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Orthopedic surgery is the branch of medicine that involves surgery related to the musculoskeletal system. Pay rates for doctors who perform these surgeries can vary based on a number of factors. The primary factors affecting orthopedic surgery salary include physician qualifications, the type of facility in which the surgeries are performed and geography.
A physician's qualifications have a significant impact on his orthopedic surgery salary. This includes both education and prior experience. All such surgeons are required to earn a medical degree, but surgeons who have degrees from highly ranked schools of medicine can sometimes command a higher salary than those who attended other schools.
The quantity and quality of experience also play a major role. Surgeons with more years of experience and those who have performed a large number of procedures may earn more than new doctors or those who have performed only a few surgeries. Surgeons who can perform a vast array of surgeries on many areas of the body are frequently in high demand, but an individual who is acknowledged to be an expert in a difficult type of procedure may actually earn more than a generalist.
The type of facility is another prime determinant of an orthopedic surgery salary. Surgeries can be performed at either hospitals or outpatient clinics, and the doctor might either be a private practitioner or be on staff at a major hospital. If employed directly by a hospital or clinic, a surgeon might have other compensation considerations, such as insurance benefits and paid time off.
The funding of the facility is also a factor. Hospitals and clinics can be publicly funded, meaning that the government funds them. They may also be private, meaning that they are owned and operated by one or more private parties. In general, the orthopedic surgery salary will be higher at a private hospital than at a public one, presuming that all other factors are the same.
Orthopedic surgery salary often differs greatly based on geography as well. Different countries and different areas within a country may pay quite differently. The wealth of the population surrounding the facility and classification of the area as urban, suburban or rural can also have an effect.
All factors taken together determine the salary an orthopedic surgeon can anticipate earning. Other factors might include certifications or honors held by the physician as well as any management duties that come with a particular job. Need can also be a factor. Where demand for a position is high, the salary is likely to be high also.