DeadCactus

SDN Lifetime Donor
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2006
2,601
684
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Orthopedic surgery is one of the fields fighting for the top of my specialty list. My concern is that I really can't see being happy in most of the sub-specialties. I think I'd enjoy doing surgeries in just about any of the sub-specialties, but the specialty seems less appealing if keeping that wide-breadth is not viable.

Is it still reasonable to be a general orthopedic surgeon or has the knowledge base simply increased to the point where sub-specialization is practically required?
 

skiz knot

Legendary Dr. X
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2004
1,441
19
Somewhere in the middle
Status
Orthopedic surgery is one of the fields fighting for the top of my specialty list. My concern is that I really can't see being happy in most of the sub-specialties. I think I'd enjoy doing surgeries in just about any of the sub-specialties, but the specialty seems less appealing if keeping that wide-breadth is not viable.

Is it still reasonable to be a general orthopedic surgeon or has the knowledge base simply increased to the point where sub-specialization is practically required?
It is definitely still possible to be a general adult orthopaedic surgeon without subspecialty training. Your training will definitely encompass scopes, trauma, joints, etc... You might not be doing spine, finger replants, pelvic osteotomies, and sarcoma work, but there is still plenty of bread and butter "rotary cup" tears, hip/wrist/ankle fractures, meniscus tears, ACLs, and joint replacements to fill up your day.

You might not get a job at the big academic center or in the premier group in the big city, but there are plenty of jobs out there for you.
 

VincentAdultman

Senior Member
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2005
1,726
2,476
37
New York
Status
Attending Physician
Orthopedic surgery is one of the fields fighting for the top of my specialty list. My concern is that I really can't see being happy in most of the sub-specialties. I think I'd enjoy doing surgeries in just about any of the sub-specialties, but the specialty seems less appealing if keeping that wide-breadth is not viable.

Is it still reasonable to be a general orthopedic surgeon or has the knowledge base simply increased to the point where sub-specialization is practically required?
Just because you do a subspecialty fellowship doen't mean the scope of your practice HAS to be limited to that field.

i.e. If I do a joint fellowship I can still do hip/distal radius fxrs, carpal tunnels, basic scopes, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BurntFlower

ddmo

BMF
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2003
1,027
4
Visit site
Status
General is still alive and well. In fact, it actually pays higher than many of the subspecialties. The one downside is that typically you have to be in a more rural setting or practice in a smaller hospital.
 

Mr. Freeze

Not right. (in the head)
10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2005
1,355
2
You don't know where I've been...
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Knowledge base? It's just carpentry, right?

General ortho is anything but "not viable". Keep in mind that you won't come right out of fellowship performing ONLY those procedures in which you now are more versed. You will most likely still be taking some trauma call, and until you can build your practice you do still have to keep the lights on somehow.

Like mentioned above, there is an opportunity cost associated with doing a fellowship that may or may not be recouped or might take an uncomfortable amount of time to do so.

I don't know exactly what type of practice I will have, but you can bet your ass it will be across town from a county academic level 1 trauma center, because we seem to get a lot of people told to follow up at one. Maximal resident benefit :thumbup:
 
OP
D

DeadCactus

SDN Lifetime Donor
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2006
2,601
684
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the answers, everyone.

If you do a fellowship and then work in a major academic center, do you still have the opportunity to do general ortho surgeries or will you be expected to stick to your area of sub-specialization?

I guess it's a silly question since someone has to be doing the general cases and fellowship training is the norm (I think) rather than the exception in that setting...