A typical week for an orthopedic surgeon involves two days in the operating room, two days in the clinic and the rest covering on-call services for a major Level 1 trauma center. In order to be successful in this field, one needs to understand the demands and appreciate the challenge and reward of helping others recover from trauma.
Orthopedics is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and skin. These elements make up the musculoskeletal system. The physicians who specialize in this area are called orthopedic surgeons or orthopedic surgeons. Orthopedic surgeons are involved in all aspects of heath care pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. They use medical, physical, and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery.
Orthopaedics is an extremely competitive field. There are approximately 650 residency programs available each year in the 170 accredited programs. Candidates for orthopaedic residencies generally graduate at the top of their medical school classes. Most have completed a full orthopaedic rotation in medical school. About 7 percent of current orthopaedic surgery residents are women; about 20 percent are members of minority groups.