Do back problems preclude a surgical career? What can I do?

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by DrArete, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. DrArete


    Apr 3, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Disclaimer: I am not asking for medical advice, I merely want to see if any residents or attendings out there have either gone through such issues themselves, or had colleagues who have.
    I am currently very early in the process, I am a non trad student (31 yrs old, male 6'3") at a post bac program.
    My first love in medicine and my dream, has been surgery.
    However, I have some back issues.
    Beginning at about age 23 or 24, I had several episodes of lumbar strain, where I experienced a great deal of stiffness and pain, and restricted mobility for a week or two, and then it went away. In 2008 I had an MRI that confirmed an L5 S1 herniation, and some small anular tears in other discs.
    Then a couple months ago, I injured my back, experienced lumbar strain, except it didnt get better after 2 weeks and instead morphed into some severe sciatic pain.
    2 months later, and it has started to finally get gradually better, although I'm still unable to run or walk long distances or exercise.
    I am now wondering about my future, and if my history means I should find another passion or get out of medicine.
    A friend who just finished a rads residency told me I should look for a different field. A semi retired family friend who is an ortho said otherwise.

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