Dr Rabi Solaiman is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon working in metropolitan Melbourne. Initially drawn to cardiology and neurology, Dr Solaiman’s experience in his ED rotation as an intern solidified his career outlook, where he contrasted the uncertain and “longitudinal” journey of medical patients with the “acute” issues and quick fixes offered to surgical patients. However, for those of us still uncertain of where our future lies, Rabi encourages us to consider a general year or taking some time off.

Dr Solaiman’s love for “instant gratification” has been fulfilled in his time as an orthopaedic surgeon. We discuss with him why the nature of operations satisfy both the patient and treating team, despite their difficulty and complexity. We also touch on the tougher aspects of public surgery: he extrapolates on the difficulty of operating on other doctors’ patients, and losing your own to other consultants. In perhaps a topic of discussion not raised enough with medical students, he also gives us fantastic insight into the logistics of running a private practice.

Rabi explains the benefits of the wave of younger doctors beginning to flood the orthopaedic training program. Registrars are no longer expected to work backbreaking hours, a trend which is carrying over to the consultants. The new world of part-time positions means consultants such as Rabi are “as busy as [he] wants to be”. This leaves him with ample time to pursue his hobbies such as soccer.

Orthopaedic surgery is also becoming a frontier for cutting-edge surgical technology, including Rabi’s own “exciting” experience of  performing a robotically assisted hip replacement. Lastly, we glean some helpful advice from Rabi about making ourselves more appealing to the orthopaedic team. He also explains why we shouldn’t look at the lifestyle of the registrars when deciding on a medical specilaty.

If you have any other questions you’d like us to ask Dr Rabi Solaiman, fill out the form below or shoot us a message!

Pathways into Orthopaedics

Medical School → Internship → HMO → Surgical Education and Training (SET) Program (5 to 6 years, earliest you can apply is PGY2) → Fellowship (FRACS) for 1 to 2 years in orthopaedics → Consultant

Source: Australian Orthopaedics Association

Salary

According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had:

  • 61 female orthopaedic surgeons earning an average of $159,479
  • 805 male orthopaedic surgeons earning an average of $439,629
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TMC022: Orthopaedics with Dr Rabi Solaiman
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