Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description

Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an orthopedic surgeon. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an orthopedic surgeon.


Who is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons are doctors who specialize in treating bone and muscle disorders and injuries. In addition, to make diagnoses, orthopedic surgeons conduct interviews with patients, examine them, and run X-ray testing, among other things. They use the test results to decide the type of therapy that is required after completing a test.

Orthopedic surgeons treat problems with the skeleton, joints, and other structures using both surgical and non-surgical procedures. These trained medical practitioners perform operations on a patient’s bones, nerves, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscle tissue. These specialists also undertake nonsurgical operations such as providing medicines, food supplements, rehabilitative exercises, and bracing damaged bones.

Orthopedic surgeons are frequently called to treat various ailments to the bone fragments, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Torn ligaments, burst discs, osteoporosis, sciatica, and bone cancers are just a few examples.

Orthopedic surgeons treat broken bones, fix deformities, repair sports injuries, and treat arthritic joints. They may specialize in foot and ankle surgery, as well as hand, hip, and knee surgery. The majority of orthopedic surgeons practice in hospitals or surgery centers. There are also solo practitioners, orthopedic surgeons in group practices, and others in multi-specialty group practices.


Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description

Below are the orthopedic surgeon job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an orthopedic surgeon job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

An orthopedic doctor has a variety of responsibilities to ensure that patients are adequately cared for and treated.

The following is a list of  tasks, duties, and responsibilities that are commonly allocated to orthopedic surgeons in most health centers, hospitals, or clinics:

  • Overseeing that musculoskeletal system is diagnosed and surgical operations are performed.
  • Inspecting operating equipment and devices to ensure that they are sterile and appropriate for use.
  • Increasing your professional talents by enrolling in medical courses and programs.
  • Referring patients to other healthcare specialists, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, for additional medical care.
  • Administering medication to help with rehabilitation and pain treatment after surgery.
  • Monitoring Patients’ progress and health on a regular basis, and ensuring treatment regimens are changed as needed.
  • Researching muscular malfunctions, diseases, and disorders.
  • Keeping families informed about their loved one’s treatment and recovery.
  • Organizing medical personnel and establishing procedures in medical facilities.
  • Ensuring that Patients are interviewed about their symptoms and concerns, and informing them about their medical history and problems.
  • Liaising with nurses, physicians, and other hospital personnel to administer proper treatment to patients.
  • Recommending exercises or sporting activities to enhance patients’ healing process.
  • Keeping adequate records of patient medicine and healthcare procedures.
  • Developing postoperative care regimens and making recommendations for food, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
  • Attending medical courses and programs for professional development.
  • Maintaining accurate records of patient services and medical procedures.
  • Responding to patient and staff issues as soon as possible.
  • Attending regular staff meetings to discuss any issues or updates.
  • Managing and supervising medical residents’ and students’ education.



Earning a medical degree, focusing on orthopedics, and then receiving extra training in the specialism of orthopedic surgery are all required for a career in this area. You must meet the following criteria to work as an orthopedic surgeon:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, physics, or a similar field is mandatory.
  • Certificates obtained as a doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) are required.
  • Internship and residency training in orthopedic surgery for 4 to 7 years.
  • The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the United States Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (USCOMLEX) must be passed (COMLEX-USA).
  • Certification in orthopedic surgery and/or a subspecialty, such as sports medicine, reconstructive surgery, trauma, or pediatrics, from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
  • State-issued medical license.
  • Possess an ability to work long hours and make sound decisions under pressure.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of current medical technologies, medical ethics, pharmacology, and physiology.
  • Dexterity and hand-eye coordination are exceptional.


Essential Skills

Orthopedic surgery is both a challenging and rewarding field. You must have the necessary education and training to be successful as an orthopedic surgeon. As well as this, an orthopedic surgeon must also have certain skills that can only be acquired after years of working with patients on a daily basis. These skills include but are not limited to:

  • Analytical skills:

Analytical skills are vital to Orthopedic Surgery. They use these skills to analyze their patients’ problems and determine the best course of action. They look for signs that a patient may be a good candidate for surgery, such as a lack of mobility or chronic pain. They must also study medical test data in order to provide accurate diagnoses on what is causing a patient’s symptoms.

  • Mechanical skill:

Excellent dexterity, good hand coordination, and patience are prerequisites for a successful orthopedic surgeon. These skills are ingrained while in medical school and during residencies; they help surgeons perform complex procedures.


  • Willingness to learn new things:

An excellent orthopedic surgeon will look for new ways to stay up to date with the current surgical procedures and technologies. You will incorporate these new concepts into their education and practice, resulting in improved client care.

  • Ability to adapt to a changing environment:

 As a surgeon, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Each case is different and each patient is unique, which can lead to burnout and anxiety if you’re not careful. As an orthopedic surgeon, you should embrace change and development. As healthcare evolves and medicine advances, you’ll need to be motivated and enthusiastic about learning new skills and techniques.

  • Flexibility

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a good orthopedic surgeon. To ensure that patients receive the finest treatment possible, you will be asked to work extended hours, including weekends and holidays. An orthopedic surgeon should be someone who has a passion for their field, as well as being flexible with scheduling to allow them to accommodate early morning or late night surgeries.

  • Compassion:

Orthopedic Surgeons are responsible for handling bone and muscle injuries. They also aid in the healing of fractures. This job requires compassion, a sense of empathy, and the ability to put patients at ease during a crisis. An orthopedic surgeon should be enthusiastic about his or her profession.

  • Realism:

As an orthopedic surgeon, you know that patients will come to you with many concerns. As a surgeon, you must be able to assess each patient and all of their issues as well as determine if you or another specialist should be the best medical provider for your patient.

  • Teamwork skills:

Your verified capacity to function productively with any team to achieve the intended objective is referred to as teamwork skills. As an orthopedic surgeon, you’ll work with other medical professionals such as anesthesiologists, nurses, and physical therapists to give your incredible client care. Working well with people is a valuable ability for orthopedic surgeons, as it allows them to interact with other medical professionals in order to deliver the best healthcare for their patients.

  • Problem-solving Skill:

Individuals working in this area of medicine should be skilled problem solvers. This is attributable to the fact that they are frequently confronted with tough circumstances and must make rapid and confident decisions. Your capacity to deal with problems with bone deformities and other health issues keeps you relevant in this field. Orthopedic surgeons should be able to provide care for bone issues using their knowledge of human skeletal structure.

  • Surgical skills:

Patients are treated by orthopedic surgeons who use surgical techniques. They diagnose and treat patients with musculoskeletal diseases using their surgical skills. Using their surgical skills, they execute treatments on patients to rehabilitate or restore broken joints.

  • Leadership capacity:

As department heads, orthopedic surgeons are frequently in charge of medical personnel. This shows that they are self-starters who are comfortable leading others in their practice, in the operation room, or by pioneering a specific research project. This assertive demeanor radiates confidence and dedication, and as such can be extremely beneficial to their patients.

  • Communication skills:

Orthopedic surgeons must be able to successfully interact with their patients. This ability allows them to communicate diagnoses and treatments to patients in simple words.

  • Technical abilities:

Having technical abilities is essential for persons who want to pursue this career path. Orthopedic surgeons employ cutting-edge technology to diagnose patients’ ailments. They evaluate medical records, examine patients, and interpret test results using their technical skills. They also perform surgery and other operations using these skills.



How to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon

From the beginning of undergraduate studies through the end of an orthopedic residency, Individuals pursuing a career as an orthopedic surgeon will typically spend around 13 years. This is due to the fact that they research the broad and complicated structure of the human body’s foundation.

You can become an orthopedic surgeon by following the steps outlined below:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in medicine from an accredited university:

The first step to becoming an orthopedic surgeon is to earn a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, people interested in becoming orthopedic surgeons must first earn a bachelor’s degree in medicine from an accredited university. This degree program typically requires four years of education or more to finish.

You will have an understanding of general chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, physics, English, and math at this stage.

  • Pass MCAT (Medical College Admission Test):

After earning a bachelor’s degree, the next stage is to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). The MCAT is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

This exam is essential for medical school admission and must be taken and passed by prospective orthopedic surgeons. The MCAT is a computer-based examination that assesses physical and biological sciences, as well as verbal reasoning and writing abilities. This test takes seven hours to complete, and you should score as high as possible to demonstrate your readiness for medical school.


  • Attend medical school:

You’ll apply to medical school after passing the MCAT. A doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree is required for orthopedic surgeons (DO).

Anatomy, genetics, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, and neurology are all studied in the first two years of medical school to prepare future orthopedists for clinical practice. In a similar vein, you’ll learn about the process of honing clinical and diagnostic talents.

Clinical rotations in a variety of practices, including surgery, internal medicine, and pediatrics, are the emphasis of third-year students. Rotations in certain electives, such as orthopedics, may be completed in the fourth year.

  • Complete residency

After earning your medical degree, you’ll need to spend the next five years in an orthopedic residency.

You will learn everything there to know about general surgery in the first two years. Advanced orthopedic procedures will be taught to you in your last years of residency.

As a prospective Orthopedic Surgeon, you will also have the opportunity to operate under the close supervision of highly qualified professionals.

  • Apply for a fellowship:

After you’ve completed your residency, the next step is to apply for a fellowship. Orthopedic surgeons analyze a particular physical part in great detail during this period.

Furthermore, you have the option of selecting a subspecialty within orthopedics.

A fellowship is a one- to the two-year commitment that covers a wide range of topics including Healthcare, hand, foot, ankle, spine surgery, Pediatric orthopedics, Orthopedic Oncology, reconstructive surgery, and Surgical Sports.

  • Earning a license to practice

After finishing your fellowship program, you will take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical License Examination (COMLEX). As a result, before applying for a license, be sure you understand all of the standards set forth by your state of residency.

  • Get a board certification

You can practice orthopedic medicine in the selected state once you have received your license practice. However, you can also become board-certified in order to acquire more trusting relationships and demonstrate your commitment to the area.

Board certification assures that orthopedic surgeons have passed a peer review and are competent and knowledgeable.

The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS) administer the Board exam (AOBOS).

Orthopedic surgeons must engage in continuous learning and have their certification renewed every seven to 10 years through board assessment and tests.

These guidelines, on the other hand, ensure that surgeons are up to date on the latest research and developments.

You have the option of working in a hospital or opening your own orthopedic practice after gaining certification.


Where to Work as an Orthopedic Surgeon

Academic institutions, private firms, group medical practices (teaching hospitals), and outpatient surgical centers are all common places for orthopedic surgeons to work. Oncologists and pediatricians, for example, usually work in offices dedicated to treating specific groups.

Orthopedic surgeons who do not want to work for anyone usually go into private practice.


Orthopedic Surgeon Salary Scale

According to Indeed salary data, an orthopedic surgeon’s average annual remuneration is $149,919 per year. A $42,884 yearly bonus is also expected, which could be in the form of a cash bonus, compensation, tips, or prospective revenue.

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