General surgeons are trained to manage a broad spectrum of diseases and injuries almost any area of the body which requires surgery. These physicians are involved in diagnosis, preoperative, operative and postoperative care. They are usually responsible for the comprehensive management of trauma and critical patients. Although its scope is broad, general surgery usually involves the abdomen, breasts, peripheral vasculature, skin and neck. General surgeons today in the United States only rarely perform complex neurologic, orthopaedic, thoracic or urologic procedures.
Training consists of a minimum of five years of postgraduate education in general surgery training in a ACGME-accredited general surgery residency training program (this training is reduced to four years for those pursuing some fellowships). There are 242 general surgery residency training programs accredited by the ACGME for 2012/2013 offering more than 1,100 categorical positions for general surgery residency training available to U.S. seniors.
General surgery residency training programs participate in the NRMP. Match results through the NRMP and competitiveness information for general surgery residency training positions are summarized in the U.S. Match Statistics table below.
|US Match Statistics||2013||2012||2011||2010|
|# Categorical/ Advanced positions available for U.S. Seniors||1185||1146||1108||1077|
|% U.S. Seniors matched*||89||91||85||84|
|# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions||5||3||1||2|
|# Unmatched U.S. seniors||86||71||141||150|
Source: NRMP *Competitiveness is based on the percentage of U.S. seniors who match in each specialty.
Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of general surgery residency training program is available in general vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, hand surgery, critical care surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered and length of training is available in the GMED. Further information can be obtained from the American Medical Association and the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access page.
American Medical Association (AMA)
FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.
4-5 years of residency
Categorical and advanced positions available
|Breast Surgery||1 year|
|Cardiothoracic Surgery||2-3 years|
|Colorectal Surgery||1 year|
|Critical Care Medicine||1-2 years|
|Hand Surgery||1 year|
|Minimally Invasive Surgery||1 year|
|Pediatric Surgery||1-2 years|
|Surgical Critical Care||1 year|
|Surgical Oncology||1-2 years|
|Transplant Surgery||1-2 years|
|Vascular Surgery||1-2 years|
|Median, Academic Salary||$339,000|
|Median, Clinical Salary||$353,000|