Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Becoming a doctor is a full time and long term commitment that requires you dedicate yourself for the better part of a decade after you graduate high school. You r years will be spent with books rather than friends and with cadavers rather than dates.

Once you have completed your training, and you have MD in front of your name, a percentage will voluntarily go on to specialize and a much smaller percentage will have the skills and focus to become surgeons.

Surgeons like James Devellis MD are at the top of the food chain in terms of doctors because it is they who are counted upon to perform the most difficult part of medicine; operating on live patients. To become a surgeon you need focus, an iron will, patience, the coolness of a Fox, and a desire to win. You must refrain from any vices in life, take constant training on new techniques and procedures and be prepared to attend classes when you are not operating. In other words it is a job that controls your life.

But the good news is that the rewards for being a surgeon are many. Besides having on the highest average salaries around, surgeons typically work ways less than the average hours each week operating. You get to take long vacations and you will have one of the most respected professions on the planet.

But as mentioned earlier reaching this pinnacle profession is not easy. Here is what you need to do to become a surgeon:

Be Passionate about Learning

Becoming a surgeon is a long road of learning and requires a real passion for knowing new and detailed things. Surgeons have to be precise and prepared for every possible eventuality, so your knowledge of the subjects that are relevant needs to be complete. You also must have the intellectual capacity to grasp and employ the knowledge. This will mean high grades and good reports from your teachers. This is one of the reasons being certified as a surgeon takes so long. The knowledge and practice required literally takes years to acquire.

Have a Strong Desire to Help People

A surgeon’s job is to sometimes literally save someone’s life. Sometimes they operate when there is no other choice at saving a person other than them and this needs to be appreciated by the surgeon. Many will tell you that what makes their high stress jobs worth it is the fact that they can help save a life or improve one at least.

Be Very Confident

When you are a surgeon you will be asked to come between someone who is potentially on their way to death or debilitation. Everyone will be counting on your skill and knowledge for a good outcome and you need to have the confidence to get the job done. There will also always be looming the threats and allegations of misconduct which follow every doctor. Surgeons have to take on this high pressure aspect of their jobs with a passion or they will lose their edge at the wrong time. Many doctors who think they want to be surgeons find that this area of the job is one they cannot deal with and they go into other areas of medicine instead. So when you see a successful surgeon, you know that person has great confidence.