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To become an orthopedic surgeon, you need the same medical training as other doctors. The first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree, with several required science courses. This degree usually takes 4 years to finish. Getting in to medical school is very competitive. Some students also earn a master’s degree before they apply.Admission to medical school is based on good grades. But, most schools take other factors into account as well. They may consider your after-school activities, leadership quality, and character. You will likely need to write the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) before applying. Some people apply to medical school 2 years in a row before they get in.Medical school takes 4 years to complete. When you graduate, you are a medical doctor (MD). Next, you must do a 5-year residency to become an orthopedic surgeon. This is a period of practical, on-the-job training in a hospital or clinic.At the end of your residency, you can become certified as a surgeon. This option is offered by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). To qualify, you must pass written and oral exams. You also need to get a license from the state where you’ll be working. Related College ProgramsMedicinePre-Medicine/Pre-Medical StudiesBiology/Biological Sciences, GeneralBiochemistryChemistry, General Other Suggested QualificationsIf you’re interested in becoming an orthopedic surgeon, it’s important to be self-motivated. You must not only be prepared to spend many years at school preparing for a career as a surgeon, but also to spend long hours on the job once you have your medical degree. Emotional stability and the ability to work under pressure are essential.Other important attributes include strong communication skills, and an interest in helping other people. You must also have excellent manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Sample High School Program of StudyThis Program of Study can serve as a guide, along with other career planning materials, as learners continue on a career path. Courses listed within this plan are only recommended coursework and should be individualized to meet each learner’s educational and career goals