Day in the Life – Orthopedic Surgeon


My name is Dr. McKnight. I am an Orthopedic Surgery Resident
and this is a day in my life. [music playing] It’s a Saturday morning. This is a Call day. So we’re just driving to the hospital and the goal is to see all my patients, have all my notes written before 7:00 a.m. at which point, I will meet up with the call team and we’ll kind of run the lists
and see what patients came in overnight, what surgeries have to be done, and then I’ll head off to the operating room
and pick up our pager. So I’ll operate throughout the day and also see any consults that come in
to the emergency department. And then once the day is over,
I stay overnight. And I will finish my shifts
tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. [music playing] It’s about 7:30, just got done
with rounding on all my patients, writing all my notes for the day. Now, we’re getting ready for our cases. We’ve got a patient that had broke their femur,
so their thigh bone. What we’re gonna do is go in,
put a long metal rod down the inside of the bone, to just bring the bone pieces back together and keep the bone stable,
so they can start to walk on it. But first, we need to scrub in. So to scrub, first you’re gonna
take your scrub brush, you’re gonna get your hands, the brush, wet all the way upto your elbows. I typically turn the water off
afterwards, just to save it. Then you just start scrubbing. So you want to make sure you get
every part of your hand at least 10 times, that includes both sides of your fingers. Then you’re gonna flip it over and use the brush
to actually get your finger nails. You know you’re doing it long enough, if everybody else that’s scrubbing
into the case is already done. So then once I got my hands done, I want to get my forearms, again going a couple inches
above the elbow. So again, we’re only sterile up to our elbows. I am going to rinse off my hands,
keeping my fingers above my elbow. This way any germs will rip down my arm
and not towards my hands, which I want to keep sterile. Again at this point,
I’m trying hard not to touch anything, and I’m ready for my case. So we finished our cases for the day. Typically, that happens
around 3, 4 O’clock on a weekend. Just an example of the type of things
that we do. You can see that this person
had broken their femur right here and a little bit of a fracture up there as well. So we take a long metal rod
and we actually push it in from the hip and go down the bone after aligning
the two different ends of the bone. And then we put these screws in,
going up into the femoral neck to keep the bones from rotating around
the rod that we put in. And typically, when patients come in
with an injury like this, they go from not being able to walk to
being able to walk on this, the next day. For the rest of my shift, typically,
I’ll be holding the pager. So any consults that come in
to the emergency departments, there’s people that have infections
of their extremities, have broken things, dislocated things,
I’ll go and see. Just an example, if we had a patient–
they called me… the ankle fracture dislocation
like you can see here. This is something that’s going
to need surgery at some point. But right now we can’t just leave
them like that because all their cartilage will die,
if it’s just pressing on the bone. So I’ll go down to the emergency department
and see the patient. Reduce the fracture, which means take that ugly image and make it look
something a little bit more normal. Here’s just an example, so you can see there’s still
a fracture here and a fracture here. But for the most part, the bones are well aligned and it looks more like a normal joint. So this patient would either be sent home
to follow up for surgery in the future or we’d admit them to the hospital to do surgery in the next 24 to 48 hours. And we’ll typically get one consult like this per hour when we’re on call. Why orthopedics? And I think for me the big thing is that
in Ortho, you actually get to make patients better… as opposed to other specialties
where you temporize things and– Actually, hang on one second, we are going to have to call
this page back. That was the ED. They’re calling. We have what we call a native hip dislocation. So we need to go down, see the patient. Get some X-rays, get him sedated
and then we’ll put the hip back in place. [music playing] This is the end of the call night
or day at this point. It was a pretty busy night. Had a few distal radius fractures. A few ankle fracture dislocations. Bunch of long bone fractures. A couple hip fractures. So it was pretty busy. Now I just need to finish up some notes then I’m going to get out of here
and go home and go to sleep. That’s it, it’s the end of a call day. So that was a day in the life
of an Orthopedic resident on call. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, you hit me up on
MedSchoolInsiders.com [music playing]


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