Career Development

16 Orthopedic Surgeon Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Orthopedic Surgeon skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, and muscles. They use a variety of skills to perform surgeries and other procedures, as well as to provide care and support to patients. If you’re interested in becoming an orthopedic surgeon, it’s important to understand the skills that are necessary for this career.

Orthopedic Implants

Orthopedic surgeons use their knowledge of orthopedics to help patients with bone and joint injuries. They often perform surgeries that require the insertion of artificial body parts, such as knee replacements or hip replacements. These procedures are common in an orthopedist’s practice, so it’s important for them to have a thorough understanding of how to properly place these implants.


Organization is the ability to keep track of multiple tasks and responsibilities. As an orthopedic surgeon, you may have many patients with different treatment plans that require various documents, such as medical records, insurance information and billing details. It’s important to be organized so you can provide your patients with accurate information in a timely manner. You also need to be organized when scheduling appointments or surgeries because it ensures all necessary preparations are made before each procedure.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As an orthopedic surgeon, you may encounter challenges during procedures that require problem-solving skills. For example, if a patient has an allergic reaction to medication or develops an infection, you need to find solutions quickly so you can continue with treatment.

Clinical Documentation

Clinical documentation is the process of recording patient information and treatment details. This can include taking notes during a consultation, documenting procedures and detailing post-treatment care instructions. As an orthopedic surgeon, clinical documentation skills are necessary to ensure accurate records for each patient. It’s also important to document any risks or complications that may arise so other surgeons can refer to it in the future.

Surgical Instruments

Surgical instruments are the tools that orthopedic surgeons use to perform their procedures. They include a variety of different types of equipment, such as scalpels, forceps and retractors. Orthopedic surgeons must be familiar with all of these instruments in order to properly treat patients.

Operating Room Procedures

The ability to follow operating room procedures is an important skill for orthopedic surgeons. They must be able to work with other medical professionals and adhere to the rules of their hospital or practice. This ensures that everyone in the OR has a clear understanding of what they need to do during surgery, which can help ensure patient safety.

Decision Making

Orthopedic surgeons must be able to make decisions about treatment options for their patients. They may need to decide which procedures are most effective and what the best course of action is when a patient has multiple conditions that require treatment. This requires them to have knowledge about different treatment methods, as well as an ability to weigh the risks and benefits of each option.


Anesthesia is a skill that orthopedic surgeons need to have in order to perform their job. They use anesthesia when they operate on patients, so it’s important for them to know how to administer the right amount of medication and monitor their patient’s vital signs during surgery.

Medical Terminology

Medical terminology is the language used by medical professionals to describe body parts, diseases and treatments. It’s important for orthopedic surgeons to have a strong understanding of medical terminology so they can communicate effectively with their patients and other health care providers. Medical terminology also helps them understand research articles and textbooks on medicine, which may be necessary for continuing education courses or professional development.

Emergency Procedures

Emergency procedures are necessary for orthopedic surgeons to have, as they may be called in on an emergency basis. Having knowledge of how to handle emergencies is important because it can help them save lives and reduce the amount of pain their patients experience. Emergency procedures also include knowing what equipment to use when a patient has a medical emergency.


Leadership skills are necessary for orthopedic surgeons to have, as they often supervise other medical professionals. This is especially true in a hospital setting, where the surgeon may be responsible for overseeing several different departments and personnel. Having strong leadership skills can help them delegate tasks effectively and maintain order among their staff. It also allows them to motivate others to work hard and achieve goals.

Pain Management

Pain management is a crucial skill for orthopedic surgeons to have, as they often perform procedures that cause pain. They need to be able to assess their patients’ levels of pain and prescribe treatment accordingly. For example, if the patient has mild pain, the surgeon may recommend rest or physical therapy rather than prescribing medication.

Infection Control

Infection control is the ability to prevent and treat infections. This skill can be important for orthopedic surgeons, who often work with patients who have open wounds that are at risk of developing an infection. It’s also important for these professionals to practice proper hygiene in their own practices so they don’t spread germs to their patients or colleagues.


Orthopedic surgeons often work with a team of medical professionals, including anesthesiologists, nurses and other surgeons. They must be able to delegate tasks to ensure that their patients receive the best care possible. For example, if they need to operate on a patient’s knee, they may assign one surgeon to perform the procedure while another assists them during surgery.

Patient Care

Patient care is the ability to provide treatment and support for patients. This includes listening to their concerns, explaining procedures in detail and answering any questions they may have. It’s important to be patient with your patients so you can help them feel comfortable throughout their treatment process. You also want to make sure you’re providing them with accurate information so they can trust you as a medical professional.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly. As an orthopedic surgeon, you must be able to explain medical conditions and treatment options to patients in a way that they understand. You also need to communicate with other health care professionals about your patient’s condition so that everyone involved understands what steps to take next.

How Can I Learn These Orthopedic Surgeon Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become an orthopedic surgeon. Firstly, you can complete a residency program in orthopedic surgery. This will give you the opportunity to learn from experienced surgeons and gain hands-on experience in the operating room. Secondly, you can shadow an orthopedic surgeon and observe their techniques and procedures. Finally, you can read books or articles on orthopedic surgery to learn more about the topic.


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