Orthopedists treat patients with various problems or injuries to the musculoskeletal system. An orthopedist literally means "someone who treats bone disorders." They perform surgical procedures on broken bones, torn ligaments, and injured joints. In addition, they treat other orthopedic conditions such as arthritis.
There are several schools that offer an MD degree as well as orthopedic training. Practical experience is just as important as theoretical knowledge. For this reason, we have only selected schools that are affiliated with hospitals. In this way, students receive internships and on-the-job training.
In this article, we will look at the best orthopedic surgeon schools and what makes them one. You'll see the usual elite medical schools and some surprising names.
How to become an orthopedist
Entry into the medical profession is along and complicated process. But you shouldn't feel intimidated. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will become an orthopedist.
It will take a lot of hard work and money. For this reason,You must be absolutely, categorically, and beyond reasonable doubt that you want to become an orthopedic surgeon before enrolling. It's a career path for the strong-willed. You will have days when you will regret your decisions. You will have days when you feel like the world is out there to get you.
Here is a list of factors that are important when considering this career path.
The first step to becoming an orthopedist is proper training. This means a bachelor's degree in any field (preferably biology or chemistry), then four years of medical school. For those who wish to specialize as surgeons, an additional three to five years will be needed in a residency program.
However, surgical training is expensive and may be out of reach for many students from low-income families. Therefore, it is possible to make a "slow walk" through medical studies. Four years for those who wish to become a general practitioner first, followed by a further three years to become a surgeon.
This means that it is possible to do a PhD and become a doctor in seven years instead of the usual eight. This allows students to start earning money sooner.
After graduating from medical schools, orthopedic surgeons enter an internship program. Here they learn about their area of expertise as they continue through the lessons. They then continue in a residency program of approximately three to five years. The duration depends on what area of orthopedics you want to specialize in.
The final step is to complete an additional one-year fellowship. It is required before you can become certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS). Some surgeons complete two or more additional fellowships in lieu of board certification. Especially if you want to become an academic orthopedist.
Many hospitals and medical schools offer an orthopedic residency program. Residents are paid for their services and receive valuable experience. This is usually accomplished through shading. Which means acting like a doctor's shadow. Once residents complete the program, they are eligible to take the board certification exam. This allows them to practice independently.
There are many continuing education programs in orthopedics in the United States. These are approved by the American Medical Association or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and are listed in a public database of accredited institutions. Students must ensure that they meet all the requirements before applying. Some schools require specific undergraduate majors, while others want students to get a certain percentage of questions correct on their entrance exams. Students can apply for an orthopedic residency program in their fourth year of medical school or after graduation.
Teaching hospitals are more popular with applicants and offer better training opportunities. However, some programs prefer residents in private practice because they want their doctors to be independent. Applicants can review residency program rankings based on student and resident experiences accepted by all US residencies (there is a separate ranking for teaching hospitals).
Orthopedic Schools: How to Choose the Right One
The choice of medical school is one of the most important in the life of a future student. So it's perfectly normal to feel lost when it comes time to choose one. That is why we are compiling this list.
We mentioned internships and scholarships earlier in the article. You want to choose a school that gives you plenty of opportunities to practice what you are taught. With that being said, you should check out the hospitals affiliated with medical schools.
Choosing a school is important if you want to become an orthopedist, which is why there are many teaching hospitals there. This allows students to gain hands-on experience and learn from experts in their field.
Many students prefer to live near their hometown or even travel there. They can stay close to family and friends, which makes their lives so much easier. For this reason, it is important that schools provide students with the opportunity to participate in rotations at teaching hospitals close to their home or school.
If you want to choose a program based on location, make sure there are enough options within commuting distance of your home.
Faculty and Research Opportunities
Each orthopedic school has a variable number of professors who teach students during their courses and research projects. You want to choose an institution that offers you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the best experts in the field.
It may take time to learn more about these opportunities, as they are not always advertised. You can contact the professors directly or read their websites to find out more about the research projects they are involved in.
specialties and subspecialties
Some students want to know what orthopedic subdisciplines exist before applying to medical school, while others prefer to focus on a single specialty during the application process.
If you want to specialize in a particular type of orthopedics, find out if your school offers the right courses and research opportunities in that area. Or if there are enough doctors with specialized knowledge in this subdiscipline within a short distance of the campus or place of residence.
There is no one perfect medical school for everyone – the right one depends on your interests, career goals, and preferences.
If you are considering applying to an orthopedic training program after graduating medical school, apply to schools with an excellent reputation in the specialty. Also, check to see if they offer any special courses or training opportunities related to orthopedics before you decide.
When choosing a school based on acceptance rates, there are several factors to consider.
For example, the number of applicants that apply each year and how difficult it is for them to get in can be an indicator of quality. A higher rate indicates relatively less competition among students during the application process, which means more places are available to you.
Another way to measure quality is the employment rate of graduate students (after graduation) from medical school. If many graduates can find jobs in related fields, they have learned in school from a good faculty and have received sufficient research opportunities.
Submitting your application during admissions season will take time and effort, but it's well worth the wait. Make sure you know all of your options before deciding on a school to apply to.
As already mentioned, the cost of studying medicine is quite high. Some people even go into debt just to pay it all off (student loans). However, there are some schools that offer tuition reimbursement programs for students. That's why it's important to do some research before applying anywhere.
The cost of an orthopedic surgeon degree depends on the institution you choose. For some private institutions, tuition exceeds $50,000 per year. For community colleges, it can be as little as $12,000 per year.
If you are low on funds, you can choose a school in an underserved area. The federal government pays for part of your education through the National Health Service Corps program. You can find the cost of any medical school in the US by looking at the interactive map from the American Medical Association. You can also search for tuition reimbursement programs through the website.
editor's note: Although medical school is extremely expensive, you can easily pay off your loans if you work.The average annual salary for an orthopedic surgeon is around $500,000. You could even earn more than a treating doctor with several years of experience. It is also possible to earn over half a million dollars by having a private practice.
Find the right orthopedic program
One problem many people have when applying for orthopedic surgery programs is that they don't know where to look. There are so many colleges and universities, not to mention private centers. Applicants can use the AMA website to find accredited institutions in their state or to search for program reviews on TopScopes.
Before doing this research, applicants should consider several factors that will help them decide where to apply. For example, it's important to know the cost of living in different areas and compare that price to wages. This is especially important if you are looking for cheaper accommodation during your stay.
Applicants should also consider which teaching hospitals are closest. Some students prefer large facilities where they can learn from more experienced doctors. Others prefer smaller hospitals because they offer more time with experienced surgeons.
Top 7 Orthopedic Surgeon Schools: Detailed Reviews
The United States is full of incredible medical schools. However, the demand for skilled workers continues to grow. The main reason is that most of these schools are difficult to access. Only the most exceptional students are accepted into it.
Acceptance rates are very low and there are a few places available for students. The optimal learning environment for medicine is small classes with a close student-teacher relationship.
Choosing a school is difficult. That is why we have created this list of the best schools for orthopedic surgeons in the United States.
- type: private
- Location: Washington, DC 20052
- Instruction: 63.920 $
Founded in 1821, George Washington University is the largest private university in DC. The school has a main campus located primarily in Foggy Bottom, which sits on 80 waterfront acres overlooking the Potomac River.
The George Washington University School of Medicine was founded in 1824 and became part of the GWU after the end of World War II. It is considered one of the leading orthopedic programs in the United States.
The school offers an M.D.-Ph.D. Program for post-medical students interested in biomedical research. The average cost of attending George Washington University for a degree in orthopedics is $63,920 per year.
This institution offers a predoctoral medical education program with the following specialties:
- orthopedic surgery
- emergency medicine
The university also offers medical students courses on musculoskeletal disorders, physical examinations, imaging studies, and other topics. This is one of the best programs in the United States.
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- type: private
- Location: Baltimore, Maryland 21218
- Instruction: 58.000 $
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is ranked third nationally. It was founded in 1876 and has a main campus in East Baltimore, near the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is one of the major hospitals in Maryland.
The university's Department of Orthopedic Surgery offers students with an M.D., Ph.D. or D.O. the opportunity to earn a combined master's and doctorate. This adds two years of research training after medical school.
Teachers are seasoned professionals with practical experience in orthopedic surgery. In this way, they enable students to receive comprehensive training that goes beyond theoretical knowledge.
The average cost of attending Johns Hopkins University as a graduate or resident orthopedic surgeon is $58,000 per year. This includes tuition, room and board offered as part of a full fee.
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- type: public
- Location: San Francisco, CA 94143
- Instruction: 11.442 $
Founded in 1864, UCSF Medical Center has since become one of the West Coast's leading patient care and research hospitals. It's located in Parnassus Heights near Golden Gate Park, but it also has locations in China and South Korea.
Established in 1970, the UCSF Orthopedic Surgeons Program is now one of the top orthopedic medical schools.
The school offers various residency programs to students who have completed their undergraduate studies at top universities across the country. This contains:
- overall operation
- Orthopedic Surgery (M.D./Ph.D.)
The average cost of attending this university for a degree in orthopedic surgery is $24,000 per year. This includes living expenses. The UC system requires students to pay additional fees in addition to tuition and other fees. That means they will have about $30,000 in total debt.
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- type: private
- Location: Stanford, CA 94305
- Instruction: 68.000 $
Stanford University was founded in 1885 and has a main campus in Stanford, California. It is one of the country's leading research universities and has an internationally recognized medical school.
Stanford's orthopedic surgery program was established in 1969. It offers students with a combined MD, Ph.D. or degree DO three options to complete the specialized training:
- overall operation
The university also offers a combined MD-Ph. Program D for students interested in biomedical research. The average cost of attending Stanford University as a graduate or resident orthopedic surgeon is $68,000 per year.
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- type: private
- Location: Rochester, New York 14642
- Instruction: 59.100 $
The University of Rochester Medical Center was founded in 1925 and is located in Rochester, New York. It has an internationally recognized medical school that receives students with M.D., D.O. or PhD degree the opportunity to complete your specialized training as part of a network programme.
The Department of Orthopedic Surgery offers a variety of residency options for students who have completed their undergraduate studies at top universities across the country.
The University of Rochester Medical Center is a leading research university with a phenomenal orthopedic surgery program. It offers students the opportunity to complete their specialized training in various areas of expertise. The faculty is world-class, and the school has a strong research presence that helps it attract top-tier medical graduates from across the country.
Additionally, students at this school have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the operating room, which helps them adjust faster when they begin their residency training.
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- type: private
- Location: Cambridge, MA 02138
- Instruction: 69.000 $
It would be strange to make a list of the best medical schools in the United States, heck, in the world, without mentioning Harvard. This Massachusetts-based university is recognized as one of the best research universities in the world.
It has an internationally recognized medical school that receives students with M.D., D.O. or Ph.D. Graduates have the opportunity to complete their specialized training.
Internships at Harvard Medical School last between three and six months. Demand for jobs varies from month to month, but it's not uncommon to experience a backlog of applications. To be eligible, the applicant must have completed one year of undergraduate courses. Additionally, an internship requires a one-year commitment. Early application is encouraged so that interviews can be scheduled in advance before all positions are filled.
The average cost of attending Harvard University as an orthopedic surgery graduate or resident is $69,000 per year.
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- type: private
- Location: Philadelphia, PA19104
- Instruction: 61.586 $
Rounding out our list of the best medical schools for orthopedic surgeons is Perelman University of Pennsylvania. This Philadelphia-based university offers M.D., D.O. or Ph.D. Complete a combined continuing education program in your orthopedic department.
In addition, they offer a five-year integrated doctorate. and medical degree for students interested in biomedical research. The medical school is one of the oldest in the United States and has a prestigious department of orthopedic surgery that offers students a variety of residency options.
Perelman is an elite orthopedic school. It offers students various in-residence training opportunities and its research footprint is impressive. The faculty is made up of world-class orthopedic surgeons who attract top-tier medical students from across the country to attend their university.
Costs associated with attending this school include tuition, housing support, books, etc., which averages $71,000 per year.
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Becoming an orthopedist is a long but rewarding endeavor. You will improve the lives of many people throughout your career. Yes, money is good, but you'll soon discover that you care more about the fact that you're fixing people's bodies. Your gratitude for your service will trample all the money in the world.
If all you care about is money, you'll probably find it hard to enjoy the long academic journey. It takes years of full-time study to become a doctor.
That means if you're 100% committed to it, then it's time to shine.
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- Johns Hopkins University.
- Duke University.
- University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)
- University of California--San Francisco.
- University of Michigan--Ann Arbor.
- Columbia University.
- Stanford University.
- Washington University in St. Louis.
- Maine: Average salary: $267,693. ...
- North Dakota. Average salary: $258,834. ...
- West Virginia. Average salary: $254,135. ...
- New Hampshire. Average salary: $256,380. ...
- Wisconsin. Average salary: $251,166. ...
- Arkansas. Average salary: $251,585. ...
- Michigan. ...
There are approximately 150 accredited orthopaedic residency programs, with over 3,000 residents nationally, and 610 positions available for new residency applicants.What is the most difficult surgery for an orthopedic? ›
Spinal fusion surgery is one of the most challenging procedures, as it involves fusing two vertebrae together to prevent movement from causing pain. In most cases, an orthopedic surgeon uses bone grafting. They take bone from the hip and use it to help bone growth and fuse the vertebrae.What is the #1 orthopedic hospital in the US? ›
Top 25 states for orthopedic surgeon pay.
|Average hourly wage||$183.57|
- Adam Bitterman, DO. Huntington (N.Y.) ...
- Steve Haas, MD. Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City). ...
- David Holden, MD. McBride Orthopedic Hospital (Oklahoma City). ...
- Ky Kobayashi, MD. ...
- Alan MacGill, DPM. ...
- Steven Mardjetko, MD. ...
- Alexander Meininger, MD. ...
- Anthony Melillo, MD.
The education needed to be an orthopedic surgeon is normally a bachelor's degree. Orthopedic surgeons usually study nursing, biology or medicine. 39% of orthopedic surgeons hold a bachelor's degree and 15% hold a associate degree.Where do most orthopedic surgeons live? ›
Page 1. California ranks among the highest states in the U.S. with 2,406 active orthopedic surgeons. The state has 800 more orthopedic surgeons than Texas, which is ranked second with 1,621. Washington D.C. and Vermont have the least number of orthopedic surgeons in the U.S., with 58 and 54 respectively.How much does an orthopedic surgeon resident earn in the US? ›
Earnings vary by specialty. Orthopedic surgery residents average $60,700 a year, general surgery residents make $61,000 a year, residents in plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine make $65,600, and specialized surgery residents have an average annual salary of $65,700.
|10th Percentile Orthopedic Surgeon Salary||$310,242||US|
|25th Percentile Orthopedic Surgeon Salary||$412,340||US|
|50th Percentile Orthopedic Surgeon Salary||$524,480||US|
|75th Percentile Orthopedic Surgeon Salary||$678,520||US|
“The first year is intern year when they still do rotations with all of the special teams so he had pretty normal hours. When he started on the ortho rotations, he definitely had longer days. Easily up to 12 hours.” The second year is the hardest year for orthopedic residency.What is the match rate for orthopedic surgery residency 2023? ›
In the 2023 Main Residency Match, there were 1,239 couples participating. Of these couples, 1,095 had both partners match and 114 had one partner match to residency training programs for a match rate of 93.0 percent.Is orthopedic surgeon hard? ›
Is Orthopedic Surgery Hard? Yes, orthopedic surgery is a difficult field. It requires extensive training and is a very difficult and competitive residency for medical students to match into. It takes many years of school, studying, and hard work to train as an orthopedic surgeon.What is the number one most painful surgery? ›
- Gallbladder removal.
- Bone marrow donation.
- Dental implants.
- Total hip replacement.
- Abdominal hysterectomy.
The complication with greatest morbidity and mortality, for which the orthopedic patient population is at particularly high risk, is thromboembolic disease.What is the difference between orthopaedic and orthopaedic? ›
These are simply two alternate, and correct, spellings for the same branch of medicine. While orthopedic is the more commonly used and accepted spelling, especially in American english, orthopaedic is the more traditional academic and British spelling.What is the best surgical hospital in the US? ›
U.S. News & World Report has again recognized Mayo Clinic as the No. 1 hospital overall and top ranked in fourteen specialties.Where do most orthopedic surgeons work? ›
Orthopedic surgeons can work in hospitals, university medical centers or private practices. They spend their time in the office consulting with patients, doing surgeries in the operating room or performing nonsurgical procedures such as applying splints or casts.What percent of orthopedic surgeons are millionaires? ›
Orthopedic physicians have the highest level of net worth among any medical specialty. Approximately 22 percent of orthopedic physicians are worth $500,000. Approximately 14 percent are worth between $500,000 and $999,999. Approximately 20 percent are worth between $1 million and $1,999,999.
Neurosurgery is the highest-paid specialty in the medical profession. With patients suffering from brain-related illness or injury, neurosurgeons must have experience and expertise with the brain, spine, spinal cord and nervous system.
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $400,000 and as low as $22,500, the majority of Orthopedic Surgeon Fellowship salaries currently range between $83,000 (25th percentile) to $364,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $400,000 annually across the United States.At what age do most orthopedic surgeons retire? ›
We found practicing orthopaedic surgeons planned to retire at an average age of 65 years. However, 30% of those surveyed had no plans to retire, which would increase that age once all respondents retired. The retired orthopaedic surgeons surveyed retired at a median age of 65 years.What is the highest paid type of orthopedic surgeon? ›
Pick a High-Paying Subspecialty
You can earn more throughout your career by initially choosing one of the higher paying subspecialties. As we saw from the data in the field, some top-paying orthopedic surgery subspecialties include spine, oncology and joint replacement.
Determine their years of experience. The prime for an orthopedic surgeon is generally ages 40-50. By age 40 the surgeon has had enough repetitions to hone their skills.Do orthopedic surgeons like their job? ›
On average, orthopaedic surgeons rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.9/5. Unlike many careers, orthopaedic surgeons have little difficulty finding meaning in their work, and it likely constitutes one of the main reasons people become orthopaedic surgeons.What is the orthopedic capital of the US? ›
Warsaw, Indiana is known as the “Orthopedic Capital of the World®” and is the birthplace of orthopedic design and manufacturing.Which surgeons have the best lifestyle? ›
Though they tend to be more stressful medical fields—neurosurgery, thoracic surgery, and orthopedic surgery are also generally regarded as providing some of the best lifestyles for physicians.What state has the best surgeons? ›
Best States For a Surgeon
Our research shows that Maine is the best state in the country for surgeons. The most common schools for surgeons are University of the Sciences, University of Florida, and University of Phoenix, and the most common majors are medicine and nursing.
The five-year Orthopedic Surgery Residency includes didactic and research training, along with extensive clinical experience. You gradually assume increasing responsibility for patient care and participate in trauma management throughout the entire residency.
$68,000 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $136,500 is the 75th percentile.Is orthopedics a competitive residency? ›
Overall Competitiveness of Orthopaedic Surgery Residency and Chances of Matching. The overall competitiveness level of orthopaedic surgery is High for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 31%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 68%.How much do orthopedic surgeon residents get paid in Los Angeles? ›
How much does an Orthopedic Surgery Resident make in Los Angeles, California? As of Mar 6, 2023, the average annual pay for an Orthopedic Surgery Resident in Los Angeles is $104,687 a year.What is a starting salary for a orthopedic surgeon in California? ›
How much does aSurgeon - Orthopedic make in California? The average Surgeon - Orthopedic salary in California is $585,841 as of March 28, 2023, but the range typically falls between $460,574 and $757,900.How much does an orthopedic spine surgeon earn in Los Angeles? ›
How much does an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon make in Los Angeles, California? As of Feb 28, 2023, the average annual pay for an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles is $217,326 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $104.48 an hour.At what age do most surgeons start their residency? ›
After graduating from high school at 18, you'll spend 4 years in college and yet another 4 years in med school. At around 26 years old, you'll start taking up residency that averages 4 years, and at least a year of fellowship training.What type of surgeon takes the longest to become? ›
Neurosurgeons have one of the most competitive and longest residencies. They also earn exceptionally well for their highly specialized work.What medical specialty takes the longest? ›
With the longest residency period of all the specialties, it takes to-be neurosurgeons around 15 years in total to complete their studies. But, at the end of that long road, brain surgeons perform life-saving surgeries and are rewarded with an incredible salary of roughly $750,000 per year.What is the most competitive surgical residency? ›
- Plastic Surgery.
- Orthopedic Surgery.
- Thoracic Surgery.
- Vascular Surgery.
Population aging is driving the need for a wide range of specialists who treat conditions common to older citizens, including orthopedic surgeons. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a shortage up of to 122,000 physicians by 2032.
A solid orthopaedic surgery application would include a 245+ on Step 1, 245+ on Step 2, a LOR from 1-3 orthopaedic surgeons, and AOA membership.What is the hardest orthopedic surgery to perform? ›
- Spinal Fusion Surgery. Spinal fusion surgery is one of the most challenging procedures, as it involves fusing two vertebrae together to prevent movement from causing pain. ...
- Acetabular Fixation. ...
- Total Joint Replacement. ...
- Distal Humerus Fractures.
Fixing fractures from the front of the pelvis may be one of the most complex orthopedic surgeries. The acetabulum is the socket part of the hip joint, so the surgeon has a small window through which they need to work. The procedure is major because of so many large blood vessels around.What is the highest salary of an orthopedic doctor? ›
Highest salary that a Orthopedic Surgeon can earn is ₹30.0 Lakhs per year (₹2.5L per month). How does Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in India change with experience? An Entry Level Orthopedic Surgeon with less than three years of experience earns an average salary of ₹10.9 Lakhs per year.What Step 1 score do you need to be an orthopedic surgeon? ›
A solid orthopaedic surgery application would include a 245+ on Step 1, 245+ on Step 2, a LOR from 1-3 orthopaedic surgeons, and AOA membership.Which surgeon earns the most per surgery? ›
Plastic surgeons are the highest paid surgeons overall. They not only perform cosmetic surgery but also use reconstructive techniques to repair injuries and trauma, correct congenital defects and reconstruct cancer sites.Where is the highest paid orthopedic surgeon? ›
- Obstetrician and gynaecologist.
- Plastic surgeon.
- Emergency medicine physician.
The highest-paid doctors in the US are in surgical specialties such as plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, or cardiology and report earning over $500,000 per year on average.What is the difference between an orthopedist and an orthopedic surgeon? ›
Orthopedists, often mistakenly referred to as orthopedic doctors, specialize in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedic surgeons also diagnose, treat and prevent musculoskeletal problems, but they can perform surgery when necessary as well.
According to data from the American Medical Association, many surgeons continue to practice beyond the “standard” retirement age of 65. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, it is anticipated that an increasing number of these surgeons will continue to practice as well.Is a 70 year old surgeon too old? ›
While older physicians may be physically frail, they generally have a wealth of knowledge and years of experience that hospitals would be loath to lose. "It's probably a small percentage of surgeons in their 70s who have trouble," Katlic said.At what age is it too late to become a surgeon? ›
There is no age limit for medical school. You can become a doctor in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s. In the end, medical schools want students who will make good physicians.Why is orthopedic surgeon hard? ›
Is Orthopedic Surgery Hard? Yes, orthopedic surgery is a difficult field. It requires extensive training and is a very difficult and competitive residency for medical students to match into. It takes many years of school, studying, and hard work to train as an orthopedic surgeon.Do you get paid for residency? ›
Although salaries vary based on the year of residency and your specialty, medical residents are paid for their work. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), there were over 144,000 active medical residents as of 2021, and the average salary for medical residents was $64,200.Is it stressful to be an orthopedic surgeon? ›
Many orthopedic surgeons work long hours and some weekends. The work environment can be fast-paced and stressful. They not only work with many patients throughout the day, but also collaborate with a variety of medical experts.