What it takes to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon


To become an orthopedic surgeon, you must:

  • Complete four years of study in a college or university
  • Complete four years of study in medical school
  • Complete 1 year internship in general surgery
  • Complete 4 year residency in orthopedic surgery
  • Complete 1 year fellowship in sub-specialty training (optional)

What is an internship and residency?
The first year of the residency training is called an internship.  Residency training is four years of studying the fundamentals of orthopedic surgery, rotating through the major subspecialties.

What is a fellowship?

A fellowship is a one year sub-specialty training for orthopaedic surgeons following residency to focus on one specialty.  This is optional additional training.

What does it mean to be board certified by the
American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS)?

To be certified by the ABOS means that the orthopaedic surgeon has met the specific education, evaluation and examination requirements of the board to assure the public that he or she has been adequately trained in the given specialty.

How does an Orthopaedic Surgeon become board certified?
To become board certified in orthopedic surgery it requires the candidate to complete their accredited residency, a written examination (Part I), a period of 22 months in practice (12 months at a single location), peer review and an oral examination based on the candidate’s own practice (Part II).