How Do I Become An Orthopedic Surgeon?

Perhaps you have always wondered, “How do I become an orthopedic surgeon?” Being an orthopedic surgeon gives you an incredible opportunity to help other people become rehabilitated. You may specialize and perform knee surgeries for athletes, or you may be a general practitioner who does surgery on all parts of the body. As an orthopedic surgeon, you will mainly deal with the musculoskeletal system of the body.

What’s it like to be an Orthopedic Surgeon?-100

Being an orthopedic surgeon, you can expect to have a very busy schedule. You may have to treat emergency injuries for young children or athletes. Aside from that, usually you have the freedom to create your own schedule. Some orthopedic surgeons make it a point only to go into the office a couple of times during the week. Other orthopedic surgeons work for public hospitals and work upwards of 70 hours a week.

Education Requirements

Because orthopedic surgeons are physicians, they are required to pursue a medical degree from an accredited school. You will have to obtain this degree after receiving a degree from an undergraduate institution. It typically takes a person about eight years of education in order to become a physician. A residency must then be completed by those who successfully receive their degree from medical school. For an orthopedic surgeon, one will have to pursue a residency for five years. One will have to be accepted into a residency program. Residency programs are very competitive, and there are only about 150 in the entire country. Each residency program only accepts about three to five applicants every year.

Salary and Job Opportunities

Orthopedic surgeons can earn a very high salary. The average salary for orthopedic surgeons is about $500,000. Orthopedic surgeons who choose a specialization may earn more than $700,000 a year. Right now, there is a demand for orthopedic surgeons. As more people are able to receive health insurance in the United States, there will continue to be a demand for this type of surgeon.

Those who enter this profession may work at a public hospital or open their own practice. If you are entering the profession, then you will probably work for a public hospital in the beginning stages of your career. Working in a hospital gives you the opportunity to treat low-income patients and learn how hospital administrations work. You can also be protected in the event of a medical malpractice lawsuit. The majority of orthopedic surgeons end up opening their own practice and working with other doctors in an office.


If you have been thinking about pursuing a career as an orthopedic surgeon, then you should have a strong interest in performing operations and helping patients in the recovery process. It is also helpful to have a strong background in the math and sciences. This career takes commitment, so you should be prepared to devote at least 13 years of your life to the pursuit of this career. Those who do make this commitment are usually very satisfied with their career choice in becoming an orthopedic surgeon.