32 years of full time work to START my Botox – Acupuncture – Surgeon career

How long does it take to become a doctor?

Quick answer:  For me it took me about 32 years of full time work to become a Surgeon / Acupuncturist / Cosmetic Physician.

I am a Board Certified General Surgeon with a past trauma career who assists in plastic surgeries and spinal cord stimulator / spinal pain pump surgeries.  I am also an Acupuncturist who injects Botox as an extension of Acupuncture.  Many of my Botox point selections are related Acupuncture points for migraine headaches and wrinkle prevention.  40% of my clinical time is spent at work is spent on Acupuncture, and 50% of my time is spent with cosmetic injections for Botox, Fillers, and Veins, and 10% of my time is spent assisting in surgeries.   In a usual clinic day, It is common for me to use 250 units of Botox, 7 syringes of dermal fillers, and see about 6 acupuncture patients.  Outside of my clinical time, I also spend a great deal of time as an administrator of Surgical Artistry – the combined medical office for myself and my wife, Dr. Tammy Wu, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

While discussing “life” with another surgeon friend. I sort of wondered why a chunk of my life seemed to be missing; I never caught on with today’s technology (I don’t have a TV or smart phone – yet as of 4/26/15). We calculated how many hours went into my training to become a surgeon/acupuncturist/Botox injector after high school. We came to the conclusion that for me it was roughly 58,000 hours! That’s more than 32 years at a full time job to do what I do as a surgeon/acupuncturist. Yikes – who does stuff like that?? (I guess I did).

Hours spent becoming a doctor.
Hours spent becoming a doctor in the USA.  This cut-off graphic doesn’t take into account fellowships and research time.  Please see the links below for more detail.


I did not make this really nice graphic above.

I just found this online which shows that most doctors spend 20 years in full-time work hours to do what they do. I was coincidentally calculating how many hours of formal training it took me to become a Surgeon/Acupuncturist/Botox injector: My conclusion is 32 years at a full time job (58,000) hours. Here’s the website source of the graphic: http://www.bestmedicaldegrees.com/salary-of-doctors/ (warning – it might depress some doctors)

The data for the info seems to come from this webpage: https://benbrownmd.wordpress.com/

Please visit my Modesto Botox home page.

Modesto Surgeons at work
My wife and I work together. Dr. Tammy Wu is wearing the splash guard over her glasses – smart!