Surgeon Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Surgeon, or Physician performs operations and other medical procedures to treat deformities, diseases and injuries. Their primary duties include removing or correcting malformations, repairing injuries and conducting preventive procedures on patients. 


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Surgeon duties and responsibilities

Surgeons split their time between their office and in medical facilities where they carry out medical procedures. Their offices may be in a surgical centre, hospital or off-site in an office building. They may also share office in a medical practice with many other Surgeons. During office work, a Surgeon may sit for a long period of time, evaluating patients and recommending the best treatments. Other duties and responsibilities of a Surgeon include:

  • Diagnosing illnesses and injuries 
  • Prescribing medications for preventive measures and aftercare
  • Developing post-operation treatment plans to promote overall health of the patient
  • Maintaining detailed patient records on paper or digitally
  • Working under the supervision of hospital administration to comply with facility guidelines
  • Adhering to safety and cleanliness standards in the operating room
  • Using surgical tools to remove or fix parts of the body
  • Coordinating with other medical professionals like Anaesthesiologists and Nurses to ensure successful and safe operations
  • Scheduling follow -up visits with patients  to ensure continuing health 


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Surgeon Job Description Examples:


Example 1

I am recruiting for a 3 site independently run small animal veterinary practice in North East London/West Essex region. We would like to speak to a Vet about this position who is keen to work as an ECC surgeon. This is a fast paced, very exciting role for an enthusiastic Veterinary surgeon, with interests in ECC looking for a challenging position within a well-respected veterinary practice. Ideally we would like to chat to Vets with ECC/OOH experience however this isn't essential to be successful. All 3 sites are exceptionally well-equipped with gear including: CT scanner, MRI, Digital X-ray and Ultrasound Scanner. The practice offers a referral service to multiple local practices. On the day team they currently have 12 very experienced Vets with multiple Certificate holders in the practice. You would also have additional support from 16 RVN's, 8 SVN's and a reception and management team. Key Duties The position is a full time role with a lovely work-life balance. You're required to work on a rota basis of 5 on and 10 off. Typical shifts start around 6.30pm and finish at [website] Accommodation is provided for the joining Vet when on duty if you do not live locally. You will be working on-site with a dedicated RVN on site at all times for support. Package and Benefits For this position you can expect a salary around £55,000+, you will have perks added to your package including a generous CPD allowance, pension scheme, health care vouchers and much more! All registration fee's will be paid for by the practice. Key Skills, Qualifications and Client Requirements Ideally we are seeking a Vet with experience with night/ECC/OOH experience although this isn't essential. What Happens Next? If you are interested in finding out more about this role please click the 'Apply' button. On submission of the job application form, an email alert is sent to the specialist consultant handling this role to register your interest. All dialogue with us is in the strictest of confidence, without any obligation and we will NOT send your details to the relevant practice without your consent. Alternatively, to find out more about this role or any other roles that maybe relevant, you can email us at or call our Veterinary team on 01423 813453 Not the right job for you? Click here for more Veterinary Jobs

Example 2

We are recruiting on behalf of a large independent group of practices in the Tyne and Wear region for a Locum Vet to join them and provide cover over the summer holiday period and ideally ongoing. The practice would be looking for more that one locum. The role is to start as soon as possible. The practices have 9 branches in total so it is important that the Locum is happy to work occasional sole charge as some of the branches only require the one Vet. They also provide their own OOH cover so it would be ideal if the locum was willing to be on standby duty to cover sickness and holidays. Accommodation and / or a vehicle can be provided. The locum may use their own car and the practice will pay for work mileage however the locum musty have their own business insurance if using their own vehicle. Locums can also bring their own pets into practice accommodation if applicable. * Start Date: As soon as possible * End Date: Ongoing * Hours Mon-Fri: 40 hours per week, hours likely to be between 8:00am & 7:00pm * OOH: None required - however if you are willing to be on standby if needed this is appreciated * Weekends: 1 weekend a month may be required on a rota * Sole Charge: Yes, some periods of sole charge to be expected. * Branch Work: Yes, branch work involved (practice can provide a vehicle) * Accommodation: Can be provided if needed *

Example 3

Full time and Fixed Term Mixed Practice Veterinary Surgeons (12 month maternity cover) Fantastic work life balance offered Relocation package provided St Boswells Greenside Vet Practice, based in St Boswells in the beautiful Scottish Borders, only 45min from Edinburgh, are seeking an enthusiastic colleague, preferably with experience, to join our mixed practice team. This is a rare opportunity for a vet to join our friendly 11 vet practice where we pride ourselves on providing a good work: life balance with lots of support available for our colleagues. The successful candidate should be enthusiastic, friendly and have good communication skills; be happy to work as part of a team and also be self-motivated and driven to provide the best service for our patients and clients alike. We are a mixed practice with a solid farm base and an ever expanding companion animal component as well as the UK’s leading stem cell, regenerative medicine and rehabilitation clinic which accepts referral cases from all over the UK. A purpose built large animal unit as well as a referral unit has recently been completed and includes a hydrotherapy treadmill and qualified veterinary physiotherapists in the team. The farm team is lead by a DBR holder and the work is mainly beef and sheep with one dairy. The small animal practice is well equipped with DR x-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy and dental x-ray available as well as a full suite of laboratory equipment in-house. Large animal equipment includes easi-scan ultrasound and bull and tup fertility equipment. The small animal team is supported by 8 qualified RVN. Appointment times 15/20minutes per consult. A work car will be provided. The role is 40hrs per week; no weekend clinics. The work will be split between small animal and farm (mainly beef and sheep, 1 dairy, no equine). The role will involve farm visits, consulting as well as surgery and time will be allocated for lab reporting and phone calls during the day. There will be a requirement to do an evening surgery and branch practice clinics once a week. Phones are diverted to an answering service. We provide our own OOH cover with a 1:5 on call rota with time back in lieu. A nurse is always on call to support the vets out of hours. In lieu of on call duties, the successful candidate will have a half day once a week and a Friday off the weekend after being on-call. CPD funded and further qualifications encouraged and supported. Benefits: · Generous salary · 34 days per year + birthday leave day · CPD: Certificate support scheme · Employee discounts (cost price on products, 50% off procedures and set fees) · Cycle2Work scheme · Employee Assistance Programme with BUPA · RCVS fee and one subscription paid (BVA, BCVA, BSAVA etc) We are happy to be part of Linnaeus Group with almost 180 sites across the UK and Ireland we are part of a growing community of like-minded veterinary professionals who are passionate about what they do. To add, Linnaeus Group is proud to be a part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of veterinary practices which extends our network of 2,500 veterinary clinics and hospitals in over 20 countries making industry-leading pet care available to more than 25 million pets every year. Job Types: Full-time, Temporary, Permanent Salary: Up to £42,000.00 per year Benefits: * Additional leave * Bike to work scheme * Company events * Company pension * Employee discount * Flexible schedule * On-site parking * Wellness programmes Education: * Bachelor's (preferred) * RCVS (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 4

*Climbing Arborist / Tree Surgeon* Chaffin is a leading arboriculture contractor based in Polegate. We provide all aspects of professional arboricultural & tree surgery requirements to private householders, landowners and commercial sectors to include local authorities, housing associations and schools. We are currently seeking qualified lead and secondary climbers who wish to join a fast paced and quality lead company with ambitions to grow. *It is essential you will have: * · A positive attitude · The ability to work independently and as part of a team · Good communication and customer service skills as you will be dealing with the public · Be self-motivated · Have excellent attention to detail · Reliable, punctual and well-presented *You will hold: * · CS30/31/38/39 essential or equivalent · Full driving licence (with no more than 3 points) · Demonstrable experience within a similar role (ideally 3 years climbing and industry experience) *The following would be advantageous: * · CS40/41 or equivalent. · Commercial crown reduction/local authority contact experience · MEWP Accreditation · First aid (forestry) · Chapter 8 signing, lighting & guarding Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: £22,000.00-£35,000.00 per year Benefits: * On-site parking Schedule: * Monday to Friday * Weekends COVID-19 considerations: Full Covid risk assessment and safety measures are in place. * climbing & arb qualifications (required) * Driving Licence (required)

What does a Surgeon do?

Surgeons are medical professionals who perform operations on patients. They usually specialise in one area, for instance, reconstructive, neurological, oral or paediatrics. The operations they perform can serve a range of purposes, including treating an injury, preventive measures such as removing a body part to stop the spread of cancer or improving a bodily process like digestion. 


Surgeon skills and qualifications

A successful Surgeon candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Organisation skills
  • Time management skills for consulting with multiple patients at once
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work in team, as they are leaders of a surgical team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills 
  • Interpersonal skills for forming positive relationships with patients


Surgeon experience requirements

After medical school, a Surgeon is usually required to complete at least three years of residencies and internships. Each of these experiences is a type of on-the-job training in which a prospective Surgeon learns effective patient interactions, proper surgical procedures and compliance with hospital policies. During a residency or internship, prospective Surgeons usually receive training from a senior professional in their field and earn a stipend as payment for their work. 


Surgeon education and training requirements

Before pursuing a medical degree, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, usually in a field like pre-medicine or a scientific subject like anatomy, chemistry or biology. After earning a bachelor’s degree, prospective Surgeons need to complete medical school, which usually takes four years to complete. After medical school, Surgeons need to complete further training in surgical sub-specialities. During this time, they obtain a specific surgical qualification such as the Membership of The Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). 

All Surgeons who want to practise medicine in the UK must register with the General Medical Council (GMC) to obtain a licence to practise.


Surgeon salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Surgeon in the UK is £50,404 per year. Their actual salary varies depending on their level of experience, the geographical location of the job and the specific medical facility they work for. 


Job description samples for similar positions

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Surgeon job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Surgeon and a Doctor?

A Doctor diagnoses and treats patients and is not usually trained to perform surgery, while Surgeons receive advanced training to perform surgery. However, they share some duties such as creating and implementing patient care plans, recording medical histories and monitoring the patient’s health. Doctors refer patients to Surgeons and Specialists.


What qualities make a good Surgeon?

Surgeons must be eager to continually develop their skills, learn new technologies and conquer new challenges, as the field of surgery is constantly evolving. They must be a good leader, willing to accept complete personal accountability for patient outcomes. A Surgeon must also be level-headed, especially in the operating room. They must have compassion and empathy for other people, along with humility. While they must remain calm under pressure, they must feel energised by the excitement of helping other people. 


What are the different types of Surgeons?

There are several types of Surgeons. Neurosurgeons specialise in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the peripheral and central nervous system, infections of the spine or brain, vascular disorders, tumors, trauma and congenital anomalies. Paediatric Surgeons operate on children whose development ranges from infancy through teenage years. Plastic Surgeons are trained in specialised areas, such as body contouring, tissue transfer and laser surgery. 

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