Orthopedists have far too many cool toys. Sure, we've got the rapid infuser and the defibrillator in the ED, but the Orthopods get the messy, hands-on, bone-crushing devices that look like they belong in a medieval dungeon. And frankly, I'm jealous.
A couple nights ago we had a poor bastard who sliced the tips off two of his fingers in some sort of machinery accident. Orthopod Resident came down, took a look into the stumps, and then explained that there was too much bone and not enough skin left to close. Solution? He whipped out a file and started whittling down the exposed bone until there was enough skin overhanging it to suture. Badass.
Several months earlier I walked into the trauma room and discovered a team of Orthopods surrounding a (surprise!) no-helmet motorcyclist whose unfortunate collision with a guardrail left him with a rather impressive long bone fracture. What caught my attention, however, was the resident wielding what appeared to be your standard, crank-operated hand drill as he bored through the patient's leg. Mesmerized like the 8 year old boy whose father just let him play with the power tools, I watched as the drill bit worked it's way through the leg and poked it's head out the other side. A curved piece of metal was connected to either end of the thin rod inserted into the leg, and was used to suspend a weight off the end of the stretcher to maintain traction (looking something like the picture above).
Now that is a cool way to make a living.