You’ve probably heard of neurosurgeons, cosmetic surgeons, and orthopedic surgeons, just to name a few. General surgery is one of the highest-paying medical disciplines a doctor may undertake.
However, despite the phrase “generic,” general surgery is really a medical speciality that spans a wide range of subspecialties. Choosing between a career in a specific field of surgery or in general surgery has its advantages and disadvantages.
Distinctiveness comes down to the difference between concentrating on surgical knowledge’s breadth vs its depth.
What Does It Mean to Be a Surgeon?
A patient’s medical condition can be treated using surgical procedures in any surgical speciality. Making incisions, scraping or abrading tissues and stapling incisions are all examples of surgical methods that may be used.
Anesthesia is used to numb patients during surgery so that they don’t feel any discomfort throughout the process. Surgical operations may now be conducted with tiny incisions, endoscopic procedures using catheters that are put into the body through natural holes, and even laser procedures.
When a patient suffers a severe injury or has their appendix burst, surgery may be performed on an emergency basis or planned weeks in advance. Outpatient ambulatory surgery centers (OSCs) and even doctors’ offices may undertake various treatments that are less intrusive and pose less risks than traditional hospital surgeries.
For a variety of reasons, surgeons carry out surgical treatments and operations, from restoring damage to organs and bones to eliminating malignant tumors and growths. Biopsies, for example, are used for diagnosis, while many other operations are used to treat disease.
General Surgery is a broad specialty
What makes general surgery “general” is the surgeon’s ability to operate on a wide range of bodily parts and systems. To a large extent, the American College of Surgeons says, general surgery may be used to treat any part of the body.
If you’re looking for an experienced general surgeon, you’ll want to go no farther than a doctor who specializes in treating a wide range of conditions in all regions of the human body.
General surgeons conduct a wide range of surgical procedures, despite the title “surgeon” suggesting otherwise. In reality, general surgeons are in charge of all aspects of patient care after surgery, including diagnosis, treatment planning, and preoperative care.
As a general surgeon, you may also be in charge of providing comprehensive care and management for severely ill or injured patients, however there are other experts who specialize in acute care and trauma surgery.
To be an expert in such a wide range of body parts necessitates a substantial amount of medical training and expertise. The American College of Surgeons claimed that although general surgery may not appear to be as “specialized” as other surgical specialities of medicine, new doctors spend a minimum of five years in training merely to become general surgeons.
Other than general surgery, there are 14 other types of surgical specialties. These include pediatric and plastic surgery as well as ophthalmology and eye surgery, as well as neurological and cardiovascular surgery.
Other types of surgical specialties include vascular surgery, orthopedics, and cardiothoracic surgery.
Ways to Advance Your General Surgery Career
Specialization in medicine has numerous advantages, but it also has drawbacks. Because of the breadth of their practice, a general surgeon is more likely to be exposed to different types of procedures than an orthopedic surgeon or plastic surgeon is.
Despite the fact that surgeons in more specialized fields have more in-depth training and expertise in a narrower field of medicine, general surgeons are more adept at treating a wide range of medical disorders.
Nevertheless, it is not necessary to choose between specialization and generalization. In general surgery, there are several subspecialties that allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time.
In comparison to general surgeons, those who specialize in a surgical specialty obtain a greater knowledge base and a more in-depth understanding of their chosen field than those who do not.
There are several subspecialties to choose from following your residency, such as minimally-invasive and minimally invasive breast surgeries and colorectal surgeries and hand surgeries as well as transplant and critical care surgeries and minimally invasive cancer surgeries.
During a fellowship in breast surgery, general surgeons learn all aspects of breast surgery, including imaging, pathology, reconstructive surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.
As part of their training, general surgeons can gain expertise in cardiothoracic surgery, including the use of ventricular support devices and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). A fellowship in hand surgery will assist a general surgeon become a more successful hand surgeon.
General surgeons who wish to help their patients heal more quickly could consider a minimally invasive surgery fellowship. A pediatric surgery fellowship might be useful for general surgeons who desire to work with children.
In order to treat critically sick patients following any form of surgical surgery, a surgical critical care fellowship will teach you how to do so. A vascular surgery fellowship is the best option for general surgeons who wish to specialize in the circulatory system.