Inside the world of an orthopedic surgeon

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 4:55 pm

Leon Piper | Drive producer

Being a surgeon would surely be one of the more interesting jobs you could have. But what if you were a globetrotting orthopedic surgeon?

Each Tuesday, Jeziel chats to a different professional about their unique job. This week, he sat down with Dr Andrew Wallis, orthopedic surgeon at Joondalup Hospital. It took quite a wait to lock Dr Andrew in as he’s often flying around the globe performing surgeries. In fact, he only recently returned from a mission trip in Nicaragua, attending the 1Nation1Day event.

First things first

Dr Andrew splits his day between clinic and theatre. Clinic is when he sees patients before and after surgeries to assess their progress, and theatre is where the magic happens. Dr Andrew spends his theatre time working on elective cases like hip and knee replacements, ACL reconstructions and rotator cuff repairs, or trauma cases — such as hip, wrist and ankle fractures.

Highlights

Orthopedic surgeons study for many years, and they study incredibly hard. Dr Andrew explained the feeling of overwhelming happiness that came with finishing his last exam was perhaps the highlight of his job so far. However, not being one to blow his own horn, he compared Jeziel’s past profession as a builder to his own, saying:

“It’s carpentry essentially, but the benefit of orthopedics is that the bones and the human tissue will heal a bit better than joints will heal when you’re doing carpentry.”

However, there are aspects that are less enjoyable. The study schedule is rough, and orthopedic surgeons often have to spend 24 hours on call, which can be tough on families (and sleep cycles). While it’s rare to have deaths in the orthopedic world, there is the occasional trauma case with a sad ending, and they do take their toll.

To hear more of Dr Andrew spilling the beans on the orthopedic world, listen to the full interview:

Podcast: Jeziel chats to orthopedic surgeon Dr Andrew Wallis (part 1)

Podcast: Jeziel chats to orthopedic surgeon Dr Andrew Wallis (part 2)

I’m a Professional airs every Tuesday on Drive with Jeziel

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