Surgeons use surgical operations to treat disease, injury, or deformity. They go into the human body by way of incisions through the skin and sometimes muscles to alter, correct, remove, or replace the offending organ or tissue. The various surgical specialists include:

  • General surgeon (including surgery of the abdomen)
  • Thoracic (chest) surgeon
  • Cardiac (heart) surgeon
  • Oral (mouth) surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon (surgery of the nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord)
  • Plastic surgeon (to correct damage caused by injury or to improve appearance)
  • Orthopedic surgeon (to correct disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons)

Surgeons work closely with internists, pathologists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and other specialists.


After the usual four years of medical school, surgeons complete a general surgery internship and a general surgery residency, followed by additional training in their specific field of surgery.

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