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How do I Become an Orthopedic Specialist?

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  • Written By: Jill Gonzalez
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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To become an orthopedic specialist, people must first become a medical doctor, which means that they have to attend medical school. To specialize in this particular area, candidates should have a sincere interest in studying the musculoskeletal system of the human body. Physicians in this field specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the joints, muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments that make up the musculoskeletal system. Anyone who is interested in this field of medical specialization should be aware that it takes several years to obtain the education that is necessary for the job.

For people who are starting at the beginning of the entire process, it is important to know all of the different steps that are involved. Of course, the first step is to obtain an undergraduate degree. While the particular degree that is earned does not particularly matter, it is important that people take enough science and math classes so that they will later be eligible for admission to medical school. For the most part, students will need one year of biology, one year of physics, and two years of chemistry.

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Once an undergraduate degree has been obtained, anyone who wants to become an orthopedic specialist in the U.S. will need to take the Medical College Admission Test. This is a one-day exam that tests applicants' knowledge of the biological and physical sciences. It is important to obtain a high score on this exam in order to gain admission to a good medical school. Medical school typically lasts for four years. For those who want to become an orthopedic specialist, it is possible to graduate as a doctor of osteopathic medicine. This can be helpful for students to have this designation, so they can complete a residency and find employment once school has been completed.

In order to complete the process and become an orthopedic specialist, U.S. students will also need to take the National Board Exams, which allow them to continue through medical school and be eligible for residency. To obtain a position as a resident, students will have to complete applications for the locations where they wish to work. The application process is followed by a round of interviews before residency assignments are made.

Students are required to complete a one-year internship before they can complete their four years of residency. Completing a residency is an excellent opportunity for students to learn the basics of practicing as an orthopedic specialist. It also gives them the option of choosing a particular area of sub-specialization, such as pediatrics or sports medicine.

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