General surgery, despite the name, is actually a surgical specialty. General surgeons not only perform surgeries for a wide range of common ailments, but are also responsible for patient care before, during, and after surgery. All surgeons must start their training in general surgery; many then go on to focus on another specialty.
According to the American Board of Surgery, general surgeons are trained to operate on the:
Alimentary Tract (esophagus and related organs)
Abdomen and its Contents
Breast, Skin, and Soft Tissue