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Definition of an Orthopedic Doctor

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An orthopedic doctor cares for the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic doctors may undergo additional training become a specialist in pediatrics, rheumatology or physical therapy, or to treat specific areas of the body such as the hands and arms or hips.

Work Environment

An orthopedic doctor is a physician who treats problems of the bones, ligaments, joints, tendons and muscles. Orthopedic doctors may work in a clinic, large hospital or sports medicine facility.

Medical Training and Licensure

After medical school, a physician must complete a residency, internship or fellowship to work as an orthopedist. In addition to medical training, a physician must pass and obtain a state license to practice in a particular state.


According to the Association of American Colleges, the annual salary for an orthopedist ranges from $372,400 to $512,500 as of 2008.