Transplant Surgeon

Transplant organs between donors and patients.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $215,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Transplant Surgeons do?

It might sound like something from a horror movie script, but all around the world, Transplant Surgeons are taking body parts from one person and putting them into another. These surgeries are far from horrific, however. The work a Transplant Surgeon does can help a very ill person get a new lease on life.

Hearts, corneas, lungs, kidneys, and even intestines can all be replaced, although each Transplant Surgeon tends to specialize in just one body part. When you’re a Transplant Surgeon, very ill patients who need part replacements visit your office periodically, and you monitor them and chart their progress. You cannot perform surgery until a donor comes forward.

When a Donor Coordinator finds an organ for one of your patients, you spring into action and drive to the hospital. The patient is prepared for surgery by Anesthesiologists, Surgery Technicians, and Nurses, and you stride in to start work.

First, you check over the donor organ to make sure it’s healthy and ready to be transplanted. Then, you remove the patient’s existing organ and replace it with the donor organ. If this is too dangerous due to the patient’s health, you simply add the new organ next to the old organ and allow them to coexist.

Surgeries are complex and can take you four or more hours to complete. In the operating room, you call the shots and make sure you’re given the tools and lighting you need to do the job right. When the surgery is over, you visit the patient in the recovery room to make sure they’re healing well.

Should I be a Transplant Surgeon?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Assistant Professor of Surgery

    How to become a Transplant Surgeon

    Most Transplant Surgeons have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||doctorate+%2899%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,99
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