Vascular Surgery involves managing patients require surgery, treatment, or support relating to the health of their veins or ateries. Whilst being surgeons, vascular specialists spend a great deal of time meeting with patients, discussing alternatives to surgery.
The Royal Society of Medicine offers a range of events for different surgical specialties, including Vascular Surgery – see a full list on our Events page>>
Entry Route into Vascular Surgery
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme before they are eligible to apply for the two years of Core Surgical Training (CT1-2). This core training allows trainees to work in a variety of surgical specialties, but requires them to complete the MRCS examinations.
After completing Core Surgical Training, applicants must then apply for ST3 posts to progress.
Job Progression as a Vascular Surgeon
Higher Speciality Training in Vascular Surgery takes at least six years to complete (ST3-8), and trainees develop an area of special interest such as superficial venous disease or aortic aneurismal disease as part of their specialty training. At ST3 level you will need at least 24 months’ experience in surgery (not including foundation modules). Trainees must demonstrate six months’ experience in General Surgery and or Vascular Surgery including emergency admissions. Up to four months critical care experience may be counted if included in a formal surgical training programme.
During your ST3-7 training you will be employed as a specialty trainee. At the end of this training you can then apply for consultant posts. However, before you can do this you must pass the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination (FRCS).
There are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic Vascular Surgery Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for Vascular Surgery Roles
The competition ratio for Core Surgical Training was 2.56, with 1,608 applications for 629 posts.
In December 2017, there were
- 168 consultants,
- 3 associate specialists,
- 10 speciality doctors,
- 2 staff grades,
- 82 speciality registrars,
- 23 core trainees,
- 7 F2 trainees, and
- 46 F1 trainees.
Salaries in Vascular Surgery
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, and from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors. Consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of a Vascular Surgeon
Vascular Surgery is a very new speciality, breaking away from General Surgery in 2012, before which it was a subspeciality. Lots of the conditions vascular surgeons encounter can be treated without invasive procedures, and they will often perform a more preventative role – advising on healthy lifestyle choices – before performing surgical or radiological procedures. When performing procedures, vascular surgeons will often perform angioplasties, and stent insertions. They will also treat aneurysms, critical limb ischemia, venous disease, carotid artery disease, and lymphoedema. On-call work can be frequent and often involves lengthy surgeries that are high priority.