Orthopedic surgeons specialize in muscular and skeletal health. This is a very wide ranging type of medical practice, with common elements in terms of the type of practice, but all medical practices are different.
Orthopedic qualifications are built on fundamental medical studies. The education, residency and licensing requirements are fundamentally the same as those for a normal MD. However, this area of specialization is actually quite demanding, and may require a certain amount of patience to establish a practice.
Most Orthopedic Surgeons usually start off working within somebody else's practice, which also provides good business experience and a clear introduction to the realities of this type of medical work. Orthopedic practice is very much like any other medical practice insofar as the actual work involves an ongoing series of case management issues.
Orthopedic medicine provides extremely high value treatment, and in some cases can turn cripples into very healthy people. Career progression is based on as a hierarchical progression through a hospital system, or private practice.
Progression through the hospital system can be slow, and can be highly competitive. There are only so many places within the hospital system, and people in this field may find themselves queuing up for career advancement.
Private practice is one of the more common forms of career progression, but this approach does include a few risks. Private practices must be insured, and a simple process are just getting business when starting out and take time. Private practices also require expert business management, well beyond the simple 'let the accountant do it' scenario.
Orthopedic surgeons do make excellent incomes, when established. If you're looking at a career in medicine, and have a particular aptitude for muscular and skeletal issues, this career is definitely worth a look.