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David Crawford MD has been one of the most respected orthopedic surgeons in the country for some years now and he is inspiring many young students to follow in his footsteps. At a recent medical conviction, we watched Dr. David speak about the challenges facing orthopedics and part of the reason as to why he is doing this public speaking is to inspire more people to go into this specific field of medicine. 

With this speech still very fresh in our minds we too want to contribute towards the campaign to get more young students into orthopedics and so today we are going to take a look into what exactly orthopedics are, what these doctors do, and how you could become one if this is a particular branch of medicine which interests you. Not everyone can reach the very top as David has done of course, but that is not to say that you cannot become an incredible orthopedic surgeon if you have a passion for it. Let’s take a look then at just what this field of medicine is all about. 

What is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

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An orthopedic surgeon is a surgeon who devotes his or her time in helping those patients with issues relating to disorders that affect their bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Most orthopedic surgeons work in all of these areas and they focus on the prevention, the diagnosis and the treatment of these areas, but some do specialize in particular areas such as the hand, the spine, or perhaps feet and ankle. 

What Patients Do They Treat?

Orthopedic surgeons treat patients of all ages, and they treat any patient who has an issue with any of the aforementioned areas of the body. These doctors will spend a large amount of time on fractures and bone breaks, which make up the majority of patients that they have. 

Common Issues Which Are Treated

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 These medical professionals can deal with a huge range of disorders and health issues and they have a great amount of variety in their jobs. One of the most common issues which they will deal with is sports injuries and back pain, these are increasingly common issues and each patient will present very different symptoms. Beyond this we also see these doctors helping with issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, club foot, osteoporosis, and arthritis, among others. As you can see the range of issues that an orthopedic surgeon works with is very large. 

What is the Job Like?

Something which most orthopedic surgeons will point to is the fact that there are so many issues that have a solution, and that is a very rewarding aspect of the job. These men and women are incredibly talented surgeons and they must invest a huge amount of time in practice to ensure that they maintain that high level which is expected of them. A huge benefit of this job also lies in the variety of issues which they see each day, and there are very rarely 2 days the same. Doctors in certain fields don’t always get to see such variety which is why many enjoy working in orthopedics. 

What Skills Do You Need?

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In order to become this type of doctor, you will have to possess the same skills that any doctor will need such as communication skills, empathy, and team working skills. On top of this however you will also have to be incredibly well skilled with the scalpel as much of the surgery which is required on bones, ligaments and cartilage require very fine and precise work, which will take you many years truly master. 

How to be an Orthopedic Surgeon

If you have a particular passion for the musculoskeletal aspect of the body and the ailments that are caused within it then this could be a fantastic career for you to enter into. Orthopedic surgeons have to study hard and they have to showcase real talent in order to be given this position. After high school you will have to study at medical school and gain your license to practice medicine, following that you will be given placement and have to showcase the natural ability and the knowledge hitch you have gained in order to impress enough to be given the chance to become this doctor. Most surgeons will have been working for 14 years before they are given the chance to manage their own surgery.  

This is a profession that helps people a great deal when it comes to their levels of pain and their mobility and it is a job that provides incredible satisfaction, both personally and professionally. Would this be a branch of medicine that you would consider working in once you have your license?