Telesurgeons are physicians who operate on their patients from a remote site. Unlike computer-assisted surgery, where surgeons direct operations from a computer console a few feet from the patient and can see what they're doing in real time, a telesurgeon's patient could be in a hospital across town, in another city or even in another country. The first completely remote surgery -- a gallbladder removal performed from New York City on a patient in France -- was done in 2001 [source: Sherk].
Although telesurgery isn't yet common in 2014, hopes are high for the future. When systems are perfected and economically feasible, telesurgeons may be treating injured soldiers on or near battlefields, for example, or astronauts in space. Telesurgery will also be a great boon for those living in rural areas or developing countries, where skilled surgeons are in short supply [source: Sherk]. Considering becoming a telesurgeon? Keep in mind your competition will be global. Surgeons from countries around the world will be able to bid on surgeries, since location will no longer matter. Hopefully, that will translate into more competent, highly skilled physicians [source: Polland].