Traditionally, orthopedic surgeons have the unfortunate stereotype in the medical community of being strong but stupid. Although making fun of orthopedic surgeons is a popular past-time among physicians giving rise to a number of jokes including:
What do you call two orthopaedic surgeons looking at a chest X-ray? ANSWER: A double blind study.Anesthesiologists are considered quite the opposite. Although occasionally teased as gas-passers, they are respected as being quite the Einsteins.
Check out this video illustrating just how much smarter anesthesiologists are compared to orthopedic surgeons.
BUT... are such stereotypes true?
Well... according to the BMJ study conducted in three United Kingdom hospitals, orthopedic surgeons are significantly more intelligent than anesthesiologists based on IQ scores (the Mensa Brain Test version 1.1.0 was used to measure intelligence). The mean intelligence test score of orthopaedic surgeons was 105.19 compared with 98.38 for anesthetists (the higher the score, the smarter).
According to the same study, the orthopedic surgeons were not only smarter than anesthesiologists, they were also significantly stronger based on dominant hand grip strength.
So orthopedic surgeons are undeservedly viewed as being stupid when they are actually quite smart!!!
Orthopaedic surgeons: as strong as an ox and almost twice as clever? Multicentre prospective comparative study. BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7506 (Published 15 December 2011)