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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 216-220

Factors that influence orthopedic surgeons when choosing their subspecialty in Saudi Arabia

Department of Orthopedic, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Khalid A Bakarman
Department of Orthopedic (49), College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University Medical City, P.O. Box 7805, Riyadh 11472
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmsr.jmsr_56_18

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Objectives: The objectives of this study were to highlight the factors that influence orthopedic trainees in Saudi Arabia to choose their subspecialties and to determine the most desired residents' subspecialty and the percentage of residents who are planning to pursue a fellowship program. Methods: We formatted an online questionnaire using a Likert-type scale. The survey contained 21 questions. The study was conducted in multiple cities in Saudi Arabia. The survey was distributed to orthopedic surgeons. We used WhatsApp Messenger, which is the most popular texting application in Saudi Arabia and the most guaranteed method to ensure that more participants would answer the survey. The survey was closed after 4 weeks for data analysis. Results: The number of surgeons included in this study was 108 out of 175 contacted, including residents, fellows, and consultants. Overall, personal interest in a specialty and a patient's prognosis were the most influential factors that motivated surgeons to choose their careers, while lack of competition was the least important factor. For the 37 (90.2%) residents who chose to continue their training, pediatric orthopedics (26.8%) and foot and ankle surgery (14.6%) were the most desired subspecialties whereas sports medicine (7.3%) and oncology (0%) were the least. The female doctors represented 5.6% among orthopedic surgeons included in our study. Conclusion: Orthopedic residents must be guided to the subspecialties needed in their communities as the fact that general orthopedics is disappearing very soon from clinical practice in tertiary care hospitals in big cities of Saudi Arabia.

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