Trauma Surgeon

Operate on patients who need emergency surgery.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $215,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Trauma Surgeons do?

The Trauma Surgeon is one of the most flexible and skilled Doctors within the field of medicine. That’s because they work under extremely urgent conditions, must think and act quickly, and have knowledge about many different parts of the body. The action-packed job of a Trauma Surgeon typically takes place in the hospital emergency room.

As a Trauma Surgeon, you’re a little like a Soldier. Challenges come at you from every direction when a patient is wheeled into the room. Imagine a gurney, covered in blood, the patient screaming but unable to speak. Once the patient is calmed, it’s your job to find out what the problem is and fix it.

That process starts with an evaluation. Major wounds are treated first, followed by secondary injuries.

For example, a car accident victim may have a bone sticking out of his leg and a piece of metal dangling out of his chest. In addition, he has internal injuries and a gash on his face. Because you often deal with multiple injuries, you commonly work with a team of specialists. For this particular patient, you might call in a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, a Neurologist, or other backup to help you out.

Your patients won’t always have a complex assortment of injuries, but a ruptured spleen or appendix can be life threatening as well, so you get your adrenaline fix with each new case. In case you’re wondering whether it’s a bad thing to be an adrenaline junkie, the answer is no, especially when it saves lives.

Should I be a Trauma Surgeon?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Trauma Doctor

    How to become a Trauma Surgeon

    Most Trauma 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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