The role of a surgeon is a complex one. A variety of skills and abilities in a different array of performance tasks is required before he can be competent in his job. As such, there is no simple rule of thumb that can be used to assess a surgeon’s performance. As performance assessment and appraisal become increasingly important both for manpower decisions and personal development, it is important that we recognise the different roles a surgeon plays. Only then are we able to subdivide a surgeon’s job demands into small manageable portions for analysis. This paper examines the multi-faceted aspects of a surgeon’s job, and how each facet should be individually assessed and appraised.