Training Needed to be an Orthopedic Surgeon

An orthopedic surgeon handles consultations and surgeries involving the musculoskeletal system of the body. While the name indicates that they only fix problems with surgery, they also utilize nonsurgical means to treat pain, trauma, diseases, and infections. To become an orthopedic surgeon in Gulfport, MS you will need to dedicate a large portion of your time in school and training.


The history of orthopedics began in the 1700’s when a hospital began dedicating specific time towards the treatment of children’s skeletal deformities. Wartime became a good place for the development of skeletal treatments simply due to the extensive amount of serious injuries. Rods began being used to treat fractures rather than unsanitary splints made to be stiff from dried horse blood. Internal fixations came into play during the Vietnam War, some designs even still being used today. Once more knowledge became available regarding infections and blood transfusions, more elaborate ways to treat bone deformities and injuries could be explored.  


To become an orthopedic surgeon, you must first acquire your undergraduate degree in a major that emphasizes biology and anatomy. Then you can apply to medical school, which is very competitive. You must have a great transcript, some form of extracurricular activities or volunteer time, and a good score on the MCAT. Once you graduate from medical school, you must then tackle the task of becoming a specialist. A residency generally last about five years, which consists of about one year in general surgery, and four years in orthopedic surgery. As was medical school, selection for orthopedic surgery residency training is very competitive. The more you pay attention to your grades and where you stand in your graduating the class, the better chance you have of being accepted into the residency program.

Further Training

A lot of orthopedic surgeons will choose to further their education to have a more specific specialty. These sub-specialties can include hand surgery, shoulder surgery, joint reconstructions, pediatric surgery, spine surgery, sports medicine, or foot and ankle surgery. This type of education is usually referred to as a fellowship and can be between one to two years. Sometimes the fellowship will have a research component added to the training, which may extend the time frame. If you wish to become an orthopedic surgeon in Gulfport, MS be sure to fully understand the time frame and state requirements for where you wish to practice. This can prevent wasted money and time in the end.

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