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How much Schooling is there to become a Physicist or a surgeon?

  1. Sep 27, 2009 #1
    im just really curious...
    at the moment im roughly stuck in the middle as to whether i want to become a surgeon, neurology preferably, or a Physicist,im still not completely sure about which branch, but im inclining towards a Molecular, Astronomical, or theoretical.
    Wages and salary arent really a determining factor for me.
    At the moment, im in my junior year in high school, so i was just wondering how much schooling i would require...
    thanks for the answers.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2009 #2


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    You should be able to easily find this information, but here it is since I have it handy...
    is that human of animal surgeon? I assume human...
    I also assume this is in the US?
    Undergrad 3-5 years
    grad 4-10 years
    postdoc 4-12+ years

    neurological surgeon
    Undergrad 3-5 years
    MD 4 years
    phd (optional) 2-7 years
    basic residency 6 years
    research experience 0-2 years
    fellowship (optional)(example:Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology ) 1-2 years

    Hope you enjoy quantum field theory or biochemistry or both.

    http://www.rush.edu/professionals/gme/neurosurgery/faculty.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Sep 27, 2009 #3
    I've heard that it's an eight year residency to be a neurosurgeon, so with the four years of medical school that's 12 years out of undergrad. Grad school in physics usually five years, plus at least one two-year post doc (usually more, so let's average out and call it three). And then if you're one of those lucky few who gets a tenure-track faculty position, it's another five years before you have a fully secure job as a physicist. So that's also about twelve years out of undergrad, with the +/- 1 that we introduced.

    I guess it's the same either way.
  5. Sep 27, 2009 #4


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    I don't think postdoctoral work is considered 'schooling'. Postdocs in physics could legitimately be called physicists.
  6. Sep 27, 2009 #5
    Becoming a Surgeon would take a lot of schooling. My uncle is in his mid-30s and just finished his certifications and stuff. My cousin has a PhD, MS, and Bachelors at the age of 26 and already has published stuff and is currently a professor conducting research.
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