In medicine, a surgeon is a person who performs surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves cutting of a body, whether human or other organism. Surgeons may be physicians, dentists, or veterinarians who specialize in surgery.
In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand most attending or consultant surgeons are distinguished from physicians by being referred to as "Mister," "Mrs", "Ms" or "Miss." This tradition has its origins in the 18th century, when surgeons were barber-surgeons and did not have a degree (or indeed any formal qualification), unlike physicians, who were doctors with a university medical degree.
By the beginning of the 19th century, surgeons had obtained high status, and in 1800, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) in London began to offer surgeons a formal status via RCS membership. The title Mister became a badge of honour, and today after someone graduates from medical school with the degrees MBBS or MB ChB, (or variants thereof) in these countries they are called "Doctor" until they are able, after at least four years training, to obtain a surgical qualification: formerly Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and now Member of the Royal College of Surgeons or a number of other diplomas, they are given the honour of being allowed to revert back to calling themselves Mister, Miss, Mrs or Ms in the course of their professional practice, but this time the meaning is different. Patients in the UK may assume that the change of title implies Consultant status (and some mistakenly think non-surgical consultants are Mr too), but the length of postgraduate medical training outside North America is such that a Mr (etc) may be years away from obtaining such a post: many doctors used to obtain these qualifications in the Senior House Officer grade, and remain in that grade when they began subspecialty training. By contrast, North American physicians and surgeons are always addressed as "Doctor."
- Sushruta (known as "father of surgery", inventor of plastic surgery)
- Charles Kellman (invented phacoemulsification, the technique of modern cataract surgery)
- William Stewart Halsted (initiated surgical residency training in U.S., pioneer in many fields)
- Alfred Blalock (first modern day successful open heart surgery in 1944)
- C. Walton Lillehei (labeled "Father of modern day open heart surgery")
- Christiaan Barnard (cardiac surgery, first heart transplantation)
- Walter Freeman (psychiatrist: deviser/proponent of the office lobotomy)
- John Hunter (Scottish, viewed as the father of modern surgery, performed hundreds of dissections, served as the model for Dr. Jekyll.)
- Sir Victor Horsley (neurosurgery)
- Lars Leksell (neurosurgery, inventor of radiosurgery)
- Joseph Lister (discoverer of surgical sepsis, Listerine named in his honour)
- Harvey Cushing (pioneer of brain surgery)
- Lall Sawh (Trinidadian Urologist, pioneer of Kidney transplant surgery and early proponent of Viagra usage)
- Joseph Pancoast - 19th century American surgeon
- Norman Bethune - Canadian thoracic surgeon and humanitarian, early proponent of universal health care and inventor of the first practical mobile blood transport unit.
- Gavril Ilizarov - Russian orthopedic surgeon who developed a procedure to lengthen limb bones.
- Svyatoslav Fyodorov - Russian ophthalmologist, eye microsurgeon, creator of radial keratotomy.
- Gazi Yasargil - Turkish neurosurgeon, honored as the Neurosurgeon of the Century in 1999 by the Journal of Neurosurgery
- Professor (Dr) Rama Kant - honoured with International World Health Organization (WHO) Award in the year 2005 has pioneering innovations in cardiothoracic surgery, and heads Surgery Department at King George's Medical University
- Surgeons Net Educational Site
- An On-Line Surgery Journal Club (via JournalReview.org)
- American Surgical Association
- Unmanned robot surgeon
- The Imperial College London Surgical Society
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