What is General Surgery?
Chances are either you or someone you know has been referred to a general surgeon to treat a medical condition. When this happens, general surgery instruments are used to assist the surgeon throughout the procedure. Not only do surgeons who perform general surgery treat a vast array of ailments, they are also responsible for caring for their patients before, during, and after surgery. All surgeons start their training in general surgery and then go on to specialize if they wish.
What is Included in General Surgery?
As part of a surgeon’s general surgery training, they work with the following parts of the body:
- Alimentary tract (esophagus and related organs)
- Abdomen and its contents
- Breast, skin and soft tissue
- Endocrine system
In addition to being able to confidently perform these procedures, surgeons are also expected to have knowledge and experience in the following:
- Surgical critical care
- Surgical oncology
General surgeons are highly skilled and well-versed in various procedures. Some of the most common procedures general surgeons perform treat abdominal complaints, such as appendicitis, hernias, gallbladder, stomach, and intestinal issues. General surgeons may also perform surgeries related to cancer or burns.
Why Become a General Surgeon?
Because general surgeons training covers such a wide array of procedures, many may wonder why people decide to become a general surgeon? While some surgeons will elect to further their education and specialize in specific procedures not covered by general surgery, many enjoy the variety.
Training as a Surgeon
The road to becoming a surgeon is a long and challenging one. In order to become a general surgeon, medical students must first apply to and be accepted into a surgical residency program. Surgical residency begins with the “intern year” and is followed by at least four additional years of surgical training.
As part of training, general surgeons are required to complete 48 weeks of full-time clinical activity. Other than general surgery, students may not allocate more than 12 months to a surgical specialty. Following the intern year and four subsequent years of training, a surgeon is then fully trained in general surgery and can then decide to either practice general surgery or pursue a surgical specialty with several more years of training.
General surgery is the foundation on which all other surgical specialties are based on. Learning how to effectively utilize general surgery instruments is critical to success in any surgical specialty.