Entry requirements, skills and interests (paediatric surgery)
This page provides useful information about the entry requirements needed for this specialty up to and including foundation training. It also includes information on the skills and interests you will need.
Before you train as a surgeon you must complete a degree in medicine and have obtained a MBBS or equivalent qualification. Find out about getting into medical school.
You then need to complete a two-year foundation programme and then two years of core training. After successfully completing your first year of foundation training you become eligible for registration as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC). Foundation training includes undertaking rotations in a range of specialties including surgery.
To find information about the Foundation Programme, visit our applying for foundation training page.
After foundation training you will need to undertake further specialist training (see training and development page).
Skills and interests
Paediatric surgeons require a very special set of skills. Not only do they need the entire skill set of a surgeon, but also the added dexterity needed to operate on the smallest of patients.
The ability to communicate cheerfully with children and their patients is also vital. At times the circumstances will be very challenging - from dealing with the child with cancer or a life-limiting disease to the parents of a very sick baby in neonatal intensive care. You’ll need a delicate balance of empathy and emotional detachment.
Paediatric surgeons also need:
- the ability to work effectively under pressure and to remain objective in highly pressurised and emotive situations
- practical skills such as good hand-eye co-ordination, manual dexterity and visuo-spatial awareness
- the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with young patients, their families and medical colleagues
- the capacity to monitor developing situations, anticipate issues and to show initiative
- excellent organisational skills to manage a demanding workload and to manage information systems
- good team-working skills and ability to lead, manage and support a team effectively
- emotional resilience and stamina to cope with the demands of the job
- a sense of humour to help communicate with children and their families
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.