Orthopedic Surgery: Is It For You?

The career prospects as an orthopedic surgeon are promising, and the demand for this type of expertise outstrips supply.

Orthopedics is the highest-paying medical specialty, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report of 2019.

Although you can work in different areas in orthopedics, including sports medicine, nursing, and pediatrics, surgeons are in high demand, as they are the ones treating individuals affected by musculoskeletal injuries and disorders through surgery.

If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, here are the pros and cons of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

The Upside

Being a surgeon has plenty of advantages. It is flexible, allowing you to treat patients with musculoskeletal system injuries with surgical or non-surgical means.

For example, osteoporosis is one of the most common bone diseases, with around 200 million people living with debilitating and painful conditions.

Medication, exercise, diet, and therapy are some of the treatment methods for osteoporosis that do not involve surgery, and researchers are now looking towards effective long-term therapy through SARMs.

However, minimally invasive surgical procedures can also be performed if osteoporotic fractures are involved.

Therefore, as a surgeon, you have a variety of areas to cover, from treating dislocations and fractures to working with pulled muscles and arthritis.

The subjects are interesting and exciting, offering a wider scope for different specialisms such as bone tumors and club foot.

Having a career that gives you a diverse range of options is never boring and offers opportunities for improvement.

In addition, you can work in several settings, including a public hospital or your own private clinic.

Plus, you can elect to teach in colleges or universities, or do research as an orthopedic physician.

As a surgeon, you can also earn good money, with successful practitioners earning an average of over $400,000 a year.

Remuneration can go as high as over $600,000 per annum, according to salary.com.

The Downside

You need to have a pre-medical bachelor’s degree plus four years of med school.

After graduation from medical school, you must go through a surgical residency, which will take five years to complete.

The residency period will teach you several surgical techniques under the supervision of an experienced surgeon.

After residency, you must pass the written exam of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery to get your certification.

Furthermore, you must go through an oral examination after 22 months of practice.

If you pass both oral and written exams, only then you will be board-certified.

There is a long road ahead before you can become an orthopedic surgeon.

It will take years of hard work and commitment, which is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Your education will also cost a lot of money.

Moreover, as a surgeon, you are expected to work long hours if performing surgeries.

Becoming an orthopedic surgeon has its pros and cons.

It offers plenty of exciting prospects given the wide scope to do both surgical and non-surgical work.

The average pay is high, offering you a comfortable way of living.

However, it is time-consuming and costs a lot of money.

But, if you’re in it for the long haul, the career of an orthopedic surgeon is remarkable.

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