AUSTIN, Texas — A career in orthopedists can be a challenging one, but it’s not a bad place to start, a University of Texas orthopedist says.
“A lot of people want to be an orthopedical surgeon, and there are a lot of good things to be said about the profession,” said Dr. Mark Stryker, a professor of medicine and chair of the department of orthopedias at UT-Austin.
Strykers research shows that in the first year, the number of people seeking an orthopaedic residency increase by 30%.
It also increases the likelihood of people graduating.
He said it can take up to a year to earn residency.
In the first three years of residency, people earn less than $50,000.
He thinks it could be a lot better.
“I think that in many ways, this is where it’s at in the country,” Stryers said.
He added that it’s an important career, but that many people are working harder than they should.
“They don’t really want to work, they don’t want to learn and they don (want) to be able to get into the practice and get paid,” he said.
Stroyers research also found that a significant number of orthopeds students have a degree, but most of them are not graduating.
The UT-Dallas Medical Center said it plans to offer the first class of orthotics graduates to local hospitals.
The school said in an email that they will be trained on a new technology to help them apply their knowledge to a hospital setting.
“We are excited to be working with a leading orthopedologists school in Austin to develop an orthotics-related curriculum that will be designed to help patients and their families get a career-based, career-relevant orthopedism,” said Beth Bittner, UT Dallas medical director of healthcare services.
Bittners job title is director of clinical programs, a position that pays $120,000 per year.
She has been with UT Dallas since 2013 and has been in charge of the school’s program for the past six years.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring a number of highly qualified students to our institution for a very competitive pay scale,” she said.
UT Dallas has more than 3,400 students, and about 6% of them have a medical degree.
Bittyman said the program will be a two-year course.
He hopes to recruit students who are willing to spend time with him in his lab.
“It’s a really good opportunity to learn about a variety of different medical areas and get involved in an exciting field,” Bittymen said.
The program also is offering financial aid, and Bittymans parents are working to help their son secure financial aid.
Strayers research shows there are more than 400,000 people in the U.S. who want to become orthopedically trained, but are not practicing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release.
St. Louis County, Missouri, has an orthotic residency program, which is also expanding.
The first group of students will be paid about $55,000 to $100,000 annually, but Strymers said there will be more to come.
“There’s a lot more that we want to do, and we’ll be doing a lot to make that happen,” he added.
He wants to keep it open to students who already have a residency, and he is planning to recruit more people.
The St. Cloud Orthopedics School in Minnesota is the only orthopedicians school in the United States to offer a program that pays for students to become licensed.
Styrkers research found that in two years, graduates earn about $100K more than graduates without a residency.
He also believes it is possible to teach orthopedians a trade and earn some money.
“The question that remains is what is the long-term benefit of the training that they receive?”
Stryerkers research found students who do not receive an orthoses residency earn about 8% more.
Stuyvesant University in New York is offering a $100 per year training program for students interested in becoming orthopedial surgeons.
The average starting salary is about $75,000 and is expected to increase in coming years, said Mark Sperling, dean of the School of Medicine.
He expects the program to be about 50% full by 2020, and that the school will have about 300 students.
“Students will be earning an average of $75K in five years,” Sperlin said.
“That is a good number.”