can i be orthopedic surgeon with this vision

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keratoconus

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hello
I have graduated recently from faculty of medicine and i want to be an orthopedic surgeon but
i have keratoconus in my right eye and vision in poor this eye whereas my left eye is normal ,there are treatment for this condition which is corneal graft
but it,s not guaranteed to have good vision in it after the operation ,even if the operation goes well ,it will need long time to be healed ,so is it possible to use one good eye to fulfill my dream and become orthopedic surgeon or there is no chance for me and I have to choose another specialty. i am very worried about this problem and appreciate the answers. thanks
 

ddmo

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If your vision can be corrected to 20/20 then you should be fine. If not, then I would advise you choose another specialty for the benefit of your patients. Just because we want to be something does not always mean we should.
 

keratoconus

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thank you for the answer,
did you mean in the normal eye ,yes the normal eye is 20/20
but the other eye not
 

Jeff Smoker

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If your vision can be corrected to 20/20 then you should be fine. If not, then I would advise you choose another specialty for the benefit of your patients. Just because we want to be something does not always mean we should.

I don't think the above is true. I believe the more important question for the OP is if this condition is of late or early onset. Meaning, how long has he not had any vision in the afflicted eye? If he's had this condition for most of his life, he has most likely adapted to monoscopic vision and should be able to perform surgery. If this condition is late onset, then he may have issues with depth perception.

The only reason I can say this is because I lost sight in my left eye at the age of four. I am currently two months away from finishing my ortho residency. Ask any of my attendings if they think me being blind in one eye has made a difference. I assure you the evaluations of my surgical skills do not bear this out. In fact, when I told one of my attendings in the OR that I was half blind he said "I had no idea, it certainly doesn't seem to affect your ability to operate." I have been able to do spine surgery ( both with the microscope and loupes), hand surgery, etc with no problems.

So, in short OP, the mere fact that you're blind in one eye doesn't automatically disqualify you from doing ortho. However, you (and your attendings/mentors) need to figure out if in your particular case this is an impediment to being a safe, proficient surgeon
 

keratoconus

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thank you very much for the your answer Jeff Smoker
my condition has began about seven years ago
for me i didn,t find any problem in my studying or minor surgery like simple suturing or collection of blood ,but i don,t know if i will find problems in orthopedic surgery.
another question for you , if I apply for the orthopedic surgery, is this any law
or anything will make my application been refused because of this issue
 

augeremt

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I don't think the above is true. I believe the more important question for the OP is if this condition is of late or early onset. Meaning, how long has he not had any vision in the afflicted eye? If he's had this condition for most of his life, he has most likely adapted to monoscopic vision and should be able to perform surgery. If this condition is late onset, then he may have issues with depth perception.

The only reason I can say this is because I lost sight in my left eye at the age of four. I am currently two months away from finishing my ortho residency. Ask any of my attendings if they think me being blind in one eye has made a difference. I assure you the evaluations of my surgical skills do not bear this out. In fact, when I told one of my attendings in the OR that I was half blind he said "I had no idea, it certainly doesn't seem to affect your ability to operate." I have been able to do spine surgery ( both with the microscope and loupes), hand surgery, etc with no problems.

So, in short OP, the mere fact that you're blind in one eye doesn't automatically disqualify you from doing ortho. However, you (and your attendings/mentors) need to figure out if in your particular case this is an impediment to being a safe, proficient surgeon

Thanks so much for this response. Like the OP, I've been wondering the same thing about being in any surgical field but more specifically ortho, so it's reassuring that it is possible to have a career.

How is your depth perception, if you don't mind me asking?
 

Jeff Smoker

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thank you very much for the your answer Jeff Smoker
my condition has began about seven years ago
for me i didn,t find any problem in my studying or minor surgery like simple suturing or collection of blood ,but i don,t know if i will find problems in orthopedic surgery.
another question for you , if I apply for the orthopedic surgery, is this any law
or anything will make my application been refused because of this issue

As far as I know there is no law per se that can stop you from becoming a physician/surgeon if you are blind in one eye. If you have successfully finished a residency, demonstrated technical proficiency, and passed the boards, you can practice.

Thanks so much for this response. Like the OP, I've been wondering the same thing about being in any surgical field but more specifically ortho, so it's reassuring that it is possible to have a career.

How is your depth perception, if you don't mind me asking?

I think my depth perception is "normal." It's obviously not, but this happened when I was four years old. So obviously my brain was plastic enough to adapt. I can drive with no problems, play sports (played a year of semi-pro soccer in Spain), and perform surgery. The thing is, I don't know what normal stereoscopic vision is like, I simply was too young to remember. Once again, cases such as spine, both with loupes and the microscope, hand cases (for example a fasciectomy for DePuytrens), things that require not only finesse but obviously depth perception, posed no problems. It's tough for me to quantify because I never felt I had to overcome a "disadvantage." To my mind, the vision that I have is "normal."
 

augeremt

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I think my depth perception is "normal." It's obviously not, but this happened when I was four years old. So obviously my brain was plastic enough to adapt. I can drive with no problems, play sports (played a year of semi-pro soccer in Spain), and perform surgery. The thing is, I don't know what normal stereoscopic vision is like, I simply was too young to remember. Once again, cases such as spine, both with loupes and the microscope, hand cases (for example a fasciectomy for DePuytrens), things that require not only finesse but obviously depth perception, posed no problems. It's tough for me to quantify because I never felt I had to overcome a "disadvantage." To my mind, the vision that I have is "normal."

Awesome. Thanks!
 
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I am wanting to become a Cardiothoracic Surgeon or a Trauma Surgeon and I am completely blind in my left eye and have been my whole life. It does not make sense to me that being blind in one eye may disqualify you for a surgery residency, yet you can still be an airline pilot if you are blind in one eye. It should NOT disqualify you for being a surgeon since you would kill like 300+ people in an airplane crash when you can only screw up on one person at a time if you are a surgeon. WTF?:boom:
 

The Knife & Gun Club

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