We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Become an Orthopedist?

By Elva K.
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Orthopedists, otherwise known as orthopedic surgeons, focus on surgery, diagnosing, treating, and caring for patients with joint, bone, muscle, tendon, ligament, skin, or nerve problems. The work might also entail rehabilitation work. To become an orthopedist, you will generally need excellent academic ability, manual dexterity, a college degree, a medical degree, post-medical school residency training, and fellowship training.

Getting a college degree is important if you want to become an orthopedist. You can choose any major you wish. Granted, you will need to take college science classes such as physics, biology, and chemistry to fulfill medical school application requirements. Also, getting good grades can be important. Medical school application is very competitive and a high grade point average (GPA) will distinguish you from the competition and will demonstrate to prospective medical schools that you have sufficient academic ability to complete medical school.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that, if you want to become an orthopedist, it can be helpful to do an internship in a medical setting. Doing the internship in an orthopedic setting would be useful because it would supplement your classroom learning. The career services department at your college will likely be able to help you find a suitable internship in an orthopedic setting.

Also, you will need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). MCAT scores will be submitted to medical schools as part of your medical school application. The MCAT assesses your skills in critical thinking, verbal reasoning, problem solving, science, and writing. This test gives medical school evaluators a sense of how you might perform as a student in medical school.

You could start to apply to medical schools at the start of your last year of college. The Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) is generally required for anyone who wants to become an orthopedist. An MD degree typically includes four years of medical study. Keep in mind that orthopedic surgery can be a competitive field. For example, it is not unheard of for orthopedic surgery aspirants to graduate at the top of their medical school class.

After successful completion of medical school, you will typically have to go through residency training and board certification. Residency training usually takes five years and involves four years of training in orthopedic surgery and one year of training in general surgery, internal medicine, or pediatrics. Then in order to achieve certification from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS), you must work two years as an orthopedic surgeon and then pass an exam given by the ABOS.

Upon completion of the necessary schooling and training, orthopedic surgeons can open their own solo practice, work with an orthopedic group, or work with a multispecialty physician group. Some orthopedic surgeons work in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) while some work in preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Others pursue careers as medical school professors, military orthopedic surgeons, or government orthopedic surgeons.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.