Orthopaedic Surgery

Competitiveness: Extreme

An orthopaedic surgeon is educated in the preservation, investigation and restoration of the form and function of the extremities, spine and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical means. This specialist is involved with the care of patients whose musculoskeletal problems include congenital deformities, trauma, infections, tumors, metabolic disturbances of the musculoskeletal system, deformities, injuries and degenerative diseases of the spine, hands, feet, knee, hip, shoulder and elbow in children and adults. An orthopaedic surgeon is also concerned with primary and secondary muscular problems and the effects of central or peripheral nervous system lesions of the musculoskeletal system.

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IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2022:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 245
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 255
  • Research: 16.7
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 29.5
  • Work: 7.0
  • Volunteer: 8.3

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2022:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 238
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 249
  • Research: 9.3
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 97.6
  • Work: 5.8
  • Volunteer: 5.6

Specialty Factors

Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

The Top 5 Most Important Orthopaedic Surgery Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (94.4%)
  2. Grades in required clerkships (86.1%)
  3. USMLE Step 2 CK score(77.8%)
  4. MSPE (69.4%)
  5. AOA membership (69.4%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Applicant was flagged with Match violation by the NRMP (4.8)
  2. Audition elective/rotation in PD's dept (4.5)
  3. Letters of recommendation in specialty (4.4)
  4. Professionalism and ethics (4.4)
  5. Personal prior knowledge of applicant, Ability to work legally w/o visa (4.4)

Fast Facts

Total Training 5 years
Average Residency Salary $57,446.22
Average Physician Salary $557,000
Average Work Week 57 Hours
Peak Interview Months December, February
Key Organizations and Societies: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Diversity in Orthopaedics
American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics
Clinical Orthopaedic Society
Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society
Orthopaedic Research and Education
  • Orthopaedic surgery is one of the least IMG-friendly specialties.

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

210 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track PGY-1
Participating Programs 0
Filled Programs 0
Positions Available 0
Filled Positions 0


  • Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedics
  • Hand surgery
  • Shoulder and elbow surgery
  • Total joint reconstruction (arthroplasty)
  • Pediatric orthopedics
  • Foot and ankle surgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Musculoskeletal oncology
  • Surgical sports medicine

Additional Info