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liammo29

Orthopedic Surgery Options After Residency

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So I am currently in clerkship and absolutely love ortho. However, as I seriously consider doing it I am obviously very scared about the job scene. A lot of people have said it will be another 6-7 years and that is just too far away to project jobs. But I am not willing to move to the US so I really don't want to do a residency if I end up not working at the end. My questions are:

 

- if I do ortho and then cannot get a job, are their other creative ways to work? For example, can I do a one year add on that would then allow me to open a clinic in something specific? For example, where I live a pediatrician did one year in immunology and opened an allergy clinic.

 

- if Canada ends up with a blended privatization or something similar would this help the situation?

 

- how prevelant are locums in ortho?

 

- if I'm not willing to move to the US am I literally out of options if the job scene doesn't get better?

 

- is it true that ortho would have a better lifestyle that general? Many surveys say yes.

 

Thanks!

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Have you considered physiatry or sports med? 

my understanding is that you can still open up ortho clinic but you'll be missing out on the surgeries b/c of a lack of OR time.

 

Also if you're not willing to move to the US, how about other provinces or rural?

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Have you considered physiatry or sports med? 

my understanding is that you can still open up ortho clinic but you'll be missing out on the surgeries b/c of a lack of OR time.

 

Also if you're not willing to move to the US, how about other provinces or rural?

There's nothing a surgeon loves more than nonsurgical management of MSK disorders.

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CLINIC EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!!  SIGN ME UP!!!!! :P

 

Previous years grads who haven't secured staff jobs yet are generally working as locums (covering for staff on weekends and after hours).  When there were fewer unemployed ortho grads the locum jobs were plentiful and it was easy to make ends meet and increase your net salary substantially compared to residency.  Now its much harder to find locum positions as most are taken by long standing arrangement with 2008-2013 graduates.

 

Most recent grads who can't get jobs are doing serial fellowships.  Most fellowships allow you to bill as an assist which can make you some decent billings--but your program usually pockets up to 50%. 

 

The other issue that's a bit doom and gloom is a question of whether or not there are will be enough jobs for everyone currently in training even once the current demographic bulge resolves.  The hospitals are cutting OR budgets and orthopods who retire aren't being replaced.   

 

It really hurts me to say this because I love ortho and I can't imagine doing anything else; but the situation is really bad. There should be a moratorium on new residents in my opinion. In all honesty, unless you're very financially secure for other reasons, I wouldn't consider ortho. 

 

That said we do have a better QoL than GenSx.  Our procedures have better outcomes and our patients are happier and healthier.  We make more once you get a job and have fewer non-operative after hours emergencies.  Everywhere else in the world orthopedics training positions are some of the most competitive spots to get because the ultimate job is tons of fun from a clinical point of view.

 

I've no idea if privatization would help.  Too many variables.

 

The other thing that I'd urge medical students to consider about ortho is the incredible amount of additional stress that the poor job market puts on you.  People tend to conceptualize medical jobs as all or nothing but in a tough job market it's a competition.  You constantly second guess your choices and wonder if a small mistake will cost you your career.  If you don't get along with a staff you wonder if that will be the critical factor that will destroy your chances at ever getting a job.  Its horrible and very stressful.  For comparison, pre-med didn't seem nearly this high-stakes.   I think ortho applicants should ask themselves if they're up for that level of stress piled on top of the everyday challenges of a surgical residency.

 

 

 

Happy to discuss more via PM.

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To the OP -- Let's be clear, the ortho job market is terrible. 180+ unemployed orthopods in Canada and it will go up in July. If jobs ever beome available, be ready to compete against all these people. I am aware of a job that opened up recently in the middle of nowhere, and there were more than 50 applicants for it. This was not even an appealing position. My advice is to forgo this specialty.

 

You can spin it in any way you like, but an orthopod should be operating. If you are not operating, then you are essentially unemployed from your profession.

 

What about sports med? Do family

What about private work? Do family/physiatry

What about non-surgical ortho? you can try, but not sure where you will get your referrals from

 

The USA is a good backup--but California, New York, or anywhere else appealing is probably just as competitive as the Canadian market.

 

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To the OP -- Let's be clear, the ortho job market is terrible. 180+ unemployed orthopods in Canada and it will go up in July. If jobs ever beome available, be ready to compete against all these people. I am aware of a job that opened up recently in the middle of nowhere, and there were more than 50 applicants for it. This was not even an appealing position. My advice is to forgo this specialty.

 

You can spin it in any way you like, but an orthopod should be operating. If you are not operating, then you are essentially unemployed from your profession.

 

What about sports med? Do family

What about private work? Do family/physiatry

What about non-surgical ortho? you can try, but not sure where you will get your referrals from

 

The USA is a good backup--but California, New York, or anywhere else appealing is probably just as competitive as the Canadian market.

 

Agreed with one clarification: it's easy to get a job anywhere in the States but difficult to build a lucrative practice in the geographic areas mentioned  

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I also know a general surgeon who got a job straight out of residency. Regional referral center in a rural area.

 

The town itself isn't bad. It's the kind of place I'd like to live, but if you are from a big city I can see why you wouldn't find it appealing.

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How do you know the number of unemployed orthopods in Canada? Does this count IMG as well? 

I would like to know how bad it is for Gen Surg at the moment...

 

 

This is a well known statistic. Here's a secondary source, but this number is widely quoted within the profession

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/health/untrained-and-unemployed-medical-schools-churning-out-doctors-who-cant-find-residencies-and-full-time-positions

 

"A “whopping” 178 fully trained orthopedic surgeons in Canada are currently unemployed, says the Canadian Orthopedic Association"

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This is a well known statistic. Here's a secondary source, but this number is widely quoted within the profession

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/health/untrained-and-unemployed-medical-schools-churning-out-doctors-who-cant-find-residencies-and-full-time-positions

 

"A “whopping” 178 fully trained orthopedic surgeons in Canada are currently unemployed, says the Canadian Orthopedic Association"

 

 

Wow, that's terrible.

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I see that national post news article is making its circles again on the web. Harsh, but not much sympathy for the guy who didn't match FM in the centre of the universe(GTA). Going into medical school, everyone should know that you may very likely not get the desired location of residency for your residency of choice..and perhaps not even the residency of choice. While most do, it is not a guarantee, even for FM.  Hope he ended up matching though in 2016.

 

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This is a well known statistic. Here's a secondary source, but this number is widely quoted within the profession

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/health/untrained-and-unemployed-medical-schools-churning-out-doctors-who-cant-find-residencies-and-full-time-positions

 

"A “whopping” 178 fully trained orthopedic surgeons in Canada are currently unemployed, says the Canadian Orthopedic Association"

And wait times keep growing...I know its nuanced, but # of physicians working is a big part of wait times.

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And wait times keep growing...I know its nuanced, but # of physicians working is a big part of wait times.

I wonder if unemployment numbers like these help support some degree of privatization? I'm also not sure what unemployment means in this context. Is it that 170+ surgeons are sitting at home collecting social assistance, are they no longer working in health care (eg. Waiting tables, making coffee, etc.), or are they working without any operating time? Regardless of which one, they're all completely unacceptable.

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I wonder if unemployment numbers like these help support some degree of privatization? I'm also not sure what unemployment means in this context. Is it that 170+ surgeons are sitting at home collecting social assistance, are they no longer working in health care (eg. Waiting tables, making coffee, etc.), or are they working without any operating time? Regardless of which one, they're all completely unacceptable.

I really don't believe that 170 orthos are unemployed, I feel like it was maybe misquoted and they meant "underemployed". 

If 170 are truly unemployed, you would be hearing about it all over the news and more vocally. 

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I wonder if unemployment numbers like these help support some degree of privatization? I'm also not sure what unemployment means in this context. Is it that 170+ surgeons are sitting at home collecting social assistance, are they no longer working in health care (eg. Waiting tables, making coffee, etc.), or are they working without any operating time? Regardless of which one, they're all completely unacceptable.

 

 

I really don't believe that 170 orthos are unemployed, I feel like it was maybe misquoted and they meant "underemployed". 

If 170 are truly unemployed, you would be hearing about it all over the news and more vocally. 

Regardless of which one, both are terrible for what our industry is all about: treating people. Whichever one it is, its contributing to long (and growing) wait times.

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Regardless of which one, both are terrible for what our industry is all about: treating people. Whichever one it is, its contributing to long (and growing) wait times.

And the worst thing is, the fact that wait times keep increasing gives the public impression that there aren't enough ortho surgeons. So the government is never going to be pressured to manage the numbers of surgeons properly.

 

People, I think, would be totally appalled if they knew that those waitlists could be addressed by the dozens of underemployed surgeons wanting to operate, who just can't get jobs in Canada. 

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