Like any specialized branch of medicine, an orthopedic surgeon must have not just the mental ability, but also the capacity to take the physical hardship that the life of an orthopedic surgeon involves.
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For instance, unlike the life of the ophthalmologist or the dentist, the work of the orthopedic surgeon involves great physical hardship in the form of long and odd hours in emergency facilities.
Besides, being an orthopedic surgeon means you have to be alert enough to make quick decisions, as well as give quick and clear in giving instructions to the medical team working with them.
Very often, the orthopedic surgeon may go on to educate himself or herself in a sub-specialty such as hand surgery, shoulder and neck surgery, spine surgery, or even foot and ankle surgery. However, these specializations are not the sole preserve of the orthopedic surgeon. Sometimes, these spheres may overlap with the field of plastic surgery and neurosurgery.
One thing that the orthopedic surgeon must be prepared to do is discuss in detail the procedures that he plans to undertake with the patients and the patients' families.
Very often, the orthopedic surgeon may be asked to show videotapes of the surgical procedure or even written materials of the surgical procedure. More commonly, the orthopedic surgeon will be asked what the risks involved in the surgery are and what the improvements expected after the surgery are.