Orthopedic Surgeon

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

An Orthopedic Surgeon is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system. Their job description includes performing surgical procedures to repair fractures, torn ligaments, dislocated joints, and other bone and joint-related issues. These surgeons also conduct non-surgical treatments such as medication and rehabilitation exercises. Orthopedic Surgeons work closely with other healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, pain management specialists, and orthopedic nurses to provide patients with comprehensive care. Additionally, they may collaborate with researchers to study new techniques and treatments to improve patients' outcomes. As an Orthopedic Surgeon, you must have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, a keen eye for detail, and be able to work well under pressure. Proper academic qualifications and proficiency in the latest medical technologies are also important for a successful Orthopedic Surgeon job description.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating injuries and conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments or tendons.
  • They diagnose and treat conditions such as arthritis, fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains, and spinal deformities.
  • They perform surgical procedures such as joint replacement, arthroscopy, bone grafts, and spinal surgery.
  • They work with other healthcare professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and sports medicine specialists.
  • They may be involved in teaching, research, and developing new surgical techniques or technologies.
  • They provide recommendations for pain management and rehabilitation to help patients recover from injuries or surgeries.
  • They may use diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to help diagnose conditions and develop treatment plans.
  • They may specialize in specific areas of orthopedic surgery, such as sports medicine, pediatrics, or trauma.
  • They stay up-to-date with the latest medical research, techniques, and technologies to provide the best possible care to their patients.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an orthopedic surgeon, there are two things you need: Education and experience. Education? That means you gotta go to school! First, you need a Bachelor's degree that focuses on a pre-med program. After that, you'll need to go to medical school and specialize in orthopedics. That means lots of studying, exams, and practice surgeries. Once you finish that, you'll need to do a residency program where you work and train with experienced orthopedic surgeons. That's the experience part, and it can take about 5 years.

Overall, becoming an orthopedic surgeon takes a lot of dedication, hard work, and learning. But if you're passionate about helping people, it can be a really rewarding career.

Salary Range

If you're wondering about the expected salary range for an Orthopedic Surgeon, the numbers are quite impressive. In the United States, the salary range for this medical specialty ranges from $378,000 to $684,000 per year, with a median salary of around $525,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as location, years of experience, and type of employer.

Outside of the United States, the salary range for Orthopedic Surgeons can differ significantly. In the United Kingdom, for example, the average salary for an Orthopedic Surgeon is around £82,000 to £135,000 per year ($108,000 to $177,000 USD). In Australia, Orthopedic Surgeons commonly earn between AU$166,000 and AU$449,000 per year ($122,000 to $329,000 USD).


  1. Medscape 2020 Orthopedist Compensation Report 
  2. Salary Expert - Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in UK 
  3. Payscale - Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in Australia

Career Outlook

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, orthopedic surgery is a great option. This field involves the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, and it's projected to grow in the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is average for all occupations. This growth may be due to the aging population and their need for joint replacements or surgeries. Additionally, the demand for orthopedic surgeons is high due to the high rate of sports injuries, which require the expertise of orthopedic surgeons. In conclusion, orthopedic surgery is an excellent career path to pursue with promising growth prospects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an Orthopedic Surgeon do?

A: An Orthopedic Surgeon is a doctor who specializes in treating musculoskeletal problems, such as fractures, injuries, and diseases of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Q: What education and training is required to become an Orthopedic Surgeon?

A: Becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon requires completing a Bachelor's degree, a medical degree, and a five-year residency program in Orthopedic Surgery. The surgeon must also be licensed and board-certified.

Q: What are the typical duties of an Orthopedic Surgeon on a daily basis?

A: Orthopedic Surgeons evaluate patients, diagnose musculoskeletal conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, develop treatment plans, perform surgery when necessary, and provide follow-up care to patients.

Q: What are the working conditions for an Orthopedic Surgeon?

A: Orthopedic Surgeons can work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and academic institutions. They typically work long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays, and may be called in for emergencies.

Q: What is the job outlook for Orthopedic Surgeons?

A: The job outlook for Orthopedic Surgeons is excellent, with a projected growth rate of 7% from 2019 to 2029. As the population ages, the demand for musculoskeletal care is expected to increase, resulting in more opportunities for Orthopedic Surgeons.

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