Transplant surgery: a changing specialty
Nick Brook and colleagues explain the merits of transplant surgery as a career specialty and how best to get into it
A career in transplant surgery offers many intellectual and technical challenges. It is life saving surgery that has the potential to offer a high level of job satisfaction. As a discipline it is advancing in step with technological and pharmacological developments which have led to unique opportunities to pursue numerous avenues for clinical and laboratory research.
The scope of transplant surgery includes renal, liver, heart, lung, small bowel, and pancreas transplants, but other areas such as bone, skin, and cornea transplant lie within the remit of their given specialties. Surgeons train in one kind of transplant surgery, although often a liver transplant surgeon will, for example, also be able to perform renal or pancreatic transplant procedures.
There are a large number of transplant centres in the United Kingdom, mostly based in or around large cities. Some deal with transplants of more than one organ type, while others specialise in single