As medicine adapts to the 21st century, new specialties arise.
General surgery is seeing two new fields emerge. One is “Acute Care Surgery,” which encompasses three facets of general surgery — emergency surgery, critical care and trauma care. The other is the concept of a surgical hospitalist. That is, a surgeon works only in a hospital and has no office or private practice. The idea is similar to the medical hospitalist movement, which has existed for several years now.
The changes in surgery are in response to a number of forces. General surgeons are becoming increasingly more focused, especially in areas such as advanced laparoscopic surgery, bariatric (obesity) surgery, endovascular surgery and breast surgery. With these areas of concentration comes decreasing interest in taking emergency call, which interferes with elective cases and office practice. In addition, a concentration on something like breast surgery leads to diminished experience and skills in treating gunshot wound and bowel obstructions.