Exploring Similarities and Differences between Orthopedic Doctors and Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedics are the ones that focus on caring for the musculoskeletal system, incorporating muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and cartilage. These people diagnose, prevent, and treat ailments like deformities, tumors, infections, injuries, or degenerative diseases.

This sector in the medical field has many professions, but among those that are famous to several are orthopedic doctors and surgeons. However, what made them unique and simultaneously similar to each other?


Educational Background

Both orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons undergo wide-ranging medical training and education: the two typically complete medical school and a residency program specializing in orthopedics.

Expertise in Musculoskeletal Conditions

Both professionals are knowledgeable in diagnosing and treating various musculoskeletal disorders. They provide non-surgical and surgical alternatives to patients based highly on their conditions.

Patient Care

Both experts’ focal point on enhancing the quality of life for their patients by accomplishing these factors:

  • Alleviating pain
  • Restoring function
  • Improving mobility

They create customized treatment plans depending on each patient’s needs.


Scope of Practice

Orthopedic Doctors: Primarily focus on non-surgical interventions such as medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

Orthopedic Surgeons: Specialize in surgical procedures to correct complex musculoskeletal issues, such as joint replacements and spinal surgeries.

Surgical Procedures

Orthopedic Doctors: Limited to perform minor procedures like injections and basic fracture management.

Orthopedic Surgeons: Skilled in intricate surgeries requiring advanced technical skills and precision.

Training and Residency

Orthopedic Doctors: Complete an orthopedics residency emphasizing non-surgical treatments and orthopedic care.

Orthopedic Surgeons: Complete a more extensive surgical-focused residency to acquire the skills needed for complex surgeries.


Orthopedic Doctors: Emphasize conservative approaches, making surgery a last resort.

Orthopedic Surgeons: Assess cases to determine when surgical intervention is the most appropriate and effective.


Final Thoughts

The collaborative nature of orthopedic doctors and surgeons in providing comprehensive musculoskeletal care to patients is vital as it helps them achieve optimal results. When both individuals are in-sync and work well together, their patients can experience satisfaction.The common factors that both parties should consider working out are communication and a well-established relationship. These two will help them have a collaborative workflow, enabling them to provide broad musculoskeletal care to patients, like what most NowServing Health, a well-known healthcare online platform in the Philippines, accomplish to give satisfactory care to their patients.