If you’re interested in pursuing a career in surgery, there are many specialties to choose from. From general surgery to critical care surgery, the field offers a variety of options for medical professionals. In this article, we’ll provide a description of the 14 surgical specialties, the types of surgeries each specialty performs, and how the American University of Antigua College of Medicine (AUAMED) can help you achieve your career goals in surgery.

The Types of Surgical Specialties

Surgery is a medical field that involves the use of operative techniques to treat and manage a wide range of conditions and diseases. Within the field of surgery, there are many different types of surgical professions, each with its own area of expertise and unique set of skills. Here is an overview of each of these specialties.

General Surgeon

General surgery is a medical specialty that involves performing surgical procedures on various organs of the body. General surgeons are trained to perform a wide range of surgeries, including but not limited to, gastrointestinal surgery, breast surgery, vascular surgery, and hernia surgery. They may also treat conditions such as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, and thyroid problems. General surgeons work closely with other medical professionals to provide comprehensive care for their patients before, during, and after surgery.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Cardiothoracic surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the heart, lungs, and other organs in the chest cavity. They perform a variety of cardiothoracic surgery procedures, ranging from minimally invasive to complex open-heart surgeries, such as coronary artery bypass grafting, valve replacement, and heart transplantations. Cardiothoracic surgeons may also treat conditions that affect the lungs, esophagus, and chest wall. Their work is crucial in maintaining the overall health and well-being of their patients, and they often work as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Colon and Rectal Surgeon

Colon and rectal surgeons treat various diseases and conditions related to the colon, rectum, and anus. Their expertise covers a wide range of gastrointestinal problems, including inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These surgeons use various surgical techniques, such as colonoscopies, hemorrhoidectomies, and colorectal cancer resections, to treat patients with these conditions. They perform other abdominal surgical procedures as needed.

Critical Care Surgeon

Critical care surgeons care for critically ill patients, both before and after surgery. They work closely with other healthcare professionals to manage complex cases that require immediate attention, such as patients who have undergone trauma surgery or those with life-threatening conditions.

These surgeons are skilled in providing comprehensive care to their patients, including resuscitation, ventilation, and the management of complications. They are often called upon to make quick, informed decisions that can have a significant impact on a patient’s outcome, and their expertise is crucial in saving lives and improving patient outcomes.


Neurosurgery deals with the treatment of complex conditions affecting the brain, spine, and nervous system. These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, disease, and degenerative disorders.

Neurosurgeons use advanced surgical techniques to perform intricate procedures, such as spinal surgery, that improve the quality of life for their patients. They work closely with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care, and often incorporate cutting-edge technology to achieve the best possible outcomes. Neurosurgery is a challenging and rewarding specialty that requires extensive training and expertise to master.

Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

Obstetrics and Gynecology, or OB/GYN, is a surgical specialty that focuses on the care of women’s reproductive health. OB/GYNs are trained to provide medical and surgical treatment for conditions affecting the female reproductive system, including pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the uterus, ovaries, and breasts. 

This specialty requires a strong foundation in medicine, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills. If you’re interested in helping women with their reproductive health, then obstetrics and gynecology may be a fulfilling and rewarding career for you.


An ophthalmologist is a physician who has expertise in the medical and surgical care of the eyes. They diagnose and treat a wide range of eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, using the latest surgical techniques and technologies. 

Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic surgery is a medical field that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Orthopedic surgery is employed to treat patients with a wide range of conditions, from fractures and sports injuries to arthritis and spinal disorders. This specialty requires a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology, as well as excellent surgical skills.

Otolaryngologist (ENT)

Otolaryngology, also known as Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgery, is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the head and neck. ENT surgeons use a variety of surgical and non-surgical techniques to treat a wide range of conditions, from hearing loss and balance disorders to sinus and throat disorders.

Pediatric Surgeon

Pediatric surgery is a medical field concerned with the surgical treatment of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric surgeons treat a variety of conditions in children, including congenital anomalies, trauma, and tumors. 

Pediatric surgery requires a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology, as well as excellent surgical skills and a deep commitment to providing compassionate care to young patients and their families. If you are interested in working with children and providing life-changing surgical care, pediatric surgery may be the right choice for you.

Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgery is a specialized medical field that focuses on improving or modifying the physical appearance of the body through surgical procedures. Plastic surgeons restore, reconstruct and alter different parts of the body, including the face, breasts, and limbs, using both surgical and non-surgical techniques.

Reconstructive surgery is a subspecialty of plastic surgery that focuses on repairing and restoring function to the body after trauma, cancer, or other medical conditions. Plastic surgery requires a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology, as well as excellent surgical skills and an eye for physical details. If you are interested in a surgical specialty that combines science with aesthetics, plastic surgery may be the right choice for you.

Surgical Oncologist

Surgical oncology is an area of medicine that involves the surgical treatment of cancer. Surgical oncologists remove tumors and surrounding tissue to manage the growth and spread of cancer. They work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, to provide comprehensive cancer care to their patients.


A urologist is a medical professional who diagnoses, treats, and manages conditions related to the urinary tract and male reproductive system. They are experts in the field of urology, which covers a wide range of issues including kidney stones, bladder infections, prostate cancer, and infertility.

Urologists perform surgeries such as prostatectomies, nephrectomies, and cystectomies, as well as less invasive procedures such as cystoscopies and urethral dilation. Their role is crucial in maintaining the overall health and well-being of their patients by providing expert medical care and advice.

Vascular Surgeon

Vascular surgery is a field of medicine focused on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the circulatory system, including arteries and veins. Vascular surgeons are trained to manage a wide range of conditions, from varicose veins and peripheral artery disease to more complex conditions such as aortic aneurysms and carotid artery disease. A vascular surgeon will use a variety of techniques, including minimally invasive endovascular procedures and traditional open surgeries, to restore and improve blood flow throughout the body.

Finding Your Fit: Choosing the Right Surgical Specialty for Your Career Success and Satisfaction with AUAMED

The world of surgery is vast and diverse, with 14 different surgical specialties to choose from. Each specialty has its own unique focus, surgical procedures, education and training requirements, and career prospects. It is essential to take the time to carefully consider each specialty and determine which one is the best fit for you based on your interests, skills, and goals.

At AUAMED, we understand the importance of choosing the right surgical specialty and the impact it can have on your future career. We offer a comprehensive medical education that prepares our students to excel in their chosen specialties, including surgical specialties. As a Caribbean medical school with experienced faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and hands-on clinical training, AUAMED provides a top-quality education that will prepare you for success in your surgical career.Whether you aspire to become a general surgeon, trauma surgeon, or any of the other 12 surgical specialties, AUAMED can help you achieve your career goals in surgery. Take the first step towards your surgical career today by contacting AUAMED for more information.