General Surgeons Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 6/8/2020
SIC Codes: 8011
NAICS Codes: 621111
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from General Surgeons Industry Profile

Practitioners in this industry use surgical techniques to diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders. No major companies dominate the industry.

An estimated 1.1 million surgeons worldwide perform more than 300 million major procedures each year, according to the World Health Organization. Low-income countries have less than 1 surgical professional per 100,000 people, compared with about 57 surgeons per 100,000 people in high-income countries.

About 30,000 general surgeons practice in the US, according to the American Board of Surgery.


Demand is driven primarily by population growth and rates of critical illness and injury. The profitability of individual practices depends mainly on expertise and reputation. Larger practices may enjoy economies of scale in administration and equipment purchasing. Smaller practices can compete successfully by specializing.

In local markets, surgeons primarily compete with one another. Medical tourism is a fast-growing competitive threat: because surgery costs are high, patients are increasingly traveling to foreign countries for procedures that cost a fraction of US prices. General surgeons who specialize in elective procedures such as dermatology or ophthalmology may experience decreased demand for services during economic downturns. During the COVID-19 pandemic, elective procedures were halted as governments enacted shelter-in-place regulations.


A general surgeon can provide care for a broad spectrum of conditions affecting most areas of the body. Surgeons perform operations, consult with patients on preventive care, and conduct diagnostic tests. General surgeons conduct vascular, pediatric, trauma, digestive, ...

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