To become an orthopedic surgeon, one usually has to complete a four year undergraduate course before applying to medical school. In there, he will have to finish another four years of training before he can undergo residency training and specialize in one field. This particular stage requires about five years to complete, with one year spent in general surgery training and the other four focused on orthopedic surgery practice. Once they are done, they can then apply for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery certification. It constitutes a standardized written exam and an oral exam and when they pass, they received their credentials, implying to clients that they have met the required educational, evaluation, and examination requirements of the field.

Some residents pursue additional training afterwards, called fellowships, usually lasting about a year or two, to develop their skills. This is where they adapt a subspecialty – for example spine surgery, foot and ankle surgery, shoulder and elbow surgery as well as surgical sports medicine. Subsequently, they again apply for certification by another standardized examination (only applicable for those taking orthopedic sports and hand surgery). And if they are interested, explore research or thesis writing and get involved with clinical studies to be updated on the latest medical trends in orthopedic surgery.

Qualification for the practice is very competitive, which is why it only produces 700 physicians per year. In the United States, there are approximately 20,400 active orthopedic surgeons and this is only 3% to 4% of the total physician population in the country. Majority of its practitioners are male, given that surgery in general, has always been a man’s world. However, women have begun to immerse themselves in the field, with a 10% stake.

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