Surgery is a medical specialty, so prospective surgeons choose to pursue the field during their residency, after completing medical school. The surgical residency programs at medical schools vary in length and specialty. Because there is no official ranking of surgical programs, prospective surgeons should select programs based on individual preferences such as surgical specialty and location, according to the American College of Surgeons.

Northeastern

Harvard University's unique Program in Global Surgery and Social Change trains surgeons to treat crippling medical conditions in underdeveloped countries around the world. Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons prepares surgeons to be industry leaders committed to providing compassionate care based on the latest in biomedical and clinical technology.

Southern

The Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland trains potential surgeons to use the latest technology and treatment options on cases ranging from routine procedures to rare and complex surgical situations. The School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, also located in Maryland, trains prospective surgeons in neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery and general surgery. Prospective surgeons learn general surgical skills during rotations and then hone their skills during specialty rotations, such as cardiac or pediatric surgery.

Midwestern

The School of Medicine at Southern Illinois University trains prospective surgeons in all areas of surgical medicine during their five-year program. The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Department of Surgery trains doctors in surgical medicine using the latest in research, technology and educational practice.

Western Schools

Stanford University’s orthopaedic surgery and general surgery are some of the school’s most popular majors, according to "U.S. News & World Report." The school’s surgery residency program includes an intense and detailed exploration into several surgical components, including liver transplants, trauma surgery and heart surgery. The University of Colorado School of Medicine's surgery department trains surgical residents in a variety of residency specialties, including plastic and burn surgery, urology, cardiac surgery and transplant surgery.