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Salary for Ortho Vs. Neuro SPINE

Discussion in 'Orthopaedic Surgery' started by Maybach, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Maybach

    Maybach New Member
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    I was just wondering what the salary, hours difference for an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine is vs. a neuro in the same field? Also, what are the hours difference, and how hard is it to get a job in these different surgery specialties? The Orthopedic has a 5 yr residency whereas a neuro has + 1 year fellowship in spine for both cases. Thanks for any input!
     
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  3. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member
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    Income and hours depend on the surgeon, area, and nature of practice. Generalizations aren’t very informative. For a given practicing spine surgeon, there is very little difference in these things if they are neurosurgery-trained vs. orthopaedic surgery trained. Getting a job is usually very easy. Geography and income may not be ideal, but employment opportunities are available in every area of the US.

    One thing to consider is that many neuro-spine surgeons do not do a fellowship. There is a lot of spine training in neurosurgery residencies and most graduating neurosurgery residents feel comfortable with most spine. This is not the case for orthopaedic residents. Orthopaedic spine surgeons almost all are fellowship-trained. Some ortho-spine surgeons do complex deformity (and pediatrics depending on the fellowship). This is less common among neurosurgery spine surgeons.

    Hope this helps,
     
  4. dry dre

    dry dre All hat, no cattle
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    This is program and individual dependent.

    My institution has both ortho and neurosurg programs. I'd generalize that we (ortho) do more of the complicated work (including peds/congenital) whereas the NSG folks do most of the degenerative. We share trauma equally.

    Frankly, I don't think either of our programs sufficiently train us for "most spine" and I doubt many do. Accordingly, many go on to fellowship. Maybe the extended-year neuro programs makes those folks less interested in an additional year of fellowhip. Besides, the few spine neurosurg guys that I know all have done a fellowship (same with ortho spine guys). In short, if you want to be a spine surgeon, I'd plan on a fellowship.

    And by the way, for all those interested in spine for the $$$, you need to spend two consecutive days in an outpatient spine clinic before asking many questions regarding spine.
     
  5. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member
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    I know a lot of neurosurgeons that do most of what constitutes a community spine practice without having done a spine fellowship. All of the neurosurgery residents at my institution who are planning on doing community NS after finishing will do simple degenerative spine. This includes ACDFs, lumbar laminectomies, microdiscectomies, etc. Yes--it's mostly degenerative cases, but that's what most of spine surgery is. This is very common--it may not be the case at the tertiary care center that you are at, but I assure you that in the community, neurosurgeons are doing spine left-and-right without fellowships.

    As far as complex deformity, extensive hardware, management of pseudarthroses and other complicated spinal cases, I only know of the ortho guys doing this, but everywhere I've been, the orthopaedics service has been the stronger spine service and did all of the complex cases.

    I've never met a neurosurgeon who knew anything about scoliosis surgery. Deformity is just not their thing.

    I still hold that if you do a neurosurgery residency, you can go out and do most community spine cases. You may want to strangle yourself after doing all the clinic it takes to get 3 cases booked, but you can do it.
     
  6. nzdavid

    nzdavid New Member

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    just a theory...

    all things equal, suppose the NS will get paid more because the majority of their cases are less time consuming than complex orthopaedic deformity cases and therefore they can work through more cases?
     
  7. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member
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    No.

    Spine cases are billed by complexity, levels of fusion, approach, grafting, hardware and more. There are different ICD-9 codes for different procedures and modifiers, hardware, grafting, etc. A more complex case gets billed differently/more and reimbursement is different/more.
     
  8. JAYR

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    hey ppl im barely going to start college this feb....and im still not sure what to major in..... IM THINKING NEURO OR ORTHO...CAN ANY ONE GIVE ME AN OPPINION ON WHICH CAREER THEY RECOMEND I SHOULD GO FOR AND WHY...... THANKS ALOT.... :thumbup:
     
  9. discontinuebed

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    They have an academic advisor at this imaginary college?
     
  10. VoiceofReason

    VoiceofReason all i care about is money
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    lol
     
  11. travoltage

    travoltage Crank up the travoltage!
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    1. take an English class to improve your spelling
    2. talk to you counselor and declare a "real" major
     
  12. BusterDO

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    how do you "barely start college"?

    this is one of the funniest posts i've ever read
     
  13. acbyrd

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    college or medical school? Either way, you don't major in a surgical specialty while in school. You need to get competitive grades and get through your first 3 years of medical school before you worry about that bro.
     
  14. Tenesma

    Tenesma Senior Member
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    if you know you want to do spine then for lifestyle purposes it is best to go the Orthopedic route --- as a neurosurgeon (even if you primarily do spine work) you will have to take neurosurgery call (which means middle of the night craniotomies) very often... as an orthopod you may have to take trauma call but if there are enough orthopods in the area your call will be diluted...

    pay is the same for spine...
     
  15. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.
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    That kind of depends on where you are. In England, where people get the MBBS, you can get a BS in ortho or peds, like 2 of my friends did. The one who did her BS in peds went into peds, the one who did her BS in ortho has no intention of doing ortho as a career, she just wanted to "major" in ortho.
     
  16. Mariah246

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    If you're comparing it to neurosurgery, I'm sure it's much better.

    But the lifestyle in the orthopedic route is still pretty grueling right? After all, we're still talking a surgical field.
     

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