Orthopedic Doctor

The orthopedic doctor or orthopedist, is an MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) that specializes in diagnosing and treating bone, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skeleton related problems. This could range from a simple broken finger or a complicated hip replacement procedure. With the treatments for orthopedic becoming more varied each year, there are more specialists within this medical specialty. This could mean your family doctor may refer you to the “hand” specialist or to the “hip” specialist. These doctors may use various treatments like surgical interventions, bracing, casting and medications.

Orthopedic Doctor Education Requirements

Becoming an orthopedic doctor and eventually a surgeon, takes a lot of time, 14 years to be exact. It is however, a career that is both educationally and financially rewarding.

Students begin their orthopedic doctor required education by first acquiring their undergraduate studies in courses like 1 year in Biology, 2 years in Chemistry and 1 year of Physics. Then, the students have to undertake the MCAT in four sections: physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal exam and written sample.

The student has to enter into medical school which will take 4 years to complete. The first two years of medical school is classroom based filled with lectures. The next and last 2 years are all hospital based, assisting in operations with licensed doctors. Students who complete medical school graduate with the title of DO or MD.

During medical school, the student has to take the National Board exam in two parts. The first part of the exam is taken after the 2nd year of medical studies. The other part is taken on the 3rd year. The testing is based on the fundamental medical knowledge of the student.

Before medical school is over, students have to apply for their residency program. This is usually done during the fall before the orthopedics residency begins. The interviews are done during winter if the student will be considered into the program.

One day is spent for match day, so students will know which residency program they have been accepted to. They will have to spend 1 year of internship before they proceed to 4 years of residency.

Residency is usually spent on rotation in all the major subspecialties in various hospitals in order to get very good exposure in orthopedic surgeries.

The doctor has the option to pursue orthopedic doctor continuing education in a fellowship program for their subspecialties. They can choose among subspecialties like pediatric orthopedics, sports medicine and other specialties. Depending on their specialties, the training may take another 1 or 2 years to complete including a research component with operative and clinical training.

What courses count toward Orthopedic Doctor education requirements

The typical courses taken to complete an orthopedic doctor degree are courses like physics, biology, organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry taken during the pre-medicine studies. During medical school, the students takes courses such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology and pharmacology.

What levels of degrees are available for Orthopedic Doctor

  • Undergraduate studies completed in four years with a bachelor’s degree program. MCAT should be taken and passed in order to get into medical school.
  • Medical school completion in 4 years with an accredited medical school. 2 parts of the National Board Exam are taken during attendance of Medical school.
  • Internship for 1 year and then residency for another 4 years.
  • Orthopedics have the option to take another 1 or 2 years for their subspecialties.

What are the financial requirements to become a Orthopedic Doctor

The average cost of completing an Orthopedic Doctor education requirements may depend on the medical school chosen by the student (prices differ if the school is public or private), the state or location and on other fees imposed by the school. One doctor finished 6 years of medical school spending around $430,000 to become a orthopedic doctor.

What are the continuing education requirements for Orthopedic Doctor

After their completion of registrar or residency training, orthopedics are eligible for their board certification. The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery gives the orthopedic doctor certification and certificates signifying the passing of their specific orthopedic doctor requirements in terms of education, examination and evaluation of the board. The process involves the successful completion of the standard written exam and followed by the oral exam which is focused on the orthopedics surgical and clinical performance in a 6 month period.

Specialists who focus on sports medicine and hand surgery should obtain their CAQ (Certificate of Added Qualifications) to add to their board certificate. This is successfully done by completing another standard examination. For other subspecialties, there are no additional certification processes.

What are the skills necessary to become a Orthopedic Doctor

The orthopedic doctor qualifications are:

  1. Must have excellent eye and hand coordination, excellent mechanical skills
  2. Must persevere and have the intellect to finish the entire orthopedic educational program
  3. Must be willing to develop the technical skills needed to perform treatments and surgical procedure
  4. Is responsible in the involvement of making life changing decisions for their patients

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