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What are the top benefits and/or challenges of being an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Did you do any jobs during college and university related to your career? What training is involved and what is the hardest part? What is the working environment like?

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Bhavna’s Answer

Benefits:
• Very high salary potential
• Social prestige
• Well-respected among peers
• Variety of different areas of focus
• High job security
• Interesting and rewarding work

Challenges:
• Long hours and on-call required
• High level of responsibility
• High degree of stress
• Expensive malpractice insurance
• Heavy physical strain from surgery

I did not do any jobs related to Orthopedic Surgery during college and university.

The training involved in becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon is extensive, starting with pre-med courses and earning an MD or DO degree, followed by an accredited orthopedic residency program and a fellowship for a more specialized area. The hardest part of the training is the residency which requires dedication, hard work, and long hours of study and hands-on experience.

The working environment of an Orthopedic Surgeon is fast-paced, with a high level of responsibility and stress. You must be able to work both independently and with a team, quickly making decisions on the best course of action for each patient. The long hours and on-call requirements can also be tough. Although you are compensated well, taking care of patients' health is a heavy burden.
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Garrett’s Answer

Being an orthopaedic surgeon allows you the opportunity to help people who have an injury or inability to function as they would like in their life and get them back to being active and enjoying whatever it is they like to do. I have worked with athletes from the professional level down to high school and just your normal everyday person but no matter who they are the primary goal is always the same. Restore function so they can return to doing what their passions are. Not to mention, it's very rewarding and you have the opportunity to put concepts of mechanical engineering and geometry combined with instruments like drills, mallets and hardware into use to restore function to the human body.

During college, I focused on doing well in my courses and becoming involved in college and neighborhood activities so I would be as well-rounded as possible for the application process. PAL, Habitat for Humanity, college sports, fraternities and sororities, and being an ambassador for my university were all things I did.

The training can be long (4 years of college, 4 years of med school, 5 years of residency including internship and one or more of fellowship if you so choose) but doing my residency in Miami with 29 other like-minded residents made the work environment fun. I loved going to the hospital every morning because I was working with some of my best friends who are still my best friends today. Once you finish and are in practice that camaraderie remains and you have the opportunity to work and have fun with some of the most amazing people. From nurses to OR staff to PAs and NP's it's a very collaborative field and anything but malignant.

Nothing really can compare to following a patient on their journey from injury to return to level of functioning whch makes this field and medicine in general very satisfying.
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