How a Person Becomes an Orthopedic Specialist

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If you’re preparing to undergo a procedure such as a knee or shoulder operation, you may be wondering how the person who will perform your surgery became an orthopedic specialist. Suffice to say it is a long, hard road that requires nearly endless study and the ability to prove you have the skills necessary to earn the title.

Orthopedics is the diagnosis and treatment of the nerves, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints. It takes many years to obtain the education needed to enter this field. These doctors treat problems such as arthritis, broken bones, degenerative conditions such as osteoporosis, and much more. Some doctors who work in smaller facilities may only treat sports injuries, while others working in large hospitals may work on several different areas of the body.

Anyone who aspires to become an orthopedic specialist must first attend medical school. Before entering medical school, however, a person must first obtain an undergraduate degree. The exact degree has little significance as long as he or she earns enough math and science credits to be accepted into a medical school. The person also needs to have studied at least one year of physics and biology and two years of chemistry.

After obtaining his or her undergraduate degree, a person wanting to become an orthopedic specialist has to take the Medical College Admission Test. This tests the applicant’s knowledge of the physical and biological sciences. In order to gain admission into a reputable medical school, an applicant has to score very well on this examination.

Typically, a student will be in medical school for four years. During this time, he or she will need to take the National Board Exams in order to continue through school and be eligible to serve a residency at a hospital.

The process of becoming a resident is similar to finding nearly any other kind of job. The person needs to apply to different hospitals where he or she desires to be a resident and go through several rounds of interviews. Doctors typically serve as residents for four years. However, a person will still need to complete a one-year internship before he or she can even become a resident.

All told, the process of education and training typically lasts around 13 years, with eight of that usually devoted to schooling. Then, when a doctor has finally earned the title of orthopedic specialist, he or she will usually put in work weeks of 50-55 hours. So as you can see, the person about to perform your procedure has shown a substantial amount of dedication and devotion to his or her profession.