If you have a certain medical condition, the doctor will first recommend less invasive treatments that work as well as surgery. Initially, physicians start with medication therapy, whereby they prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. On other occasions, occupational and physical therapy may be recommended. What if all these remedies do not work? You may be referred to a general surgeon for surgery.

Who is a General Surgeon?

A general surgeon is highly trained to perform surgeries for a wide variety of common diseases. They are also responsible for patient care before, during, and after surgery. Essentially, they spend time in the operating room, intensive care unit, emergency department, and consultation room.

To be a general surgeon, one needs a detailed understanding of all the nine basic units of surgery, which include:

  • Surgical treatment of cancer
  • The digestive tract
  • The blood vessels and heart
  • The skin and soft tissue
  • The abdomen and its contents
  • The head and neck
  • The endocrine system
  • Care of critically ill patients
  • Surgical management of traumatic injuries

Tips for Choosing a General Surgeon

There are thousands of surgeons in the United State; while all of them are highly trained, the quality of their surgical services differs. So, take time to research and choose a reputable general surgeon. You can ask for referrals from friends, your primary care provider, or your health insurer.

Some of the main factors to consider when selecting a surgeon include:


Choose a general surgeon who is trained and licensed to practice. If possible, check the website of the Federation of State Medical Board to see if the surgeon is licensed to practice in your state.


It is always prudent to confirm the surgical certification of a surgeon you are considering. For instance, you can also visit the American Board of Medical Specialties and check certification status.

Experience and Reputation

You should ask the doctor about the number of successful surgeries they have performed in the past. If they have a website or social media pages, visit them, and check customer reviews. Also, check their disciplinary history to ensure no disciplinary action has been taken for this surgeon. 

The Takeaway

Surgery, whether minor or major, is a matter of life and death. Since most surgical errors are caused by incompetence, choose a general surgeon who is highly skilled, competent, experienced, and reputable.

For more information about your surgery, contact a general surgeon in your area.