An orthopedic surgeon is a person that specializes in treating conditions or injuries that mainly affects the musculoskeletal system. Some of the basic functions of surgeons include Diagnosis, treatment (medications, exercises, surgery, or other treatment plan), Rehabilitation (recommendation of special exercises or physical therapy to bring back strength and function, Prevention (includes treatment plans to prevent or slow down the development of the disease).
Most of the orthopedic doctor are surgeons, they basically perform surgical procedures to immobilize fractures, surgically resetting bones, and correcting damage to soft tissues. But surgery is not always vital to repair an injury. These surgeons are as well educated to perform non-surgical treatments such as casting broken bones or supporting back braces to help deal with scoliosis.
Becoming an orthopedic surgeon takes a lot of time and utmost patience is required. It takes approximately 12 to 14 years of education and training in the field of orthopedics. To become an orthopedic surgeon, one must complete a four years study in a college or university, four years of study in medical school, five years of study in orthopedic residency, and a year of specialized education in general surgery, pediatrics, or internal medicine. After the entire course, a physician should complete and pass both oral and written tests conducted by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS).
Taking up orthopedics is literally expensive and time consuming, therefore it is not completely surprising on why they earn a high salary compared to other profession. With exception of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons are the highest paid medical professional. Depending on the location, employer, and the setting, the average reported annual salary of an orthopedic surgeon is $427,000, these surgeons are employed in a healthcare organization. The second highearning orthopedic surgeons are those who are members of a single-specialty group practice, with the average income of $391,000, Orthopedics in a multispecialty group practice ranked 3rd at $340,000, Orthopedic surgeon doing a solo practice earns $256,000 while those who are employed in hospitals earns $251,000, lastly orthopedic surgeon employed in academic organizations earned considerably less by an estimated earning of $225,000. According to the survey, almost 30% of orthopedic surgeon spend between 30 to 40 hours per week seeing patients, and another 27% of respondents spend 41 to 50 hours a week seeing patients. The number of patients is basically considered in the survey, about 22% of the respondents said they have an average of 50 to 75 patient visits per week, 21% answered 76 to 79 patient visits per week, and another 14% of the respondents declared to have at least 125 patient visits per week. The survey results are credited to Leslie Kane, MA, Medscape Business of Medicine’s executive editor.
Just like any other profession, these numbers are only average for orthopedic surgeons. A lot of aspects can affect the earnings that you are expecting. In fact, many surgeons don’t consider themselves as wealthy because of debts and high expenses, 42% of these surgeons answered that their income is no better than that of other non-medical profession.