What's surgery like?
When you hear about surgery do you think of TV dramas like ‘Greys Anatomy’? ‘Holby City’? In reality surgery is not always so glamorous or so dramatic (but is definitely as exciting!)
Surgery is challenging, exciting, varied and hard work and very rewarding. Many surgeons say they enjoy the intellectual challenges of their job and its positive, active approach to the treatment of disease, which is almost unique in medicine. They say that to perform an operation and to see a patient's life improved almost immediately is so satisfying.
A surgeon's life isn't confined to the operating theatre, they will divide their time between several activities including:
- Ward rounds: daily visits to check on the state and progress of each of the patients in their care, liaising with nursing staff and junior doctors
- Operating: working on pre-booked elective operations and/or emergency cases as part of a team which will include other surgeons, anaesthetists, technicians, nurses, administrators all working, together to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
- Out-patient clinics: meeting the patient (and possibly their family) before the operation, to decide the best course of action for their condition, explain procedures and risks, take tests, arrange X-rays etc, and then meeting them again after the operation, to monitor their recovery.
- Administration: as with every job, there’s paperwork to be done!
All surgeons patients are referred to them by General Practioners. For more information about the patients journey please download the 'Patients Journey' handout.
You can hear surgeons talking about their working lives in our careers stories section.