Orthopaedic surgery although often compared to carpentry, is a speciality with a good variety of work, a large practical component and with an ageing population is only becoming more relevant. It is a career that offers the technical demands of a rapidly progressing speciality with high levels of job satisfaction and options for academic work.
 
PERSONALITY
 
  • Very physical and intellectually skilful

  • Good spatial awareness

  • Thinks rationally under pressure

  • Confident and driven

 
AVERAGE WEEK
 
On average a trauma and orthopaedic consultant will have a varied week with fracture and elective clinic sessions, trauma and elective surgical lists, on-call duties as well as administrative and teaching and research commitments.
 
BEST BITS
 
  • Largely practical speciality with a direct approach to surgery.

  • Performing an operation which will vastly improve the mobility and therefore the functionality of a patient can be very rewarding.

  • Often options for private work.

  • Get to use great toys.

 

CHALLENGES
 
  • Operations can take much longer than you expected which will often delay getting home.

  • Highly competitive speciality.

  • On-call commitments can be exhausting.

WHAT THE FACT?
 
  • Around 70,000-75,000 hip fractures occur in the UK each year.

  • The oldest person in the world to have a hip replacement was a 101-year-old lady who was treated at Good Hope Hospital in the West Midlands. More than 89,000 hip replacement operations were carried out in 2006-07.

  • Hugh Owen Thomas, a Welsh surgeon is responsible for numerous inventions, methods and tests that carry his name including the 'Thomas splint' that could stabilise a fractured femur and prevent infection, 'Thomas's collar' to treat tuberculosis of the cervical spine, 'Thomas's manoeuvre', an investigation for fracture of the hip joint, 'Thomas test', a method of detecting hip deformity and the 'Thomas's wrench' for reducing fractures.

 

OVERVIEW
 
Salary                         5
 
Competitive                5
 
Variety in Work           4
 
Work Life Balance      3
 
 
FURTHER INFO
 
The Vascular Society
NHS Medical Careers
British Orthopaedic Trainees Association

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