General surgery covers a wide area of surgical practice ranging from abdominal and gastro-intestinal surgery through vascular and endocrine to breast surgery. Training aims to ensure there is exposure many of these but will focus on one or two areas as training progresses.
The range of surgical procedures is undertaken by general surgeons is very wide, though there has been increasing specialization in consultant practice with individuals increasingly focusing on one of the areas outlined in the Training Programme. Surgeons who are involved in emergency care will have the challenge of managing patients with a diverse range of conditions including trauma patients and need to maintain a range of skills to deliver care in this aspect of their work. There are opportunities to focus on both in-patient and daycase care and many gastrointestinal surgeons undertake endoscopy both as a diagnostic and a therapeutic tool. Increasing vascular surgeons are delivering care under radiological control as they with other general surgeons move to minimally invasive approaches, something which provides the modern General Surgeon with the opportunity to innovate.