Overview of the Specialty

Orthopedic Surgery is the medical and surgical specialty that includes the study and prevention of musculoskeletal diseases, disorders and injuries and their treatment by medical, surgical and physical methods.

At a Glance


  • 5 years of residency
  • Categorical and advanced positions available

These are minimum requirements. Some programs may have longer residencies.


Foot and Ankle Orthopaedics1 year
Hand Surgery & Upper Extremity1 year
Joint Preservation1 year
Orthopedic Sports Medicine1 year
Orthopedic Surgery of the Spine1 year
Orthopedic Trauma1 year
Pediatric Orthopedics1 year


Median, Academic Salary$504,000
Median, Clinical Salary$559,000

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of 5 years of postgraduate education. There were 156 orthopedic surgery residency training programs accredited by the ACGME for 2014/15 that offered 703 categorical positions.

Matching Program Information and Match Statistics

Orthopedic surgery residency training programs participate in the National Resident Matching Program. Match results through the NRMP and competitiveness information for orthopedic surgery residency training positions are summarized in the US Match Statistics table below.

US Match Statistics





# Categorical positions available for U.S. Seniors703695693682
% U.S. Seniors matched*80%83%81%82%
# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions0210
# Unmatched U.S. seniors149123134128

Source: NRMP Match results for U.S. seniors applying in a single specialty. *Competitiveness is based upon the percentage of U.S. Seniors who ranked each specialty as their only choice.

WUSM Match Statistics

For a list of WUSM match statistics for the past several years, please visit Search for WUSM Statistics. (password protected)

Subspecialty/Fellowship Training

Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of an orthopedic surgery residency program is available in adult reconstructive orthopedics, foot and ankle orthopedics, hand surgery, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic sports medicine, orthopedic surgery of the spine, orthopedic trauma, and pediatric orthopedics. Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered, and length of training is available at the FREIDA website.

Visit AMA website »
Visit FREIDA website »

Career Information

FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.

Washington University Resources

Faculty Contacts

Jacob Buchowski, MD, MS747-4950
Douglas McDonald, MD747-2563
Martin Boyer, MD, FRCS(C)747-2813
Rick Wright, MD747-2639

National Organizations