Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Trying to figure out what kind of doctor you should become? Wondering what specialty you should choose? Then SheMD's Why Specialty Series is perfect for you! We're bringing you female physicians sharing WHY they chose their specialty. Today's post is on why Dr. Mehta chose the field of Orthopedic Surgery and why Orthopedic Surgery is a great field.
Today women make up approximately half of the medical students in the United States, however women do not make up fifty percent of orthopedic surgeons. In fact, women represent only 13% of orthopaedic surgery residents and 4% of members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Studies show that a smaller relative percentage of women pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery than in any other subspecialty. Given that information, I thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you a little bit about why I chose the field of Orthopaedic Surgery!
1) Variety: My patients are children, adults, seniors, athletes, men, and women. They come to me from all walks of life- maybe they need to get back to their sport or maybe they need to be able to play with their grandchildren or maybe they just need to be able to work to support their family. I get to treat their shoulder, knee, hip, ankle and hand injuries. I get to do big open joint replacement surgery, small micro hand surgery, fracture work and use an arthroscope to repair sports ailments.
2) Mix of being in the office and the OR: I love that I get to see patients in the office and develop relationships with them as well as perform surgery if necessary. For the most part I get to work up my patients from the beginning— listening carefully to their story, reviewing advanced imaging and coming up with a treatment plan that may include injections, physical therapy and/or a surgical procedure.
3) Innovation and creativity: Orthopedics is an extremely exciting field— every day there are innovations in the hardware we use to fix fractures, replace joints, and repair tendons. There is so much growth and research in terms of non-operative treatment such as viscosupplementation, PRP and stem cells. No surgical case is the same which leads to a creative energy and thought process.
Overall though, my favorite part of what I do is seeing my patients get back to their active lifestyle. That to me is the ultimate gratification and continues to fuel my passion as a clinician and surgeon.