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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon

Introduction: What is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Orthopedic surgeons can help patients with a wide range of conditions, from broken bones to arthritis. Becoming an orthopedic surgeon requires extensive training and dedication, but it can be a rewarding and lucrative career.

How to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon

Becoming an orthopedic surgeon requires a minimum of thirteen years of post-secondary education and training, including an undergraduate degree, medical school, and a residency in orthopedic surgery. Let’s take a look at each of these steps in detail.

Step 1: Undergraduate Degree

The first step in becoming an orthopedic surgeon is to get an undergraduate degree. Most medical schools require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, so it’s important to choose a major that will prepare you for the rigors of medical school. For example, many students major in the sciences, like biology, chemistry, or physics.

Step 2: Medical School

The next step is to attend medical school. This typically takes four years of full-time study. During this time, you’ll learn the fundamentals of medicine, including anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. You’ll also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations and internships.

Step 3: Residency

After medical school, you’ll need to complete a residency in orthopedic surgery. This typically takes five to seven years, and includes both clinical and research experience. During your residency, you’ll learn how to diagnose and treat a variety of orthopedic conditions, as well as how to perform surgeries.

Step 4: Board Certification

After completing your residency, you’ll need to pass a board certification exam in order to practice as an orthopedic surgeon. The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) offers exams for both general orthopedic surgeons and subspecialists. Passing the exam will certify you as an orthopedic surgeon.

FAQs on Becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon

What kind of degree do I need to become an orthopedic surgeon?

You’ll need to complete a bachelor’s degree, medical school, and a residency in orthopedic surgery in order to become an orthopedic surgeon.

How long does it take to become an orthopedic surgeon?

Becoming an orthopedic surgeon usually takes a minimum of thirteen years of post-secondary education and training. This includes four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, and five to seven years of residency.

What is the board certification exam for orthopedic surgeons?

The board certification exam for orthopedic surgeons is offered by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). Passing the exam will certify you as an orthopedic surgeon.

How much does an orthopedic surgeon make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for orthopedic surgeons was $482,000 in 2019. However, wages can vary depending on experience, geographic location, and other factors.

What are the job duties of an orthopedic surgeon?

The job duties of an orthopedic surgeon include diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system, performing surgeries, and providing physical therapy or other treatments. Orthopedic surgeons may also work in research or teach at a medical school.

Conclusion

Becoming an orthopedic surgeon is a long and challenging process, but it can be a rewarding and lucrative career. It requires at least thirteen years of post-secondary education and training, including an undergraduate degree, medical school, and a residency in orthopedic surgery. After completing your residency, you’ll need to pass a board certification exam in order to practice as an orthopedic surgeon. If you have a passion for medicine and the drive to succeed, you may want to consider a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

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