Questions from a Medical Student interested in Plastic Surgery by Dr. Young Bellevue:

Questions from a Medical Student interested in Plastic Surgery by Dr. Philip Young Bellevue: This is what someone wrote me with questions regarding becoming a doctor. We thought it would be interesting for some of our readers:

1. What made you choose this profession? I lost my mother to cancer which initiated my decision to become a doctor. It was too depressing to do cancer work for me so I decided to do something more light hearted with facial plastic surgery.


2.What is the best thing/experience of a doctor? Making people happy.


3. What is the worst? We always do the best we can. Medicine is a complicated profession. Although we use the best technology and latest and proven techniques, sometimes, although not common, people aren’t happy. You can’t make everyone happy as hard as you try. I’m not sure if any person, business, or corporation can make everyone happy.  You just have to keep trying your best, hope for the best and try to turn everything into a positive in some way.


4.How long does it take to become a basic doctor? 4 years undergrad, 4 years medical school, 5 years head and neck surgery residency, 1 year fellowship in facial plastics. At a minimum, you need around 11 years after high school. I took 16 years after high school to complete all my training.


5. Is physics needed in becoming a doctor? Yes, it is part of the biology degree I needed for premed.


6. What is the average percentage throughout grade 11 and 12 you need in high school to become a doctor? You probably need at least a 3.5 gpa to get into a college. But I wouldn’t give up if you don’t.  This will allow you to get into a college. Then in college, I would think you need at least a 3.5 to get into medical school.  But really it will make it easier if you have a gpa that is above a 3.6. I had a gpa of 3.61 in high school. And then in college I had a 3.72 but my premedical classes gpa was higher in college. But in medical school, I was one of the top 2 students for the first couple of years of medical school which earned me the Mcgraw Hill Award. I was also alpha omega alpha honor society in medical school which is awarded to the top 5–10% of the students in your class. In head and neck residency at USC, my yearly exams were always in the 90-95th percentile. During my fellowship board exam I scored the number one score in the country on the written exam.


7. What is the starting salary? Hard to say. Starting around 90,000 I would think for a primary care doctor. But it goes up later. Surgeons start around 150k at least.


8. Could ones salary raise depending on the number of patients? Of course. One’s salary is often times based on your production. This is what you will find in any sector.


9. How do i begin a career as a doctor as above. Do well in high school, then in college, then in medical school. I would consult with your school’s administration. I would research it on the internet as much as possible. I would call undergrad colleges, medical schools. There are resources out there for people like you.


10. What is the estimated tuition/ financial expense in becoming a doctor? Undergrad around 20-40 thousand. Medical School can be much more. My tuition in medical school was around 40k for each year for everything. You get paid in residency a small amount like 24k a year.



Thank you for your time

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