The road to becoming a Denver orthopedic surgeon is a long and arduous one. The entire process requires 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 5 years of residency. That’s a total of 13 years!
That’s not all. Those who want to specialize in a specific field of orthopedic surgery will have to enter a subspecialty fellowship program to further their knowledge. The American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine explains this important aspect of an orthopedic surgeon’s journey:
“A doctor who completes an orthopedic surgery residency may also do a surgical sports medicine fellowship, which lasts anywhere from 12-24 months. Such fellowships allow the doctor to gain more experience in surgical techniques for a variety of sports injuries. However, some orthopedic surgeons elect to do a fellowship in a specific joint, such as a “shoulder fellowship.” Obviously, there can be quite a bit of overlap as to who would be the ideal surgeon to treat specific sports injuries. Your primary care sports medicine doctor can often be an excellent source of information regarding surgeon recommendations.”
What a fellowship program means for the surgeon
There are fellowships in all areas of orthopedics. These include ankle, hand, foot, total joints, sports medicine, etc. In essence, what a subspecialty fellowship training does for an orthopedic surgeon is enable him or her to concentrate on and master special surgery techniques, as well as give him or her the opportunity to train under the guidance of a top orthopedic specialist.
What it means for the patient
From a patient’s perspective, this means that a surgeon understands all the injuries that applies to a specific part of the body inside out. For example, if you have a knee injury and have it evaluated by a fellowship-trained Denver orthopedic surgeons, you are dealing with a professional who’s fully trained to be one of the most knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced in that particular area.
Trusted orthopedic facilities like Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver have physicians who are fellowship-trained in their areas of expertise, and they don’t let their education stop there. They make sure to stay up-to-date in their respective fields so they can continually provide patients with the latest and the best in orthopedic surgery.
(Source: Sports Medicine FAQ, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine)