A plastic surgeon is a specialist doctor who works to reconstruct and repair different areas of the body, whether it is the reshaping of a person’s nose or a tummy tuck. A plastic surgeon will deal with cases in which people merely want to improve their look, and also, cases in which the patient has suffered a trauma such as burn damage or has a congenital skin problem.

Furthermore, they will treat various forms of cancer such as the removal of malignant tumours. A plastic surgeon will work with several other medical professionals, including dermatologists and other surgeons. Plastic surgery is an ever changing area of medicine, and there is a great level of research being done.

Work activities

Typical work duties a plastic surgeon would need to carry out include:

  • A plastic surgeon will deal with a variety of cases, in which the patient may have obvious signs of discomfort or no signs at all.
  • Plastic surgery is an area in which innovation is encouraged.
  • Diagnose patient conditions and recommend the necessary treatment.
  • Discuss surgical methods in order to put the patient at ease.
  • Work with a team of medical professionals, including dermatologists and oncologists.
  • Typically work the nine to five but may also need to be on call for any emergencies.
  • Collate, analyse and update patient records to make sure they receive the best treatment.
  • Decide upon the best course of action to treat patients based on physical examinations and other medical tests.
  • Work in stressful settings where one mistake can have a major impact.
  • Book operation theatres and ensure medical staff are in place to assist.
  • Make sure hygiene is maintained.
  • Build and maintain an excellent level of rapport with patients to put them at ease.

Essential skills

  • Excellent organisation skills.
  • Strong professional manner.
  • Great level of dexterity and practical skills, which will need to be upheld.
  • Desire to change people’s lives for the better.
  • Committed to the job and willing to keep learning. Improvements are constantly happening in the industry and professionals need to keep up-to-date.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Able to work as an individual and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work under stressful conditions.
  • Extensive knowledge of the sciences and medicine.
  • Quick thinking.
  • Ability to remain composed during surgeries that can last hours.