Understanding General Surgery Employment

Published: 03rd August 2009
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General surgery is one of the broader fields of surgery, though it in fact is mostly confined to procedures in the abdominal region, as well as skin conditions and a variety of other commonplace surgeries, such as hernias. Other branches of surgery focus on even more select areas, such as neurosurgery or vascular surgery. However, it is important to note that general surgeons will occasionally perform some procedures that overlap with the various specialties.

Due to the nature of the job, those who are interested in general surgery employment must be thoroughly prepared. General surgery requires a great deal of training and it can be a very stressful job. Before seriously pursuing any kind of general surgery employment, it is critical to understand both the training involved as well as the highly demanding nature of the job.

Like all doctors, general surgeons must successfully complete medical school, which provides students with an in depth understanding of the body and how it functions. From there, those interested in general surgery employment need to embark on an extensive residency. This residency can last between five to six years, providing a wealth of experience in a controlled setting, allowing students to gain expertise while still under supervision. This is important since general surgeons are faced with many decisions on a daily basis, so they must be fully exposed to a range of problems before seeking general surgery employment.

In addition to the training, those interested in general surgery employment need to be fully aware of the daily routine faced by most general surgeons. Most general surgeons work in hospitals, where they often are responsible for performing various surgeries during their work hours. While some of these surgeries are scheduled, some general surgeons also work with emergency rooms. Since general surgeons perform most emergency surgery, some general surgery employment opportunities will require surgeons to perform an operation with little time to prepare in order to save the life of a critically wounded patient.

Because of this, general surgery employment is unpredictable and stressful, sometimes requiring general surgeons to work long hours and to serve time on call. In addition to surgery, general surgeons must follow up with their patients, monitoring their post operative care to ensure that recovery is going according to plan.

It is also important to note that general surgery employment can also be a meaningful stepping stone for those who wish to pursue a more specialized branch of surgery. Many specialties require surgeons to have completed a general surgery background. Therefore having a background in general surgery can only be helpful in advancing any type of surgical career.

Clearly, there are many factors to consider when pursuing general surgery employment. It is important to be well prepared for the extensive training and the sometimes stressful nature of the job. However, for those who do choose to follow through, general surgery employment provides a great opportunity to use skills and knowledge to help others, which can only be gratifying in the end.

To learn more about careers in general surgery visit the general surgeon job page for more information and how to apply for a job.

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