Each year, a publication called Medscape creates a portrait of the medical profession.
It surveys thousands of doctors about their job satisfaction, salaries and the like and breaks down the results by specialty, allowing for comparisons between, say, dermatologists and oncologists.
As I read the most recent survey, I was struck by the answers from orthopedic surgeons.
They are the highest-paid doctors, with an average salary of $443,000 in 2015 — which, coincidentally, was almost the exact cutoff for the famed top 1 percent of the income distribution.
Yet many orthopedists are not happy with their pay.
Only 44 percent feel “fairly compensated,” a smaller share than in almost every other specialty.
A lot of orthopedists aren’t even happy being doctors.
Just 49 percent say they would go into medicine if they had to make the decision again, compared with 64 percent of all doctors.
I know that many orthopedists have a very different view: They take pride in helping patients and feel fortunate to enjoy comfortable lives.
But despite those doctors, it’s clear that orthopedics suffers from a professional culture that does not live up to medicine’s highest ideals.
Too many orthopedists are rich and think it’s an injustice that they’re not richer.