Which surgical specialty has the best lifestyle? – There are many factors to consider before choosing a specialty. While general surgery has the most favorable lifestyle, cosmetic surgeons have a very different lifestyle than other surgeons. Typically, they do not take emergency calls and treat less sick patients. On the other hand, orthopedic surgeons with trauma specialties tend to take a lot more calls than sports medicine specialists. In general, however, cosmetic surgeons report having the best work-life balance of any specialty.
Surgical residencies are often miserable, but not all are created equal. Some specialty doctors experience more stress than others. Surgical residency programs are so stressful, that some residents have nightmares about their jobs. And the hours that are required of these surgeons are often quite long. Surgical residents work between 50 and 60 hours a week, so even a decent lifestyle is hard to come by. In some cases, the work-life balance is not linked with a particular specialty.
Despite their high demands, surgeons in academic and private practice settings enjoy greater freedom of schedule and lifestyle. The Committee on Young Surgeons encourages the pursuit of a personal life while in training. These surgeons describe their lives and careers in personal accounts. The committee’s Online Guide to Surgical Residency