General surgery doctors correct physical deformities, perform preventative surgeries, repair tissue and bone, and treat various other diseases and injuries. A majority of surgeons choose to specialize in a specific area, such as orthopedic, cardiovascular, neurological and reconstructive surgery. There are also a number of subspecialties on which general surgeons can focus.
Some of the more basic tasks a surgeon might perform include recording a patient's medical history, looking over test results, ordering tests, recommending treatment plans and speaking with patients about hygiene and nutrition to help them better take care of their health. General surgery doctors also work alongside registered nurses, medical assistants, other surgeons and health information technicians.
Before becoming a general surgeon, a person must first earn an undergraduate degree, finish four years of medical school, and complete anywhere between three and eight years of residency and internship programs. While an undergraduate degree focus in any subject is acceptable to apply to medical school, the applicant must have an education background in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics and English. Depending on the medical school, a student might be able to complete an undergraduate program and a medical school program within six to seven years. Medical school applications require letters of recommendation, MCAT scores and transcripts.