Heart Surgeons

Researched by Ben M.

Research Summary

Basic definition
Surgery has been one of the biggest jobs in medicine since it first started. Cardiology, pronounced kahr dee AHL uh jee, is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart. Doctors who specialize in cardiology are called cardiologists. Cardiologists who perform surgery are called heart surgeons.

In 1749 surgery became a medical specialty. Although the number of surgeons was small a long time ago it has grown since.

Heart surgeons use many kinds of tools. Some use lasers for surgery, but most use sharp cutting tools to cut off bad or diseased parts of the heart. When they’re done with surgery they use a needle and thread to sew the patient up. During surgery they use clamps to control bleeding. 

Good and Bad Aspects
Surgeons work under a lot of pressure. If they mess up their patient can die. Being a surgeon requires standing for a long time, maybe overnight.  On the other hand, most heart surgeons get lots of time off of work. They make a very good salary. 
If the surgeons are going to do surgery they must wash their hands extremely well before and also after surgery because they might spread a disease.

To be licensed the student must have graduated from medical school and finished 1-7 years of residency. 

To be a heart surgeon you must have a high school diploma and good grades. You must also have a college 4- year Bachelors degree and very very good grades. You would have to take the MCAT test with a very good score. You would then go to medical school for 4 years to get an M.D. You must be a resident in surgery and cardiology for 4-6 years after medical school.

If you want to be a heart surgeon there are 144 different U.S. medical schools to choose from. Physicians attend labs and classes for the first years of medical school. The rest of the years they go to hospitals to help patients.

The number of heart surgeons is getting smaller. If there are too few physicians left then people will die easier if they have heart problems.

When a heart surgeon has several years of experience, he or she can get paid $275,000 per year.

An interview of Dr. Snyder

I interviewed Dr. Snyder and I learned a lot of things I learned that heart surgery has been going on for a long time and that the heart surgeons help many people in the U.S.A. The heart surgeon is very helpful. They help people so they don’t die. If there were no more heart surgeons there would be a lot less people in the United States of America. I also learned that the heart surgeon uses many tools. I learned that you go to school for many years and they make a very good salary. But they have to work many hours maybe all night. The scary thing about that job is the patient could die when having surgery done. The good thing is you could get whenever you wanted off but could get called in for work. This is what I learned on my interview with Dr. Snyder. 


Bureau of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2002-03 Edition, “Physicians and Surgeons”, on the Internet www.bls .gov 

Crosgrove Holi, “Heart Surgery, Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocation Guidance, 2000.

Crosgrove Holi, “Heart Surgery, Career Discovery Encyclopedia, 2000

Heart Surgeon. Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe. 2001.CD-ROM. Microsoft Corporation.

Waller, Bruce. M.D. “Cardiology.” The World Book Encyclopedia. 2002.


Top of page

Menu of 2004 SOAR Projects

Back to the Selah Homepage