American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Why do surgeons become surgeons?

"I have never regretted going into medicine. I'd do it again tomorrow, and I tell that to any youngster who is considering it. Medicine is a calling. It is more than a business. One can make money doing other things. But I chose medicine–surgery–because it combined a quest for knowledge with a way to serve, to save lives, and to alleviate suffering."

–C. Everett Koop, MD, FACS, Pediatric Surgeon and former U.S. Surgeon General

"When a patient gets well his doctor 'feels' good–a personal warm glow that tells him once again what being a doctor is. This pleasure never dulls with age or time, but remains vital and strong after decades of practice. 'Becoming a doctor' is acquiring this ability to help a sick person get better. It is one of the most precious skills one can acquire in a lifetime."

–Frank C. Spencer, MD, FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

"Stepping into the operating room to perform heart surgery on a sick patient, being fully in control of the large team of people who are required to do the procedure, and feeling totally prepared to perform the task at hand is an unbelievable feeling that can barely be described."

–Renee Hartrz, MD, FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

"My life as a surgeon-scientist, combining humanity and science, has been fantastically rewarding. In our daily patients we witness nature in the raw–fear, despair, courage, hope, resignation, heroism. If alert, we can detect new paths to investigate."

–Joseph E. Murray, MD, FACS, Plastic Surgeon

"There is a special joy that comes with the practice of surgery. Surgeons, indeed, are distinguished by the art and craft of their ability to perform surgical procedures or operations."

–Thomas J. Krizek, MD, FACS, Plastic Surgeon

"Because I grew up with a strong family tradition of surgery, I also acquired a strong perception of the joys and demands of being a surgeon. Assisting people who are ill or injured has been and continues to be a rewarding dimension of the surgical profession for me. I would certainly pursue a career as a surgeon again without a second thought. And I would highly recommend the surgical profession to my children or any young person who is interested in a career that requires a lot of you and gives you even more in return."

–George F. Sheldon, MD, FACS, General Surgeon

"The use of clinical knowledge and technical skills combined with the experience of dealing with a variety of people on a daily basis, make surgery a field that is not only challenging and satisfying, but fun."

–George D. Wilbanks, MD, FACS, Obstetrician/Gynecologist