Surgeon Rata Hāparapara

Surgeons consult with patients and operate on people to treat and manage disease and injuries.

Surgeons may do some or all of the following:

  • examine patients and decide whether operations are needed
  • consult with other medical professionals about patient care and treatment
  • perform and manage operations
  • instruct and manage patients' post-operative care
  • check on patients' progress while they are in hospital
  • keep medical records and send final reports to general practitioners
  • provide follow-up care for patients
  • teach medical students and trainee surgeons
  • carry out research.

Physical Requirements

Surgeons need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and good hand-eye co-ordination. They also need to have steady hands.

Surgeons must have a good level of stamina as some surgery can take many hours.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for surgeons includes:

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
  • work caring for people.

Personal Qualities

Surgeons need to be:

  • accurate and careful, with an eye for detail
  • motivated and disciplined
  • quick and efficient
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to make good decisions, and solve problems
  • good time managers
  • excellent at analysis and interpretation
  • good at report writing
  • good at communicating and inspiring confidence in others
  • understanding of other cultures' attitudes to medical treatment.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for surgeons includes:

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
  • work caring for people.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and health education.

Related Courses

Surgeons can earn around $72K-$124K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Surgeon are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Surgeons may progress to teach students and trainee surgeons at larger hospitals. Surgeons can also become clinical directors, combining an administrative role with a surgical one.

Surgeons can specialise in a number of roles including:

Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Cardiothoracic surgeons treat diseases and injuries of the heart, lungs and chest wall.
General Surgeon
General surgeons treat diseases and injuries of the abdomen, breast and endocrine (glandular) organs.
Neurosurgeon
Neurosurgeons diagnose and treat patients with disorders of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system including their supportive structures and blood supply.
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic surgeons treat diseases and injuries of the bones, joints, muscles and soft tissue.
Otolaryngologist
Otolaryngologists treat diseases and injuries of the head and neck.
Paediatric Surgeon
Paediatric surgeons diagnose and treat children who may require surgery. This includes the management of congenital abnormalities both ante-natally and in the neonatal period and the management of major trauma in children.
Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon
Plastic or reconstructive surgeons correct or restore body function or appearance for aesthetic or therapeutic reasons.
Urologist
Urologists diagnose and treat disorders of the urinary tracts in males and females, and male genital organs. It also includes the management of trauma to these organs and the management of male sterilisation, infertility and sexual dysfunction.
Vascular surgeon
Vascular surgeons diagnose and treat patients with disorders of the blood vessels (arteries and veins outside the heart and brain) and the lymphatic system.
Surgeon