgeons who make many of the stars look the way they do.

What does a plastic surgeon do?

Plastic surgeons are like medical sculptors, who use fancy surgical techniques to change the way a person looks. They can rebuild and reshape bones and cartilage and even remove extra fat and skin to help someone look their best. Plastic surgeons can also repair many problems that people are born with, like cleft palates, and they help repair severely damaged body parts after someone’s been in an accident.

What kind of person would enjoy this career?

To be a great plastic surgeon, you need to be patient, focused, hard-working and creative, with really good people skills, extreme attention to detail and – of course – a (very) steady hand. You’ll also need to be able to work well under pressure… after all, your work will have a huge effect on your patients’ future health and happiness.

How can you become one?

Be warned: it takes a long time to qualify as a Plastic Surgeon (we weren’t kidding when we said you need to be patient and hard-working)… First, you’ll need to complete a six-year degree in Medicine at university, followed by a one-year internship and two years of community service. Then, it’s finally time for you to specialise in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. But if this is a career you’ll enjoy, the patience will pay off when you get to do something you love doing every day… and of course, you can make a pretty impressive living.

What subjects do you need?

You’ll need top marks in Maths and Physical Science for Matric if you want to be accepted into Medicine. Life Sciences will also help, so choose your subjects wisely.

Need help with funding?

Contact the NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) for more info.