A day in the life: Pediatric orthopedic surgery


Here’s a practical break down of how my day has typically gone this past week in peds ortho. Over all it’s been pretty chill and I’ve seen a lot of bread-and-butter stuff from toddlers fractures to in-toeing (bow legs). We even diagnosed–and fixed–a SCFE in an overweight adolescent who came in with knee pain (classic presentation most third years would know)! The attendings in the department are great teachers too so I’ve learned a good bit. Next week I’ll still be on ortho, but will be on the shoulder team instead of peds.

5:00 alarm goes off

5:00 – 5:30 usually snoozing

5:30 thank God, say a quick prayer, finally get out of bed.. morning routine
I take showers in the evening, so getting ready in the morning is super quick.

5:45 breakfast (usually oatmeal with cinnamon, sugar, and granola)
If I’m really snoozing, I’ll end up making it at home and eating it on my way to school.

6:00-6:10 leave my apartment

6:30 morning report for orthopedic surgery department. This is where cases from the night team are reported for the day teams to be aware of. They discuss any tests/labs/therapeutics that were done for the patient and the possible management that will be necessary for the day


7:00 rounds with the peds ortho team. Really all we did on  rounds were make sure the kids could wiggle their toes and weren’t in too much pain. We would encourage them to get up and walk and use the “breathing thing” (incentive spirometry) to prevent any lung infections. Honestly, I skipped this a few times because I felt like it was a waste of time as a medical student when I could just be studying. I’m not trying to do ortho so I didn’t feel any pressure to impress them. Plus they honestly didn’t care if I was there or not!

8:30 clinic started. Rounds were usually over by 7:30 and the docs would get breakfast, do work in their offices, or do AM procedures. The days flipped for the physicians between procedures in the morning and clinic in the afternoon and vice versa. As a medical student, I could do whatever interested me most.

8:30-12:00 We’d probably see ~15 patients or so in clinic. I wasn’t expected to write notes, but I still wrote a few, just to go above and beyond.

12:00-1:00 lunch

1:00-4:00 procedures or more clinic. I’d never been in procedures where the surgeons would break full sweats. Things got intense! Reducing fractures is not for the weary.

4:00 Student lecture for all the students on their surgery rotation

5:30 gym–depending on how much I had to get done/how tired I was/when we got out of lecture

7:00 home (had to go to my sisters twice to watch my niece because she really needed to get work done)

7:00-10:30 mixture of showering, eating, and mainly studying

10:30-11:00 pack lunch, nighttime routine, leisure read til I got sleepy–then bedtime!

the little mermaid buenas noches GIF by good-night

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