You might associate a plastic surgeon with TV shows like Nip/Tuck where doctors get to operate on gorgeous girls just to make them even more beautiful.
In fact, a plastic surgeon has a very broad scope of practice. In addition to elective cosmetic procedures, they also operate for clinically damaging disorders. Think of paraplegics or elderly people who don’t move around much. These patients can develop ulcers on their buttocks from the constant pressure of staying in one place. Ulcers can lead to infection and pain. Plastic Surgeons can fix this by putting a flap of skin over the ulcer to protect the patient from these complications.
Just how much do plastic surgeons make?
The median expected salary for plastic surgeons is $322,551 which the majority of physicians making between $280,780 and $388,800.
For those just coming out of a plastic surgery fellowship, a salary of $237,000 might be the offer. However, after a couple years of experience, you’ll be in the majority. There are even some plastic surgeons who are making more than $500,000 dollars. Medscape reports this to be about 16% of plastic surgeons.
The maximum reported salary is $820,000 !
This is interesting. There are a few ways to become a plastic surgeon. The minimum is 6 years of training while the max is 8. Some plastic surgery programs require only 3 years of a surgical residency while others require the full 5 years.
Currently, there are 71 plastic surgery residency programs. Last year, only 31 programs participated in the match offering 70 positions. This might mean the other programs were offering pre-matches.
Breast implants and tummy tucks are just one facet of plastic surgery. As a plastic surgeon, you can help patients with disfigurements from trauma or birth defects. Sometimes a person’s looks is more important to them than their health! If you have excellent manual dexterity and a passion for helping people with their appearance, you should take a look at this field to see if it suits you.