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The wide-ranging skills and knowledge of the surgeon will always be in demand, whether or not the surgeon has a subspecialty. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for physician and surgeons is expected to grow by 4 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations, through 2029. The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the surgical field, adding more challenges and stress to the profession, including staffing issues. Until the pandemic comes to an end, many elective surgeries have been restricted and surgical staff are working according to new protocols to minimize risk of infection. Surgeons will continue to be needed to care for critically ill patients. Going forward, industry experts predict a shortage of general surgeons in the coming years as more students enter nonsurgical specialties, such as anesthesiology and radiology, which require less intensive training. Also, more surgeons will be required to meet medical needs of the growing and aging population. Those who specialize in such areas as cardiology and radiology will be in demand as the older population has increased risk of heart disease and cancer.

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