Who is a General Surgeon?

The Path to Becoming a General Surgeon

Becoming a general surgeon is a journey that demands dedication and rigorous training. The path typically involves the following steps:

  1. Undergraduate Education: Aspiring general surgeons complete a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as biology or pre-medical studies.
  2. Medical School: Following undergraduate education, they attend medical school to earn either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree.
  3. Residency Training: After medical school, general surgeons undertake a residency program in general surgery, which typically spans five to seven years. During this period, they gain hands-on experience in various surgical procedures, under the guidance of experienced surgeons.
  4. Board Certification: To practice as a general surgeon, individuals must become board-certified. This involves passing rigorous exams and meeting specific requirements set by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) or equivalent boards in other countries.
  5. Optional Fellowships: Some general surgeons choose to pursue fellowship training in specialized areas such as trauma surgery, vascular surgery, or minimally invasive surgery.

Areas of Expertise

General surgeons are proficient γενικός χειρούργος in a wide range of surgical procedures, including:

1. Appendectomy

Removal of the appendix, often performed in cases of appendicitis.

2. Hernia Repair

Surgical correction of hernias, including inguinal, umbilical, and hiatal hernias.

3. Gallbladder Surgery

Removal of the gallbladder, frequently done due to gallstones or gallbladder disease.

4. Colorectal Surgery

Treatment of conditions involving the colon, rectum, and anus, such as colorectal cancer and diverticulitis.

5. Breast Surgery

Biopsies, lumpectomies, and mastectomies for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

6. Endocrine Surgery

Surgery involving the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands to address conditions like hyperthyroidism and hormonal imbalances.

7. Trauma Surgery

Immediate surgical intervention to treat traumatic injuries, such as gunshot wounds or car accidents.

8. Minimally Invasive Surgery

Using advanced techniques and technology to perform surgeries through small incisions, resulting in shorter recovery times.

Advanced Surgical Techniques

General surgeons stay at the forefront of medical advancements and frequently use advanced techniques, including:

  • Laparoscopy: Minimally invasive surgery using small incisions and a camera-equipped scope.
  • Robotic Surgery: Utilizing robotic-assisted systems for precise and minimally invasive procedures.
  • Endoscopy: Inserting a flexible tube with a camera to diagnose and treat conditions inside the body.
  • Laser Surgery: Employing laser technology for precision and reduced tissue damage.


General surgeons are essential pillars of the healthcare system, offering expertise in a broad range of surgical procedures. Their dedication to improving patient lives, commitment to continuous learning, and ability to adapt to cutting-edge technology make them indispensable members of the medical community. Whether it’s a routine surgery or a life-saving operation, general surgeons play a pivotal role in maintaining and restoring the health of countless individuals.