Career Trends for Orthopedic Surgeon Jobs

Orthopedic surgeon jobs have their own career trends than other branches of medicine. As an orthopedic surgeon performs surgery for medical conditions of the musculoskeletal system, he or she must possess good knowledge of diagnosis, treatment and surgical methods of treating musculoskeletal trauma, infections, sports injuries, tumors, congenital disorders and degenerative diseases. Apart from surgery, an orthopedic surgeon also has the responsibility of prescribing medicine, treating arthritis and administering steroid injections for injuries.

Subspecialties in Orthopedic Surgery

Many orthopedic surgeons complete 1-year fellowships in subspecialties of orthopedic surgery. There are numerous subspecialties like hand and upper extremity surgery, arthroplasty (total joint reconstruction), sports medicine, orthopedic trauma, shoulder and elbow surgeries, foot and ankle surgeries, musculoskeletal oncology, pediatric orthopedics, microsurgery and spine surgery. After completing the fellowship program, you have to obtain certification by completing the necessary certification examination.

A few of the subspecialties, like sports medicine and physical medicine, do not involve surgical procedures. If you want to pursue an alternate lifestyle without having to do orthopedic surgeries, you may opt for these specializations over others.

Recent Trends in Orthopedic Surgeon Jobs

Because of the health care reforms, a few changes impact orthopedic surgeon jobs:

  • Due to the increasing trend of mergers and acquisitions in the health care industry, the private practice of orthopedic surgeons will be impacted. This trend might help you increase the market share and bargaining power with insurers.
  • Cost of implementation of EMR applications due to federal compulsions might not produce satisfactory return on investments for the orthopedic surgeons who are about to retire from practice in the near future.
  • Due to the orthopedic subspecialty certification in spine surgery, there is a debate that neurosurgeons might be affected because 65 to 70 percent of all neurosurgical treatments are done through spine surgery. This possibility might threaten the existence of the neurosurgeons, so the future for this subspecialty certification is not known.
  • Above 50 percent of orthopedic surgeons are practicing only general orthopedics with 11 percent and 10 percent in spine surgery and sports medicine respectively. These numbers show that there are ample opportunities for upcoming orthopedic surgeons.

Career Outlook for Orthopedic Surgeon Jobs

The future for orthopedic surgeon jobs is encouraging as the average age of Americans is moving higher. The higher the age of the population, the higher the expected occurrence of age-related musculoskeletal ailments. According to the projection of the U.S. Department of Labor, orthopedic surgeon jobs should grow faster than the average growth until 2014.

Moreover, as orthopedic surgeon jobs have thrown open many avenues of subspecialties, there are ample chances for orthopedic surgeons to advance in their careers. Medically dedicated websites like can provide relevant information on the available opportunities and market trends for orthopedic surgeons who register with them. The younger generation of orthopedic surgeons prefers a normal lifestyle and often opts to work in regular hours in large hospitals instead of practicing privately. As the average annual compensation for orthopedic surgeon jobs is more than that of general surgeons, lots of medical students prefer this specialty branch of medicine.