Choosing Orthopaedic Surgery

When I entered medical school, I convinced myself to keep an open mind during the specialty selection process so that I could find what specialty fit me best. It is difficult to learn much before starting rotations third year, immersing yourself in the hospital and seeing patients with your team. Shadowing is fun and can be informative, but there is no exchange for the knowledge gained during hands on experiences with real patients. When I started third year of medical school, somewhere deep in my head I had a surgical inclination but still kept my mind open to other things. I ended up liking nearly every rotation I was on during the early portions from general surgery to internal medicine and most places in between.

I eventually narrowed it down to neurosurgery, ENT, and orthopaedic surgery. My decision on orthopaedic surgery was a culmination of many factors. The first thing I noticed about orthopaedics was the resident and attending personalities. It was a group of men and women that I immediately connected with and shared a similar perspective. From there I began to develop a baseline understanding of the pathologies and procedures and my interest only grew. I enjoy analyzing imaging and correlating it to physical exam findings. I was stimulated by the breadth of procedures that span from the cervical spine to the metatarsals as well as the wide range of patient populations and age groups. The subspecialties interest me as much as general orthopaedics. This combination of factors solidified my decision to pursue orthopaedic surgery as a career.

“I enjoy analyzing imaging and correlating it to physical exam findings.”

Dr. Jack T. Wilson, Contributor, Med Student Edge

I do believe I could have been happy and effective in any number of specialties extending far beyond the top three I listed above, but my hope is that orthopaedic surgery will be the one that satisfies me the most. It certainly has been everything and more up to this point.

Have questions or concerns about your specialty decision or orthopaedic surgery? Leave us a comment with your thoughts or contact us directly.

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