Having been an orthopedic surgeon for over 15 years, Dr. Ryan Shephard knows only too well the pressures which medical professionals like himself face every day. I was fortunate enough to speak to the good doctor for a lengthy chat recently about how he manages to cope with the stresses and strains of the job, as well as asking him about how he unwinds and what the most challenging aspects of being an orthopedic surgeon are. If you have any desires to one day work in medicine, this may give you a valuable insight into what life is like.

Best and Worst

The best parts of the job in Doctor Ryan’s eyes are the work that he does with children, especially those who seemingly have no hope, and then he is able to turn the situation around. Over the years Dr. Shephard has helped numerous children with muscular disorders and bone problems, to give them a greatly improved quality of life. Dr. Shephard is highly engaging and when he begins to speak about the negatives of the position, he tells stories about when patients have arrested and couldn’t be saved, as well as speaking candidly about times when he has had to make a 50/50 decision, and it has not always gone to plan.

Dealing With Daily Stress

Ryan goes on to tell me about how he manages to cope with the daily stresses of the job, and his ways are actually not too complicated. Dr. Ryan tells me that with a healthy diet and plenty of sleep, one can actually deal with stress very well, because it puts you in a position of control. The days and nights where he is not able to sleep well or his routine has changed, these are the days that he tells me that he struggles with the pressures of the job, and in such a situation it is good news that charges him up and gives him a little more control over the stress.


Dr. Shephard spoke at length with me about the importance of staying relaxed away from the job, in order to be at his best when he is on the job. For example he spoke about how spending time with his family is the best tonic to a tough day at work, and it ensures that he stays cool and calm at all times. Other ways that the doctor likes to relax is through mediation and regular exercise especially spending a good hour or so on the punchbag which he says is the ultimate stress buster. Finally Dr. Shephard told me about how much he loves to study and that he always ensures that he stays up to date on new techniques and research, this studying is yet another way in which he manages to stay relaxed and maintains the confidence in what he does each and every day with his patients.