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How Long does it take to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon?

How long does it take to become an orthopedic surgeon? Orthopedic surgeons are medical specialists who specialize in performing surgery on patients with any kind of musculoskeletal problem.

For people who are enthusiastic about changing the world and affecting lives, it is the ideal profession.

But before you decide if this is a good career choice, you need to be aware of how long it takes to train to be an orthopedic surgeon, which is just one of the many topics this piece covers.

Continue reading to learn more about the orthopedic surgery field so you can determine whether to pursue a career in this field.

Also Read: 12 Best Medical Schools In Netherlands

how long does it take to become an orthopedic surgeon

Who is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons evaluate, oversee, and administer care to patients with diseases that affect the ligaments, muscles, bones, and tumors.

These specialists speak with patients to determine the precise medical issue they are experiencing, determine whether the issue requires surgical intervention, and, if not, suggest a treatment plan.

Orthopedic surgeons execute a variety of bone procedures, interpret diagnostic imaging in all its forms, and collaborate with other experts in the course of their work.

After surgical procedures, patients are examined post-operatively to make sure the anticipated outcomes were achieved.

Required Skills for Orthopaedic Surgeon

1. Compassion

Orthopedic doctors’ innate compassion has a powerful impact on the healthcare system.

The quality of the whole patient experience is greatly improved by the capacity to empathize with patients and comprehend their fears, hopes, and concerns.

An orthopedic surgeon with compassion understands that their patients are people who need both medical care and emotional support, not just cases or diagnoses.

This understanding serves as the cornerstone of a strong patient-surgeon connection, which is essential to generating successful results.

2. Commitment:

A surgeon specializing in orthopedics travels a path marked by a tireless commitment to perfection.

This dedication covers a lifetime of learning and skill development and goes beyond the operating room.

Orthopedics is a dynamic discipline where innovations and discoveries happen frequently.

As a result, a dedicated orthopedic surgeon needs to adopt a culture of lifelong learning and keep up with the newest theories, methods, and technologies.

Patients will receive the most cutting-edge and efficient therapies possible because to this dedication to professional development.

3. Professional Conduct:

Within their profession and society, orthopedic surgeons are held to the highest levels of professionalism.

Professionalism includes moral conduct, honesty, and a strong sense of obligation to patients and coworkers.

Respect, honesty, and transparency are the defining characteristics of interactions with patients, families, and other healthcare workers when medical ethics are upheld. Patient care also remains the first focus.

Professionalism also includes working well with others in a multidisciplinary healthcare team to create a setting that promotes the best possible patient outcomes.

4. Effective Communication

Effective communication is a key competency that bridges the gap between medical expertise and patient understanding in the complex world of medical practice.

Orthopedic surgeons have a special responsibility to translate difficult medical jargon into terms that patients and their families can understand.

This ability enables patients to choose their treatments intelligently and take an active role in their care.

Effective communication also includes working together with other medical specialists to make sure everyone on the care team is on the same page in terms of strategy and comprehension of the patient’s condition.

5. Making Wise Decisions:

Making decisions is a crucial aspect of an orthopedic surgeon’s job.

This ability consists of two parts: the capability to act quickly during surgical procedures and the capacity to give well-considered therapeutic recommendations.

Every patient has a different set of circumstances, therefore it takes medical knowledge, experience, and a thorough grasp of the patient’s general health to be able to customize treatment regimens to meet each person’s needs.

Additionally, decisions that must be made in the operating room in a split second can have a big impact on how a surgery turns out.

A surgeon’s ability to take swift, decisive action is refined during years of training and practice.

RELATED: Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in the US 2023

Is Orthopaedic Surgery a Rewarding Profession?

It is, indeed. A promising career is orthopedic surgery. You may help others live comfortable lives through this occupation, which is highly fulfilling.

Additionally, a job in orthopedic surgery will improve your technological aptitude because you’ll regularly use robotics, implants, and other tools to carry out your duties.

There are many opportunities for both career and personal growth in this area.

Additionally, orthopedic surgeons are among the medical professions with the highest salaries.

Orthopedic surgeons have a wide range of employment options that enable them to operate in a situation that plays to their strengths.

Average Salary of Orthopedic Surgeons

A surgeon who specializes in orthopedics often earns $300,000 a year.

Salary ranges, however, change depending on the type of employment, level of experience, personal skills, and educational background.

how long does it take to become an orthopedic surgeon

Work Environment

Orthopedic surgeons typically have stable employment at hospitals and medical centers, however some go it alone.

They devote several years of their careers to performing surgical and non-surgical procedures as well as patient counseling.

This employment entails working long shifts during the week that occasionally go into the weekend.

Orthopedic surgery is a challenging profession that necessitates ongoing cooperation with numerous medical specialists.

How to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon

The steps to becoming an orthopedic surgeon are as follows:

1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

You must first graduate with an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in order to become an orthopedic surgeon.

Make sure you take classes in biology, physics, algebra, and general and organic chemistry throughout your undergraduate degree program.

Additionally, taking some science-based electives and signing up for an internship would be the ideal ways to increase your knowledge as a pre-med student and better prepare yourself for medical school. It takes four years to acquire an undergraduate degree.

2. Pass the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) with a passing score:

To get accepted into medical school, you must pass the Medical College Admissions Test. Your level of readiness for medical school will be determined by this test.

The MCAT has four sections and lasts seven hours.

The sections cover the physical, chemical, and psychological underpinnings of biological systems, as well as the biological, social, and psychological bases of behavior. They also cover the biological, biochemical, and physical underpinnings of living systems.

3. Graduate from Medical School

You apply right away to a medical school whose standards you meet after receiving a passing MCAT score. Medical school lasts four years to complete.

Anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, physiology, pharmacology, and genetics are among the subjects you will study at medical school.

Clinical rotations during medical school will significantly increase your understanding.

4. Finish your Residency

After you graduate from medical school, continue and sign up for a residency. A residency is a fantastic way to gain meaningful, hands-on experience that will fully prepare you for this career.

Additionally, working with practicing physicians will provide you the chance to improve your abilities, raise your confidence, and figure out the best method to interact with patients.

Typically, a residency is completed in five years.

5. Finish the Fellowship

You will benefit greatly from finishing your orthopedic surgery fellowship. A fellowship is a fantastic way to pursue a certain speciality.

An average fellowship lasts between one and two years to complete.

6. Become Licensed

You must pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensure Examination (COMLEX) or the National United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) as soon as you have completed all the necessary training to work as an orthopedic surgeon.

However, you won’t get a license unless you pass an exam with a passing grade or higher, so make sure to do your hardest.

Before submitting an application for a license, make sure to review each state’s regulations.

7. Become Board Certified

You obtain a license right away, then move on to board certification.

Although obtaining board certification is not a requirement for employment as an orthopedic surgeon in the United States, doing so will demonstrate to potential or present employers your dedication to the field.

You must succeed in an evaluation by a board that has the power to decide if you are knowledgeable about orthopedic surgery in order to attain this.

The two organizations that administer board exams for orthopedic surgeons in the United States are the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) and the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (AOBOS).

The exam is divided into two sections: written and oral.

Orthopedic surgeons must participate in advanced education and training, and they must renew their certification every seven to 10 years by passing an advanced exam.

This is a requirement given by the board to ensure that orthopedic surgeons are knowledgeable about current scientific and practical developments in the field.

Also Read: Cheapest Medical Schools in New York

How Long does it take to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon?

The time required to perform all of the aforementioned processes is at least 13 years. This covers all phases, from applying for college admission to receiving a board certification.

how long does it take to become an orthopedic surgeon

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the hardest kind of surgeon to train for?

Of all surgeons, becoming a neurosurgeon is the most difficult.

Who receives the greatest surgical pay?

The highest paid surgeons are neurosurgeons. It is generally accepted that the average yearly salary of a neurosurgeon in the majority of US states is around $800,000.

Which physicians have the lowest salaries?

The lowest paid doctors in the world are pediatricians.

What medical profession is the simplest to enter?

The simplest type of doctor to become is a general practitioner because it takes the least amount of time and education.


A rewarding professional option is orthopedic surgery. The career options and opportunities for professional growth in this industry are abundant, and the earnings potential is astounding.

In the US, becoming an orthopedic surgeon can take up to 13 years, which is a long period. But the advantages of taking this career route make the time invested worthwhile.



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