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Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description

Kundan Pandey
Orthopedic surgeons are one of the highest paid professionals in the medical industry. Their job duties are very challenging and demand intense concentration and skills. Know more about this profession in this story.
Being a surgeon brings with it loads of responsibilities, as there is no margin of error in any activity. Orthopedic surgeon's profession deals with the minute intricacies of injuries and diseases of legs, tendons, ligaments, bones and spines. Since the field of orthopedic is extremely challenging, it is also one of the highest paying professions in the US.
The job of an orthopedic surgeon, majorly revolves around surgery - ensuring that the operation is successful, giving appropriate medicines and that the patient returns home healthy.

Job Description

Orthopedic surgeons use either surgical or non-surgical methods to treat various problems associated to the musculoskeletal system of our body. Bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves - all combined together are called musculoskeletal system, that help in numerous body functions. Any impairment in these organs, leads to problems of voluntary and involuntary movements of the body.
So, in essence, the job of an orthopedic surgeon entails numerous work plans and activities that are required to examine, diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries and diseases.
As a part of his job, a surgeon has to locate problematic area in the patient's body, chalk out a plan to deal with it, and then work proactively for eliminating the disease and injury. In case, treatment plans and medications don't work, he can perform replacements or surgery on the diseased body part.
By using corrective devices like braces, casts, and splints, orthopedic surgeons provide effective treatment to patients.

Job Duties

Some of the common duties and responsibilities of an orthopedic surgeon, are given below.
  • Conduct meetings with patients before providing treatment and study the medical case.
  • Supervise physical examinations of patients like X - rays, MRI's and various other testing sources.
  • Alloting time to surgery staff. He has to ensure that every surgery staff member is present before the surgery.
  • Plan and coordinate specialized patient care after the surgery. Such a type of surgeon must ensure that the patient receives effective advise and help, when he/she comes for a follow-up post surgery.


Seeking education, is something that is life long process for such a type of surgeon. For becoming a full-fledged orthopedic surgeon, it requires at least 7 - 10 years of rigorous studies. After completing an undergraduate program, a student must take 4 years degree in orthopedics and similar subjects from a medical school. Later, four years of training in orthopedic surgery, as the part of residency program, to complete the course.
They are also required to pass the U.S Medical Licensing Examination to legally practice.This exam can be taken while a student is in his/her residency. In order to be certified in their area of surgery, practicing surgeons are also required to pass an exam by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, a division of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
A re-certification is mandatory every 7-10 years. So as we can see, orthopedics is a field that requires from you unwavering dedication, hard work and time.


When compared with various salary ranges in several other jobs, the profession of orthopedic doctors has one of the best earning potential. According to Salary.com the median annual salary of an orthopedic surgeon, in the US, stands at $485,000. The total annual pay package including bonus commissions or profit-sharing can range from $287,473 to $758,646.
Those with less than one year experience, can earn anywhere between $100,000 - $405,880 per year, and those with more than 20 years of work experience, can earn in the range of $250,650 - $800,000 per year. A point to note here is that salaries depend on educational qualifications, work experience, work location and type of employer.
So, if you are a student willing to become an orthopedic surgeon, study well, get a good training, pass all requisite exams and achieve your goal.