Elevating Orthopedic Care: The Importance of Fellowship-Trained Surgeons Service Information
Elevating Orthopedic Care: The Importance of Fellowship-Trained Surgeons

When reading the biographies of Iowa Ortho’s physicians, terms such as “fellowship-trained” and “board-certified” often arise, signifying a high level of expertise. But what do these terms truly mean? What rigorous processes have our physicians undergone to ensure they deliver top-notch medical care? At Iowa Ortho, we believe it’s essential for patients to understand the significance of these credentials and the high standards to which we hold our providers.

  • What does it Mean if a Doctor is “Fellowship-Trained”? The term “fellowship-trained” means that a physician has completed a specialized fellowship program aimed at perfecting their skills in a particular area of expertise. During this program, they work closely with seasoned specialists, delving deep into their chosen field. For example, an orthopedic specialist aspiring to specialize in sports medicine would undertake a fellowship training program dedicated to this specialization. Securing a spot in fellowship programs is extremely competitive, and only a select few surgeons attain this prestigious qualification. Orthopedic surgery stands as one of the most competitive fields in medicine, with specialization opportunities spanning sports medicine, spine, hand and wrist, foot and ankle, total joint replacement, pediatrics, trauma, and musculoskeletal oncology. Participants often perform hundreds of specialized surgeries before earning their credentials.
  • Significance of a Doctor Becoming “Board-Certified”: Board certification stands as the highest level of accreditation for specialists, serving as a testament to their exceptional skills. While optional, it showcases a physician’s commitment to excellence, instilling confidence in patients. Achieving board certification involves meeting the rigorous standards set by organizations or other specialty boards. This typically entails several years of postgraduate training followed by comprehensive written and oral examinations. To learn more about the significance of being board-certified, read this blog.
  • Timeline of Qualifications: Becoming a physician is no quick or easy task; it requires a significant investment of time and dedication. Here’s a breakdown of the tedious journey every doctor must complete:
    • Completion of a four-year undergraduate degree.
    • Four years of medical school.
    • A five-year residency program post-medical school.
    • Optional: Selection for a fellowship program, lasting an additional year post-residency, reserved for the best of the best.
    • Optional: Fulfillment of the respective board’s training requirements, spanning between 3-7 years, to achieve board certification.

In the United States, physicians invest nearly a quarter of their lifetime into acquiring the necessary training to treat their patients. When you see that a physician at Iowa Ortho is fellowship-trained or board-certified, you can trust that beyond their 15 years of education, they’ve dedicated additional time and effort to become leaders in their field, providing unparalleled care to their patients.

At Iowa Ortho, we take pride in our team of fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians, representing various specialties within orthopedics. If you’re seeking precise diagnoses and expert treatment from the best in the field, you can schedule your appointment online or call us at 515-247-8400. Schedule with Iowa Ortho today.