According to the data, ortho actually seems to have a pretty good lifestyle, in spite of what people on SDN say

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Mar 13, 2020
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First, the lifestyle of private practice attendings: according to this 2018 survey by the AAOS, private practice attending orthopods work an average of 52 hours per week. For surgeons under 40, the average is 54 hours per week. Not too bad. Additionally, the standard deviation is 11 hours, meaning there are plenty of attendings working ~40 hours a week. Hardly the "brutal hustling to establish yourself" that you hear surgeons on here say you should expect fresh out of residency. Call is often discussed as being a huge negative as well. I haven't found any good data on this, but talking to the big private practice in my large metro area, none of the non trauma attendings take any overnight call. They just have PAs handle all that. Plenty of 2 days clinic 2 days OR jobs out there as well. Sounds pretty cushy to me

Additionally, residency doesn't seem so bad either. According to FRIEDA, ortho residents work 67 hours per week on average. Only 6 hours more per week than IM. Not so awful either.

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Depends. I'm in private practice and I hustled hard before we had kids. I took 200 days of call from my partners. Took home an extra $200k because of it and established my practice early.

I work hard but do get done earlier in the day with efficiency. That depends on your skill and the facility you operate at. 8 cases by 12? Or 6 cases by 5?

Do you want to make $500k or $2m in practice income? That'll determine how much you work.

As for residency hours, I under reported my hours every week for 5 years. If you're not in the hospital or scrubbing cases, you're not learning.
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Ortho Residency - 100hrs/week, blue collar county trauma (nobody reports their true hours to avoid ACGME sanctions)
Joints Fellowship - 50hrs/week, 4 days of OR a week, 1/2 day clinic
Attendinghood - 50hrs/week, 3 days OR a week, 1 day clinic, 1 day off

Ortho isn't a lifestyle speciality by any means but the hours gets significantly better by attendinghood. OR days are mentally and physically exhausting. 100's of decisions, increased heart rate, respiration rate and mental stress scores demonstrated in multiple studies so it isn't a cake walk by any means. Stress and patient phone calls for complications start landing in your inbox rather than your attendings.

100% would do it again and love what I do. But I even loved residency and I think 7 out of the 10 people in my class hated it.
Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.

Don't choose ortho if you want a life style speciality is my advice. People who had that expectation going in were sorely disappointed.
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