Career Information: Orthopaedic Surgery Term Paper

Introduction (Part 1)

The career I am interested in is orthopaedic surgery. It is based on the knowledge of orthopaedics, one of the branches of medicine, which studies the methods of correction of deformities of bones or muscles. According to researchers, “with the advances in technology, the domain has included correction of deformities in adults, which have been very much prevalent due to poorly managed traumatic conditions” (Kiotwal & Natarayan, 2005, p. 1). This career requires the proper education and application of the proper skills to achieve positive outcomes. As a rule, surgeons are focused on extensive training and ongoing learning to improve their professionalism in clinical practice.

An orthopaedic surgeon is a health professional in the field of orthopaedic surgery, who is specialized is operating on patients with various musculoskeletal problems, such as arm, leg, neck, bone and tissue ailments. A wide range of orthopaedic disorders and conditions require using specific approaches by a professional surgeon. Among these disorders and conditions are congenital deformities, musculoskeletal injuries, trauma and different forms of tumors. The key duties include proving consultation with patients, meeting new patients and giving assessment, meeting with repeat and follow up patients to check on their recovery status.   

What attracts me to the career in orthopaedic surgery are the opportunities provided to me as a healthcare specialist. I have massive opportunities for realization of my plans in medicine, such as ongoing professional growth and development, research work, and the ability to save human lives. Other areas of interest in this career include payment, work schedule, and social status. I understand that an orthopaedic surgeon is responsible for a number of issues that affect health condition of his/her patients. Orthopaedic surgeons are among the highest paid health professionals. The average annual salary is $358,605, according to PayScale (2018). Undoubtedly, orthopaedic surgeons should understand that role of education and expertise in this occupation. The factors like the number of years spent on getting the requires education, high level of stress in this job and the significance of health care services contribute to high level of payment. As I have always been involved in the study of biological sciences, I find this occupation very interesting and appealing to me. Also, I am skilled in using handwork and highly  interested in mechanics. The joins and bones are essentially just simple mechanical pieces that form the human body. Orthopaedics is also a great way to view the phenomena of physiology and its relation to anatomy (Stern, 2011).  An added reason why orthopaedics is a discipline that I am interested is that I myself have had an ACL reconstruction, which further made me interested in this field.

Education and Professional Association

The education and credentials for working in this career are few: 4 years undergraduate Bachelor’s degree, 4 years medical school (MD/DO) which provides MCAT, USMLE, COMLEX, Board Certification (USMLE if MD, COMLEX and/or USMLE if DO), 5 year orthopedic surgery residency, and optional fellowship. This information was obtained from communication with doctors, advisors, and mentors.

The professional organization in this career field is Orthopaedic Associates. The website url is This organization is developed to provide professional assistance in the field of orthopedic care. The certified physicians and surgeons are highly motivated to provide personalized care and treatment in the field of orthopaedics. They can help patients with neck and elbow pain, chronic joint problems, and provide physical therapy.

Information Needs for a Professional Practising in the Selected Career (Part 2)

One of the typical scenarios or situations a professional working in the selected career might encounter is an ethical dilemma. According to researchers, “despite our recent attention to ethical issues in orthopaedics, we are still faced with multiple conflicts of interest that continue to pose ethical dilemmas to the practising physician” (Capozzi & Rhodes, 2015, p. 139). The following scenario shows that he potential conflicts of interest and the ethical dilemmas faced by orthopaedic surgeons are unavoidable. In this scenario, the patient needs a more effective surgical procedure, such as additional anaesthesia to ensure that the patient is not subjected to greater pain and sufferings. According to the major tenet of medical ethics, the physician is obliged to “act for the good of the patient”. In this scenario, the patient has health problems which may lead to the greater blood loss, if additional anaesthesia is provided.  Hence, there is an ethical dilemma associated with violation of the medical dictum of “do no harm”. Some other examples of ethical conflicts that emerge in this career include “the introduction of new technology, physician advertising, and the obligations of the sports team physician” (Capozzi & Rhodes, 2015, p.140).

There are three typical questions /information needs that reflect the kind of information needed for working in the selected career:

  • Is this diagnoses often confused with another more common one?
  • What procedure is least invasive with effect results?
  • What supporting exercises or medications can relieve pain and ease symptoms?

The most credible information resources include medical peer-reviewed journals, books, and online resources provided by professional organizations in this field. The selected searching strategy that can be used to find the information to answer the identified questions/information needs is phrase searching strategy. Phrases are used as search terms which help to find the required information from different online search tools, such as search engines (e.g. Google), the library catalogues, and online databases.

Targeted Information Resources (Part 2 + added annotations)

The three targeted journals used by an individual working in this career include

  • The American Journal of Sports Medicine (, which provides valuable scientific information in orthopaedics.

This journal contains original articles, which help orthopaedic surgeons, who are specialized in sports medicine. The key goal of the journal is to assist health professionals in identifying the   causes and effects of injuries and diseases, which result from athletic injuries.

  • British Journal of Sports Medicine (, which helps orthopaedic surgeons and other health specialists in sports medicine to make right decisions and select the proper treatment methods.

This journal is considered to be a popular multi-media portal, specially developed to foster original research work, reviews of case studies and debates relevant to the various aspects of sports medicine, including the practices in physiotherapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation. The major goal of the journal in to assist in treatment of physically active people through innovation and research work, educational practices, and knowledge sharing and translation, applying research into practice. 

  • Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise(, which is developed to address the needs of health specialists in the field of sports medicine.

This journal provides a wide range of original investigations, explores clinical studies, and fosters  comprehensive reviews on various health issues in the field of sports medicine and exercise science. This journal is characterized as a multidisciplinary journal, which is aimed at reaching the target audience, including orthopaedic surgeons, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, team physicians, and athletic trainers.

The two targeted databases used by an individual working in this career include

  • PubMed

This database is comprised of over 28 million citations for various types of biomedical literature from MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine. There are many life science journals and online books in this database that can be used by orthopaedic surgeons. 


This database is an academic resource, developed and maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is comprised of a wide range of privately and publicly funded clinical studies that have been conducted around the world.

There are five targeted websites that can be used by an individual working in this career, including

  • Centres for Disease Control and Prevention  (

This website is designed by CDC, one of the major components of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is aimed at protecting health of Americans through increased health security and specific methods to fight the emerged diseases.

  • Cochrane Library (

This website provides a collection of databases that are comprised of different sources that  offer reliable evidence to help health professionals in their decision making.

  • OrthoInfo (

This website is designed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to help specialists in the field of orthopaedics with their decision making and problem solving issues. The information provided by this website helps to find the proper treatment and address various conditions, including injuries and diseases of  the musculoskeletal system.

  • Orthobullets (

This website is an an educational resource, specially developed to address the learning and professional development needs of orthopaedic surgeons. The website is designed to improve treatment methods and share information on professional issues in orthopaedics.

  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (   

This website is aimed at helping orthopaedic surgeons in improvement of the quality of care and patient outcomes. The major goal is to maintain high standards for professional competence of board certified orthopaedic surgeons.

Continuing Education

In the medical field, information is constantly evolving. If a patient presents with a particularly rare or abnormal diagnoses, it may be wise to refer to up to date articles to reaffirm the correct diagnoses. From there, the physician can cross reference newer and more effective treatments combined with traditional methods. In order to keep up with new information in the medical field, namely in orthopaedics, it is critical to be engaged in various scientific activities, attend conferences and meetings, read specific medical journals, and, undoubtedly, to continue education through online resources that help to improve their clinical expertise.  

One example of a research article that would be of interest to practitioners in this career is the article “Expanding Roles in Orthopaedic Care: A Comparison of Physiotherapist and Orthopaedic Surgeon Recommendations for Triage” by a group of Canadian researchers specialised in orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation sciences.

Full citation of the article is the following:

MacKay C., Davis AM, Mahomed N, Badley EM. (2009). Expanding roles in orthopaedic care: a comparison of physiotherapist and orthopaedic surgeon recommendations for triage. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 15(1):178-83.;jsessionid=71C65FAB7F3B4AE6E7987D3A5A7063D1.d02t02


Rationale, aims and objectives Innovative service delivery models are emerging using physiotherapists in the assessment and management of patients referred for orthopaedic consultation. The primary objective of this study was to compare the clinical recommendations of specially trained physiotherapists with those of an orthopaedic surgeon on: (1) appropriateness to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon; and (2) candidacy and willingness to undergo total joint replacement (TJR) for patients with hip or knee problems. A secondary objective was to examine their recommendations for non‐surgical management and agreement on clinical diagnosis.

Methods Physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeons independently assessed patients with hip and knee problems referred for consideration for TJR and completed a standardized form on treatment recommendations. Agreement between providers was determined using the kappa coefficient and per cent agreement.

Results Two physiotherapists and three orthopaedic surgeons participated in the study that included 45 and 17 patients with knee and hip problems respectively. In 91.8% (56/61) of cases, physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeons agreed on the recommendation of appropriateness for the patient to see a surgeon (kappa 0.69). In discordant cases, the physiotherapists tended to refer for consultation. There was 85.5% (53/62) agreement on whether a patient was a candidate and willing to have TJR (kappa 0.70). The physiotherapists commonly recommended exercise and education for non‐surgical patients. Orthopaedic surgeons most commonly referred patients to rehabilitation services.

Conclusions Patients with hip or knee pain referred to orthopaedic surgeons can be appropriately referred for orthopaedic consultation by physiotherapists working in extended roles. Further research is required to evaluate the value‐added and the most appropriate use of extended role physiotherapists.


Anticipated salary for an individual entering this career is equal to or greater than  $208.000 per year or $100.00 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor (BLS) of 2018.  ( Orthopedics is considered to be one of the most common surgical specialities, which requires doctoral or professional degree. Hence , the salary for an orthopaedic surgeon depends on the level of education, competence and expertise.

A real world job description for this career can be found on The employer is Concentric Methods, LLC.

Job Description:
The Orthopaedic Surgeons diagnose and assess patients’
injuries or diseases through diagnostic testing, such as
X-rays to look for broken bones or blood tests to check
for rheumatoid arthritis.


  • Maintain a level of productivity comparable with that of other individuals performing similar services
  • Participate in peer review and performance improvement activities
  • Practice aseptic techniques as necessary
  • Comply with infection control guidelines to include the proper handling,storage, and disposal of infectious wastes, and the use of universal precautions to prevent the spread of infection
  • Function with an awareness and application of safety procedures
  • Perform efficiently in emergency patient situations following established protocols, remaining calm, informing appropriate persons, and documenting events
  • Anticipate potential problems/emergencies and make appropriate interventions

  • Notify supervisor, director, or other designated person regarding problems that the HCW is unable to manage

  • Apply an awareness of legal issues in all aspects of patient care and strive to manage situations in a reduced risk manner

Participate in the implementation of the Family Advocacy Program as directed

  • Participation shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate medical examination, documentation, and

  • Exercise awareness and sensitivity to patient/significant others’ rights

  • Maintain an awareness of responsibility and accountability for own professional practice

  • Participate in continuing education to meet own professional growth

  • Attend and/or comply with all annual training classes required by the Command

  • Actively participate in the command’s Performance Improvement Program

  • Participate in meetings to review and evaluate the care provided to patients, identify opportunities to improve the care delivered, and recommend corrective action when problems exist

  • Participate in the provision of in-service training to clinic staff members rovide training and/or direction as applicable to supporting government employees
  • Attend and participate in various meetings as directed

  • Perform timely, accurate, and concise documentation of patient care

  • Operate and manipulate automated systems such as CHCS, AHLTA, ADS, Essentris, and Clinical Information System (CIS), participate in clinical staff Performance Improvement (PI) and Risk
    Management (RM) functions, as prescribed by the Commander

  • Maintain DOD email account as directed
  • Exercise appropriate delegation of tasks and duties in the direction and coordination of health care team members, patient care, and clinic activities

  • Maintain documentation of all treatment provided in accordance with clinic directives, and prepare such records and reports as may be required

  • Provide services within the scope of clinical privileges granted and the applicable duties provided in the basic contract. Actual clinical activity will be a function of the overall demand for Orthopedic Surgeon services

  • Examine patients to identify the need for operations, to estimate risks to patients and select the optimal surgical procedures(s)

  • Communicate with consultants as appropriate
  • Schedule surgical time with operating room
  • Check instruments, equipment and surgical setup to make sure those antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed

  • Instruct other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients, instrument, and equipment requirements

  • Prescribe post-operative care and observe, investigate and manage the patients’ progress and care

  • Prepare records of operations performed in accordance with the command policies on medical records and surgical care

  • Other duties as assigned.

Special Job Facts

  • Ability to work under deadline pressure, handle stress and deliver professional results.

  • Long hours and weekends may be required to meet deliverables

Job Requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Science
  • Medical degree has to be obtained from a 4-year medical school program

  • Doctor of Medicine degree has to be attained by candidates following which they can work at a general surgery center in order to gain experience

  • License can be obtained after passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

  • State medical license.
  • Possess and maintain current certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

  • Possess a minimum of 3 years’ experience as an orthopedic surgeon within the last 5 years Preferences and Requirements

  • Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Sit or Stand throughout a regular work day.
  • Ability to work on computer for long periods.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail.

  • Self-motivated with minimal oversight.
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Some travel may be required.

  • Must have authorization to work in the United States as defined by the Immigration Reform Act of 1986. Cape Fox Corporation, its subsidiaries and affiliates provide equal employment opportunities to all persons and prohibit employment decisions on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, or sexual orientation. Cape Fox Corporation, its subsidiaries and affiliates offer preference to Cape Fox Corporation shareholders, descendants and other Native Americans pursuant to Public Law 100-241.


In general, the career in orthopaedic surgery is an opportunity to demonstrate the proper skills, knowledge and experience in orthopaedics, help patients with injuries and various musculoskeletal diseases, and contribute to improvement of the health of the nation.

The skills and information I learned in this course will impact my future career in different ways. I will be able to improve my communication skills in order to communicate effective with patients, their families, and hospital staff members. Also, I will be able to select the appropriate treatment and medications, placing emphasis on new, innovative approaches in orthopaedics. I will provide accurate monitoring and recording of various pieces of information related to clinical practice. Finally, I will be highly motivated to continue my education in order to significantly improve my clinical expertise. For example, I will be aimed at attending the Foundation for Orthopaedic Research and Education (FORE) conferences, symposiums, and meetings. This organization provides massive opportunities for orthopaedic surgeons in sharing their knowledge and experience in orthopaedic sports medicine. I will be highly motivated to find other courses that are specially focused on demonstration of the the latest advances in orthopaedics, such as new surgical technologies and concepts in rehabilitation.


Capozzi, J. D. & Rhodes, R. (2015). Ethical challenges in orthopaedic surgery. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, 8(2): 139-144.

Kiotwal, P. P. & Natarayan, M. (2005). Textbook Of Orthopaedics. New Delhi: Elsevier.

MacKay C., Davis AM, Mahomed N, Badley EM. (2009). Expanding roles in orthopaedic care: a comparison of physiotherapist and orthopaedic surgeon recommendations for triage. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 15(1):178-83.

PayScale. (2018). Average Orthopaedic Surgeon Salary. Retrieved from:<>

Stern, S. H. (2011). Key Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery. New York: Thieme.

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