General surgery is a specialty which encompasses a wide field of practice. It requires both cognitive and procedural skills for treating a broad spectrum of diseases, injuries and deformities. General surgeons are thoroughly trained in the basic sciences and in osteopathic principles. They are competent in the pre-operative and post-operative care of surgical patients as well as in the technical performance of surgery. These principles of general surgery are the basis of all of the surgical subspecialties.
The core areas include surgery of the abdominal wall, alimentary tract, breast, endocrine organs and trauma. In addition, the general surgeon has knowledge and experience in gynecologic, oncologic, orthopedic, pediatric, peripheral vascular, plastic, thoracic and urologic surgery and endoscopic procedures. The general surgeon is also trained and experienced in the management of the critically ill patient with multiple organ system failure including but not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, nutritional support, the management of sepsis and coagulopathies. A comprehensive residency training program is the basis of this definition.
The purpose and objectives of the General Surgery Discipline within the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons are:
- To be the representative organization of the Discipline of General Surgery within the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
- To maintain the quality of residency training and post-graduate continuing education programs in the field of General Surgery;
- To preserve the overall objectives, ideals and functions of the Discipline of General Surgery as defined in the discipline’s bylaws; and
- To maintain and promote the highest moral and ethical standards as well as pursue all charitable and scientific endeavors in the practice of general surgery.