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Medical Surgery And Surgical Specialties

Discover the fascinating world of medical surgery and surgical specialties, uncovering the intricate procedures and groundbreaking advancements that shape the future of healthcare.

USMLE Guide: Medical Surgery And Surgical Specialties


This informative guide aims to provide an overview of medical surgery and surgical specialties for students preparing for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). In this article, we will cover key concepts, specialties, and important considerations related to surgical fields.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. General Surgery
  3. Cardiothoracic Surgery
  4. Orthopedic Surgery
  5. Neurosurgery
  6. Ophthalmology
  7. Otolaryngology (ENT)
  8. Plastic Surgery
  9. Urology
  10. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN)
  11. Conclusion

1. General Surgery

General surgery is a surgical specialty that focuses on abdominal organs, including the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines. It also involves surgical procedures related to the breast, skin, and soft tissues. General surgeons commonly perform procedures such as appendectomies, hernia repairs, and cholecystectomies.

2. Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic surgery specializes in surgical procedures involving the heart, lungs, and other organs within the thoracic cavity. Surgeons in this field perform operations like coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), heart valve repair/replacement, lung resections, and heart/lung transplants.

3. Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery focuses on the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Common procedures performed by orthopedic surgeons include joint replacements, fracture repairs, arthroscopy, and spine surgeries.

4. Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery deals with surgical interventions related to the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Neurosurgeons perform procedures such as brain tumor removal, spinal fusion, cerebral aneurysm clipping, and deep brain stimulation for movement disorders.

5. Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology is a specialty focused on surgical and medical management of eye diseases. It involves procedures like cataract surgery, corneal transplants, refractive surgeries (e.g., LASIK), and treatment of eye disorders such as glaucoma and retinal detachments.

6. Otolaryngology (ENT)

Otolaryngology, also known as Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgery, deals with surgical conditions of the head and neck region. ENT surgeons perform procedures such as tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, sinus surgeries, thyroidectomy, and reconstructive surgeries for facial trauma.

7. Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery focuses on reconstructive and aesthetic procedures. Plastic surgeons perform operations like breast reconstruction, facelifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction, and burn reconstruction. This field also encompasses hand surgery and microsurgery.

8. Urology

Urology deals with surgical conditions involving the urinary tract system in both males and females. Urologists perform procedures like kidney stone removal, prostatectomy, bladder surgeries, and treatment of urological cancers such as prostate, bladder, and kidney cancers.

9. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN)

OB-GYN is a surgical specialty focused on women's reproductive health. Surgeons in this field perform procedures like cesarean sections (C-sections), hysterectomies, laparoscopic surgeries for endometriosis, and treatment of gynecological cancers.


Understanding the various surgical specialties is crucial for any aspiring physician. This USMLE guide has provided an overview of different surgical fields, including general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology (ENT), plastic surgery, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN). Further study and clinical exposure will help in developing a comprehensive understanding of these specialties.

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