Best Medical Schools for Trauma Surgery

August 17

Table of Contents

Surgery is one of the toughest specializations in medicine. It requires high concentration, dedication, patience, and endurance.

There are many sub-specializations in surgery; one is trauma surgery. Trauma surgery is the most intense and highly critical as it demands quick action and intervention because you are dealing with critical and heavily injured patients most of the time. 

If you decide to pursue being a surgeon, you need to be mentally and physically ready, as it will undoubtedly take a toll on you. It can be exhausting and draining to handle such stressful tasks.

This article lists the best medical schools offering trauma surgery programs to help you prepare and hone your skills, if you choose to proceed with this profession.

What is Surgery? 

One of the branches of medicine is surgery, which focuses on treating injuries, deformities, diagnosing diseases, and other medical conditions. 

In addition, it primarily concerns the use of physical operations and instruments in providing treatment rather than prescribing medications such as drugs. 

Surgery includes cutting, abrading, suturing, other manual and operative procedures in the physical body. 

There are 14 surgical specialties are acknowledged by the American College of Surgeons (ACS):

It also includes neurological surgery, ophthalmic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, urology, and vascular surgery.

The person performing surgery is called a surgeon, who is highly trained and licensed to do the procedure. Surgeons are knowledgeable medical professionals skilled in conducting an operation. 

Below are the 14 types of surgeons:

  • General surgeon
  • Colon and rectal surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Critical care surgeon
  • Gynecologic surgeon
  • Ophthalmic surgeon
  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Otolaryngologist (ENT)
  • Pediatric surgeon
  • Plastic surgeon
  • Surgical oncologist
  • Thoracic surgeon
  • Urologist
  • Vascular surgeon

Aside from these, there are other surgical specialties are recognized and approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). It includes hand surgery, sports medicine, pediatric orthopedics, spine surgery, joint replacement, trauma surgery, and more.

What is a Trauma Surgery? 

Trauma surgery is another specialization in surgery that deals with treating and caring for traumatic injuries from severe or critical settings and other life-threatening cases. 

Usually, these injuries result from severe impacts, such as vehicular accidents, crashes, falls, gunshots, stabbing, and other high-risked physical injuries.

Traumatic bodily injuries are highly dangerous and need immediate care since they can result in systemic shock, and vital organs can stop functioning, which may lead to death.

What is a Trauma Surgeon? 

Trauma surgeons specialize in different areas such as anatomy, physiology, metabolism, immunology, pathology, wound healing, shock and resuscitation, and intensive care. 

Trauma surgeons are trained to handle these kinds of severe injuries. They are also fully knowledgeable and skilled in identifying different traumatic injuries from the head, neck, abdominal area, chest, legs, arms, hands, and other body parts.

Moreover, these medical professionals are licensed and experienced to evaluate quickly, diagnose, and stabilize patients who suffered a traumatic injury. 

They can determine which procedure to do depending on the injuries' severity. Trauma surgeons must operate on the individual if the injuries are critical and save one’s life. 

Below are some common traumatic injuries treated by trauma surgeons:

  • Spine fractures and spinal cord injury
  • Sudden amputation
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Crush injury
  • Acoustic trauma
  • Broken or dislocated jaw
  • Concussion
  • Skull fracture
  • Severe bone fractures
  • Severe cuts and puncture wounds

Furthermore, most traumatic injuries suffered by patients often involve the brain, spine, chest, abdomen, and extremities. 

Trauma surgeons usually respond to emergencies; however, they are not generally present in emergency rooms, but they are called if patients need immediate surgeries to prevent further complications and damages.

How Much Do Trauma Surgeons Earn?

The average salary of trauma surgeons in the USA is around USD 428,548, while the starting salary is USD 321,753. Those with more experience can earn up to USD 582,058.

Trauma Surgeons in the UK can earn an average salary of GBP 83,652. Senior trauma surgeons with a considerable number of years in the field can receive as much as GBP 294,000.  

The average annual salary for this medical profession in Australia is AUD 476,107. The entry-level professional can earn around AUD 310,490, and those with more experience can expect a salary of around AUD 658,336

Trauma surgeons based in Canada can earn an average annual salary of CAD 388,673. While an entry-level wage is around CAD 253,059 to CAD 300,00, and the salary for senior surgeons can reach CAD 536,565 yearly. 

In India, trauma surgeons earn an average of up to INR 37,48,624 annually. Senior surgeons can receive an annual salary of around INR 52,54,827, while the average salary for an entry-level position is INR 24,78,326

Summary Table: Average Salary Rate of Trauma Surgeons in Different Countries


Average Salary Rate

United States

USD 428,584

United Kingdom

GBP 83,652


CAD 388,673


INR 37,48,624

USD 428,584

AUD 476,107

What are the Best Medical Schools for Trauma Surgery?

Choosing the best medical school for your specialization in medicine is essential for the success of your medical career. 

Keep in mind that we want to get into educational institutions that provide their students with the best quality education system. 

It is also good to consider the tuition fee of these medical schools if you have a budget and research scholarships for their residency programs. 

It is also important to note the curriculum of the specialization you want to enroll in and how it is different from other medical schools. 

Many good medical schools offer great residency programs for trauma surgery. We have listed some of the top-performing medical schools with this specialization.

Harvard University 

Harvard was founded in 1636 and is among the top universities as a part of the Ivy League Schools. It has three main campuses: Cambridge, Allston, and Boston. 

The institution’s School of Medicine is also recognized worldwide and is located on its Boston campus. It offers advanced medical courses in its Medical (M.D.) programs, Ph.D. programs, postgraduate medical education, and master’s degree programs in Medicine.

Why Study Trauma Surgery at Harvard?

The institution is the number 1 medical school in the USA to study surgery. It offers an extensive curriculum for surgery residency and clerkship. It fosters active learning and critical thinking, which is vital in a clinical experience.

The program focuses on essential medical knowledge, patient care, clinical skills, communication skills, professionalism, and independent learning skills. 

It also emphasizes performing a physical examination, diagnosing techniques and procedures, recognizing surgical treatments, and assessing the situation's urgency.

Educational Institution

Harvard University

Trauma Surgery Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:

  • 5%

Tuition Fee:

  • USD 66,284

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

  • 519 to 520 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:

  • 3.9

Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered: 

  • Medical Student Emergency Aid Fund
  • Internal-Offered By Harvard Medical School (HMS)
    • Dean’s REACH Scholarship Award Program
    • General Restricted Scholarships
    •  Resident Tutor Policy
    • MD-PhD Funding
  • Private Scholarships Coordination with Harvard Medical School (HMS)
    • Joseph Collins Foundation Scholarship
    • National Medical Fellowships (NMF)
    • F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Programs (AFHP SP)
    • Veterans Affairs Health Professions Scholarship Programs (VAHP SP)
    • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program
  • Loans 
    • Institutional
      • Harvard Medical School Revolving Loan (HMSRL)
      • HMS Wolfson Loan
    • Federal Direct Loans
      • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
      • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
      • Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
    • Private Loans
      • Massachusetts Medical Society Loan
      • Harvard University Private Loans for Graduate and Professional Students
      • Residency Loans
  • Research/Work
    • Harvard Medical School (HMS) Research Fellowships
    • Federal Work-Study (FWS)
    • London Society/Health Science Technology (HST) Program
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) and Military Benefits
    • Post 9/11 GI Bill
    • Yellow Ribbon Program
    • Veteran Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31)
    • Chapter 30, Chapter 1606& DEA
    • Housing & Book Allowances

Johns Hopkins University

John Hopkins University is located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. It was established on February 22, 1876. It is also ranked #9 in Best Global Universities, and the university is among the sought-after schools in the world. 

Moreover, the university is well-known for its School of Medicine, which fosters an excellent medical learning environment for its students. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine  is located on its East Baltimore Campus.

Why Study Trauma Surgery at Johns Hopkins?

Trauma surgery at Johns Hopkins University belongs in the Surgical Sciences Department. 

The department is highly dedicated to giving its residents the best learning experience, applying scientific principles and clinical competence, and learning the basic medical principles essential in practice. 

They also have an excellent set of faculty members specializing in trauma surgery, general emergency surgery, critical surgical care, elective general surgery, trauma systems, and surgical research.

Educational Institution

Johns Hopkins University

Trauma Surgery Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:

  • 11%

Tuition Fee:

  • USD 58,000

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

  • 521 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:

  • 3.94

Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered: 

Duke University 

Duke University is among the highly recognized educational institutions in Durham, North Carolina, and it was established in 1838

Duke University was referred to by the student as the Gothic Wonderland because of the architectural designs of one of its campuses. 

Moreover, this institution is known for its School of Medicine, founded in 1930. It is also acknowledged because of its inclusive environment allowing diverse experiences for its learners

Why Study Trauma Surgery at Duke University?

Its trauma surgery program offers world-class training and a comprehensive curriculum for its residents. It offers diverse clinical training settings for all and excellent fellowship programs. 

Moreover, Duke University School of Medicine is highly dedicated and focuses on teaching and mentoring its residents with the best clinical and academic approach. All are exposed to various operative surgery procedures and real-life scenarios. 

Graduates from Duke are all highly competitive in the field as they are fully equipped and knowledgeable about this specialization.

Educational Institution

Duke University

Trauma Surgery Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:

  • 8%

Tuition Fee:

  • USD 63,310

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

  • 519 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:

  • 3.4

Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered:

  • Internal Scholarships
    • Barr-Spach Medicine and Engineering Scholarship
    • Basic Science Research Track Scholarship for MHS Degree
    • Donald B. Hackel Fellowship in Cardiovascular Pathology
    • Dr. Bernard J. Carroll Research Scholarship in Pyschiatry
    • Duke CTSA Pre-Doctoral Scholarship
    • Duke Global Health Institute
    • Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) Clinical Research and Innovation Scholarship
    • Duke Physician Scientist  Institutional Award (BWF) Research Fellowship for Medical Students
    • Duke-Singapore Student Scholar Fellowship
    • Eugene A. Stead Student Research Scholarships
    • Eva J. Salber Award
    • Gynecologic Cancer Research Fellowship
    • Margolis Scholars in Medicine
    • Michael R. Nathan Memorial Fund Award
    • Pointdexter Award
    • R. Randall Bollinger Surgical Scholarship
    • Snyderman/Moore Scholars in Health Care
  • Some External Scholarships
    • American Society of Hematology - Physician-Scientist Career Development Award
    • The Fogarty Global Health Fellowship
    • Gertrude B. Elion Award
    • Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS)
    • National Institute of Health (NIH) Medical Scholars Program
    • Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation

University of Pennsylvania 

The University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1740, is part of the Ivy League Schools. It is also one of the most well-known educational institutions in the world. 

It is also known for its School of Medicine, among its other graduate programs. 

It is also affiliated with Penn Medicine, a world-class academic medical center and ranked as the #1 hospital in Pennsylvania.

Why Study Trauma Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania?

The university’s School of Medicine, the Perelman School of Medicine, is ranked #4 in its Surgery Program at a national level. 

The medical school’s Department of Surgery, specializing in trauma surgery, is dedicated to giving its residents the best critical training programs. It also provides a long-standing tradition of excellent curricula tailored to the needs of its students. 

The department emphasizes advanced surgical care and maximizes its residents' learning experiences through its clinical and academic programs. They also offer intensive emergency, surgical, trauma, and critical care training.

University of Pittsburgh 

The University of Pittsburgh is a public educational institution established in 1787 by Hugh Henry Brackenridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Its School of Medicine is commonly known as Pitt Med and is widely recognized as a top medical school in the country. It is also known to provide outstanding medical and research programs. 

Moreover, Pitt Med also offers clinical innovation that helps advance medicine and human health. Its residents' educational program revolves around interdisciplinary instruction with cutting-edge techniques and technology.

Why Study Trauma Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh?

Pitt Med consists of 31 departments, including surgery. The department aims to provide excellent clinical care with its impressive research and educational programs. 

They take pride in their groundbreaking translational research with their affiliate research institutes, including The Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

The Department of Surgery and the Department of Critical Care Medicine of Pitt Med is acknowledged and accredited by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.

Educational Institution

University of Pittsburgh

Trauma Surgery Program/Institution Ranking:

Acceptance rate:

  • 6.02%

Tuition Fee:

  • USD 59,126

Average MCAT Score Requirement:

  • 504 to 525 Points

Average GPA Score Requirement:

  • 3.75

Financial Aid/Scholarships Offered:

Stanford University

Stanford University is a private research educational institution in Stanford, California. It is among the largest universities in the United States, which consists of seven schools on one campus.

Stanford University School of Medicine was formerly part of the Medical Department of the University of Pacific in 1858. It was acquired by Stanford University and was later called Cooper Medical College.

Why Study Trauma Surgery at Stanford University?

The university’s Department of Surgery is a pioneer in the research, surgical care programs, and an excellent surgical training environment. 

They are devoted to developing their residents' medical skills and learning compassion and patient care. 

The department also focuses on giving high-standard curriculum and coaching sessions that hone communication skills, which is essential in this specialization. They also have professional and well-respected faculty members.

Summary Table: Best Medical Schools for Trauma Surgery

Additional Reading – Best Medical Schools:

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