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Orthopedic surgery

Do you follow the recommendations you give to your patients? 

  • 50% of the time

Was there an aspect of the residency program that was unexpected and required adaptation on your part? 

  • Yes ,  I would say the expectations and attitude of  residents towards their bosses have not been the same for I would say 5 to 10 years. The new generation of medical students reacts more readily to comments and assessments that confront them. Disputes are more frequent!

  • Nothing particularly unexpected.  In fact, it was expected to work hard and study a lot, but it is always surprising to realize how much theoretical and practical material one must master and the number of hours one must invest for daily readings.

What do you think is the most difficult medical practice? The easiest ? 

  • Difficult: solo practice. Easy: practice with a great team of colleagues.

Would you be friends with your colleagues if you had met them outside of work? 

  • The 1/3

What is the quality that is essential and specific to have for the practice of orthopedic surgery according to you?

  • Be resourceful and inventive!

  • Understanding of 3D anatomy and biomechanical forces.  Virtually anything can be deduced from these basics. Both diagnoses and treatment plans.

What do you think is the most important factor for a successful residency in your specialty? 

  • Be passionate about orthopedics.

What do you think is the most important factor for a successful career in your specialty?

  • Passion again.  

Do you need great physical strength to do this specialty?

  • No mail, you still need a minimum!

  • Yes sometimes.  Above all, you have to know how to force intelligently and know how to surround yourself with stronger assistants if necessary.  Many small people have been trained in our program and are brilliant surgeons.

What fellowships are offered in Ortho?

  • Feet/ankle, Hand/wrist, Sport, Upper limb, Oncology, Hip and knee reconstruction, Traumatology, Hip arthroscopy


What is your biggest ortho regret?

  • Not being able to take time off without having a huge workload before and after my vacation

Is it possible to work only 4 days a week? (excluding on-call periods which are mandatory!) Is this possible at the beginning of our practice or only after several years of experience?

  • I think it's possible to work 4 days a week from the start of your practice. It is a question of choice and organization with the colleagues of the service.

  • As self-employed workers, we have some control over our schedule.  Once the mandatory activities are scheduled (calls, operating priorities, clinics for new patients and follow-ups), there are often gaps in the week.  Practice in a community setting often makes it possible to keep these beaches free if desired.  Practicing in a university environment often requires adding blocks of teaching to the schedule, which leaves less free time.  Let's say that you have to be disciplined and well organized to ensure that the 5th day does not get invaded.


What does your schedule look like?

  • 3 clinical half-days and one elective operating day per week and one half-day of teaching per week. The other 2 days are generally always completely filled either by an additional clinical day and/or an additional operating day, or by call duty or otherwise by management activities (insurance paperwork, planning of surgery days, administrative meetings  , etc., etc, )

  • Overall about 3 half days of clinic, 1 day on call, 1 day in OR, 1/2 day paperwork (forms, patient memos, results), 1-2 1/2 teaching days.

How many hours of work per week on average?

  • 60h

  • Between 50 and 75 hrs depending on the call and evening meetings or courses to prepare.

  • You have to quickly learn to work without counting the hours, because you can quickly become discouraged.  Time passes quickly when you are committed to doing things well and when you are passionate.  That said, 5 days of 8 to 10 hours to which must be added 1-2 hours of work in the evening to prepare lessons, advance research projects, answer administrative emails.  Also add on-call hours.


What do you dislike most about your practice?

  • Not being able to take time off without having a huge workload before and after my vacation

  • The paperwork … and the lack of family doctors! (We have to take care of many orphan patients for first line conditions if not because some  primary care physicians refuse to provide care)

  • Having to manage the impossibility of seeing all the patients within a reasonable time.


What are the advances in research related to orthopedics (eg new technological tools for surgery? New treatments or in development? Etc.)

  • There are advances every month, especially in the instruments we use and the techniques. Very very stimulating to see the engineers and doctors come up with new options.  


Do you have a family (children?)? How do you manage a career and a family? 

  • Children x1 and a 2nd in 1 month. I am happy with the family/work management. It keeps me motivated.


Is it possible for a woman to do this specialty and still start her family before the age of 30 and find a family-work balance?

  • This is a specialty where it is very difficult to  to work part-time . It is one of the most demanding residencies and personally I believe it is wiser to wait until you have completed your residency to start a family.  Otherwise he relies on a spouse willing to be there always in support or even  plans should be made to extend residency by at least one year if pregnancy is expected during residency to optimize training . I've always had the philosophy that as much as possible you have to spread the stress...

What is your spouse's occupation? 

  • Dentiste


Do you have time to train/practice a sport (or several)? 

  • Basketball


What is the best advice you have received? 

  • It's easy to take on more tasks but it's hard to slow down.  

What are the difficulties, the least pleasant aspects that you encounter in your specialty?

  • Lack of support (nursing and specialist staff) for patient care and follow-up. Cuts to elective operating rooms. Emergency cases moved to the operating room by other more urgent cases. Cases referred without investigation or irrelevant references in a context where there are dozens and dozens of patients who really need to be seen in orthopedics!

  • We often have to operate on evenings and weekends and sometimes at night, more than the majority of surgical specialties. Some pathologies leave significant functional deficits leading to daily or work disabilities and sometimes even chronic pain.  We really like to solve problems and make the patient happy.  We are almost as disappointed as the patients when we find ourselves at an impasse.


What car do you drive?  

  • I've always had cars in the Volkswagen family quite a bit.

  • A vehicle large enough to accommodate the children and all the luggage and sports accessories necessary for a successful vacation!


How do you plan your vacation?

  • I plan between 8 to 12 weeks of vacation (including training conferences) per year.

  • It is necessary to plan in advance times to cut yourself off from work.  Often one block of holidays per season. Above all, do not wait until you are on the verge of exhaustion to plan a rest.  It will be too late to really enjoy it.


What is the most common criticism you receive?

  • (Without answer)


How would your colleagues describe you? 

  • team player. Leader


If you had to specialize in something else, what would it be and why?

  • Plastic surgeon. I could work in public and private.


Does your specialty take jokes well at work?

  • Yes. In orthopedics we like to say that we prefer to be smarter than we look than the opposite!


Do students/residents sometimes make you feel overwhelmed? 

  • No. It's stimulating!


If your specialty had to have a romantic relationship with another which one would it choose? 

  • Anesthesia. To be able to do this all day, at any time and when it suits us!

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?

  • IPA beer!

  • Gin and tonic pimped with cucumbers


What personality traits are typical of your profession?

  • Hyperactive and organized!

  • Ability to adapt and make quick decisions. Tolerance to the unexpected.


What specialty would you never do? Why?

  •   Specialties where there is little or no contact with patients (pathology, nuclear medicine, radiology, etc.)

  • Laboratory medicine (pathology, biochemistry).  Human contact and the satisfaction of solving a problem quickly are extremely rewarding.  I would be bored

During your medical studies, what did you do on a Friday evening? 

  • I studied until 9 or 10 p.m. then I went out into town (discotheque, brasserie with singers) and I came home in the wee hours...

  • Often in bars with friends to decompress from the intense week of study.

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