Any tips? I've worked in both, enjoyed both and am really stuck. At the moment leaning more towards Orthopaedics but it may be because I'm just finishing a rotation in it. My plan at the moment is to take an FY3 year (currently F2) to gain more experience in both to help decide and then take exams/bulk portfolio up before applying for training.
I can write a lot more if people want more information if required. I originally wrote a four paragraph post about myself, why these two and my experiences but figured people won't read it.
I would consider your preferences/interests/type of thinking/logic, ability to stand for hours (!), etc
My own personal experience is that cardiology/cardiothoracic surgery (I suppose you mean the latter when you say "cardio") is an extremely logical subject in that most symptoms/signs/ECG findings, etc. can be predicted from first principles/pathophysiology e.g. the leads in which you see ST changes in STEMI depend on the distribution of the coronary artery occluded or the precise reason for the finding of a fixed wide split of the second heart sound in ASD (equal delay of aortic and pulmonary components during inspiration due to effective "common atrium"), etc. etc. etc.
I suppose my exposure to orthopaedic surgery is limited, so my view might be biased.
In general, cardiothoracic procedures are longer lasting (valve replacements?) compared to orthopaedics, so might involve more standing and consequent risk of varicose veins, etc.
On the other hand, orthopaedics involves more "DIY" type procedures (e.g. sawing through bones"), so might be more exhausting on hands/arms.
Think also about supply/demand - it is more difficult to reach consultant level in cardio; it may become easier in ortho after some years with the increasing demand for e.g. TKRs and THRs with the increasing obesity problems.
I mean cardiology when I say cardio. I've spent a bit of time shadowing a CT surgeon in GOSH and it's not for me.I find both are built on first principles tbh. The problem is I enjoy both medical and surgical aspects (I am only really interested in ortho vs gen surg tho, whereas i enjoy a wider range of medicine). I think my biggest worry would be letting go of general medical knowledge/breadth of utility if i went to Orthopaedics.
Yeah, the topics are different (I enjoy both for different reasons) but I found the worklife of consultants not too different. I have an interest in biomechanics and anatomy fostered through powerlifting and intercalating in Sports & Exercise med, but have always had an interest in the nitty gritty and complex decision making associated with cardiology. Its the only medical or surgical speciality I could see myself really enjoying for my entire career.
I'm not too concerned with doing CST or CMT (my cardiology on calls also covered gen med, and I worked in gen surg as an FY1 and my ortho on calls covered gen surg). I'm quite a driven chap and very goal orientated once I've settled on a target.
Edit: Whichever i settle on I intend to sit part 1 of the relevant exams in my year out.
Is ortho not mainly run-through?
This isn't a choice you hear about very often. It should boil down to fundamentally whether you want to spend the majority of your work operating or not? What did you enjoy about both jobs? Bear in mind what you see in fy1 is often not reflective of a consultant job.
Not all cardiologist do PCI. Even those that do have the scope to do other things, which can include a lot of diagnostic work which surgical specialties simply won't have. Cardiology is one of the most varied medical specialties around, and also offer the chance to do acute medicine if desired.
I am in a similar predicament! Also cardio v ortho. I agree with the above poster, it's so hard to know how much you enjoy operating because you have little exposure.
I've always been interested in surgery but it hurts my feet to stand for more than 4/5 hours at a time (I'm sure that's similar for a lot of people), so I thought maybe it was ruled out and then enjoyed interventional cardio, but I'm always drawn back to theatre when I've got spare time on placement.
I spoke to an Ortho Consultant and he was basically like, look your achey feet shouldn't hold you back, and sent me some info and advice. Is there anyone locally you could chat it through with? Presumably who knows your strengths etc.
I've had a fair bit of exposure in thia placement. In approx 20 trauma lists & a few elective - assisted in several hemis, removed some screws, done a fair bit of a DHS etc etc. I scrub or leave.
I definitely enjoy T&O theatre.
It seems like fundamentally you're going to either be very specialist and have no clue about anything else (ortho) or you're going to go through CMT and have to deal with lots of comorbid patients routinely, alongside doing your specialist procedures. The angioplasty itself i guess is a lot more of a 'fine' procedure versus most of ortho.
Both are very male dominated and involve lots of out of hours, although i haven't seen ortho consultants in the hospital at night as much as i've seen cardiologists i guess? In terms of job prospects both are good.