BEFORE PICKING THE SCALPEL OR DRILL, before choosing surgery

surgeons during surgery
surgeons during surgery, the ‘butchers’ who save lives. source: Google

Have you ever thought of life after medical school?
If yes, do you wish to proceed as a Surgeon, Start a hospital, seek employment or even move out of the medical field entirely????
If you want to proceed as a surgeon, CONGRATULATIONS!! But here are some real facts you want to know about surgery.


Surgery according to Wikipedia “is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of body parts, whether that of a human or other animal for a specific reason such as removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage”.

The phrase “CUTTING OF BODY PARTS” in this definition has earned Surgery practitioners the nick BUTCHERS. YES, SURGEONS are BUTCHERS; but a single outsized distinguishing factor is that A SURGEON SAVES LIVE.

Asking a lay man the above question might simply earn you the definition “A surgeon is a Surgery practitioner”. Technically this definition scores a pass mark. But WHO IS REALLY A SURGEON?? A surgeon is not just anybody that practices Surgery; a surgeon encompasses a personality WILLING and CAPABLE of saving lives.

Listed below are some characteristics a surgeon should possess:
• A surgeon must be COMPASSIONATE
• A surgeon should have leadership ability; because surgeons govern the Operating Room (even if it lasts for just hours). The ability of a surgeon to co-ordinate the nurses/interns scrubbing in on a Surgery might either SAVE or TERMINATE a life
• A surgeon should have the Triple C’s qualities i.e Cool, Calm and Collected.
• Surgeons are duty bound to be able to stabilize themselves during emergencies and complications that may arise during surgery.
• Surgeons should be PATIENT with their PATIENTS and try to listen to every bit of word they have to say concerning their health


One or more of these attributes missing? Lacking any of these qualities at this stage shouldn’t be an obstacle to your decision as wanting to be a surgeon. No one is an Island of perfection, and besides these qualities would be imbibed in you during the residency programme.


An intriguing feature of surgeons is that; the joy of every surgeon is not only to be known for solving medical mysteries but also the power in picking the scalpel or drill and slice a fellow human open. The sight of the liver, the beating heart, blood filled arteries, nerves, brain and all internal organs seem to be fulfilling to surgeons.


Life as a surgeon is not as trouble-free as it sounds. It is tasking, demanding and requires a great deal of absolute commitment and discipline. Committed surgeons across the world hardly have time for their personal or social life; if they are not in the [SKIPPED WORDS] OR, they are trying to solve medical mysteries in their field. Another obligation as a Surgeon is to save lives, anywhere, anytime even if it costs you world bounties.


According to Dr. Karen Sibert’s in New York Times he said “If having a work-life balance is important to you then don’t become a doctor. You can’t have it all, medical education is a privilege, not an entitlement, and it confers a real moral obligation to serve”.


A bitter truth about being a surgeon is that “it is almost impossible for an average African woman to maintain her career as a Surgeon and at the same time maintain her home”. Many broken homes have been noticed to arise from this fact. Sounds discouraging? Yes!! But another truth is that with this fact known, a wise surgeon would draw out a plan on how to maintain both her home and career as a Surgeon with one causing little or no significant hindrance to the other.


Choosing a specialization in surgery is more or less passion driven. There are lots of specialization in the medical field as a surgeon, depending on what one is passionate about. Below is a list of some of them:

Cardiologists: Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases or conditions of the heart and blood vessels – the cardiovascular system. This aspect of surgery is a bit complex so it has some subspecialties.

Oncologists: An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating people with cancer. There are three main types of oncologists which are medical, surgical and radiation oncologists. These different types of oncologists often work to treat a patient with cancer. Read more on Cancer On the Medigist Blog>>>

General surgeons: General surgeons are one of the largest surgical specialties. General surgeons are more common than any other surgical speciality except obstetrics and gynecology. General surgeons performs virtually all surgeries on organs or body system ranging from gall bladder removals, tumour excisions, gastric bypass surgery to hysterectomy.

Neurosurgeons: Neurosurgeons are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the Central and Peripheral Nervous System (Brain and Spinal Cord).

Plastic surgeons: These are surgeons concerned with the “correction” or restoration of form and function of external body parts. Plastic surgery procedures may include: breast enhancement, reduction and lift, face lift as well as tummy tuck.

Gynecologists: Gynecologists are also known as obstetricians. These are surgeons/specialists who provide medical and surgical care to women and have particular expertise in pregnancy, childbirth and disorders of the reproductive system.

Pediatrics: Pediatrics is the branch of medicine dealing with the health and medical care of infants, children and adolescents from birth up to the age of 18.

Trauma surgeon: This is a very challenging and interesting field in medicine. It involves the immediate response to patients who are under shock/trauma. Trauma surgeons must be able to think hurriedly even under stressful conditions and possess dexterity in order to operate efficiently.

So, before you decide to pick the Scalpel to slice a flesh or the drill to open a skull, remember that your hands wield the Power to either SAVE or TERMINATE a life. Choose your specialization in surgery Wisely!!!!!

Written By: Adebisi Abdulsamad Oladimeji, medical student at the College Of Medicine, University Of Lagos, CMUL, MEDILAG< LUTH, Idi Araba. AKA PrinceGent, He is a member of Team Medigist and a regular contributor to the Medigist Journal. You can read all of his informative, educative and inspiring posts by clicking here>>>


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Let’s hear from you, what do you think of the qualities and life of a surgeon, which specialization of surgery appeals more to you, share your views in the comment box.


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Joshua says:

    hmmn Nyc 1 I think I lyk Trauma surgery…the one under Oral and Maxillofacial surgery to be specific. God help us all!!!!


  2. Informative post by Princegent about surgery. I never knew this much. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve not made up my mind yet on a specialization, still have a long way to go before making that choice

    Ophthalmology used to interest me as a child, thanks to the many I used to visit. After reading Dr. Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands and Think Big, and see the movie too, neurosurgery looked like a big deal to me, and I love challenges.

    Right now, Gynecology seems to be an in-thing sort of and I’m getting interested, especially in In vitro fertilization, IVF (I’m actually writing an article on it).

    But like I said, I’m yet to decide. Passion, money, emergency rates in the specialty, and the Will of God would be my deciding factors.


  3. Princegent says:

    Am.also nt sure….buh wud prefer cardiothoracic or neurosurgery!!! Time wud tell sha


  4. salt says:

    I gat no preference since I have a superficial knowledge of medicine for now. All I know is dat I ave been given wisdom in all manner of workmanship. God willing!

    @clemency I am feelin ur deciding factors esp MONEY and d will of God.


    1. Well said Salt “Wisdom in all manner of workmanship…”

      Money gats dey o! Man must wack but the emergency rate is also important. As much as I want to serve humanity, I won’t like doing it in the middle of the night.


  5. Chukwudubem says:

    Wow!!!! Really nice…“If having a work-life balance is important to you then don’t become a doctor. Very powerful statement, a little bit scary…no time at all na wa….thank u samad God help us all

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Proto G says:

    Hmm nice article….still undecided tho abt a specialization. But I dey eye dat neurosurgery oo let watch and see aw it goes sha.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oyeleye Oluwagbemiga says:

    Lovely post from Samad, mehn surgery no be beans ooo.


  8. sally says:

    I so love dis post, one of d most thrilling facts abt surgery is lukin like a demi god, usin our hands 2 save lives nd finkin we shud b able 2 save all d lives brought 2 our table whereas we can’t, we r nt God.. M goin for cardiothoracic tho! My luv 4 hrt


    1. Sally, that god like feel abi?


  9. CHINAGOROM says:

    Hmmmmmm, don’t really know yet.

    but as at now, loving gynacos, cadiologists, trauma n general surgery.
    But i dont think i can say yes to plastic n oncology. Especially d former


  10. ktoriia says:

    Really nice and informative post Samad! Everyone, keep an open mind and let God lead you to that specialty that’s just right for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fierceglowrrie says:

    Cardio is my thing… General too is good. But Cardio just calls on me. But God knows best. Hopefully, we both want me in Cardio. I’ll go wherever he leads.


    1. Really informative, an eye opener on the different fields of surgery. Every medical student should read this


  12. oxladee24 says:

    yh nice writee up


  13. Beautifully Spelt out and expressed. Very helpful


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