How to Choose an Orthopedic Surgeon


Choosing an orthopedic surgeon can feel overwhelming. After all, it’s a very personal decision and there are a lot of factors to consider.

In this post, we’ll take a look at exactly what you should be looking for in an orthopedic surgeon, and how to know when you’ve found the one!

What to Look For

While there are myriad factors that can go into your decision, here are the most important things you should be considering during your search.

Board Certification

You want to choose an orthopedic surgeon that’s board certified. According to the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) this means:

For a physician, board certification is a mark of distinction. It indicates the education that he or she has undertaken beyond the minimal standards and competency requirements in a chosen specialty. For leaders of medical institutions, board certification signifies a physician’s achievement. It testifies to the mastery that the physician has shown in his or her respective field of medicine.

Essentially, board certification indicates that the surgeon has the necessary training, skills, and experience to provide orthopedic care.


You’ll also want to research the surgeon’s credentials, such as the medical school they attended, the training hospital they went to, as well as any certifications or disciplinary history. State medical boards often have this information online, as do many physician’s websites.

For example, on our website you can find all of the credentials of our three orthopedic surgeons: Christopher J. Woodson, M.D., Raymond A. Klug, M.D., and Johannes A. Bernbeck, M.D.


When it comes time to look for an orthopedic surgeon, you’ll also want to make sure they specialize in the type of surgery you need. For example, Dr. Woodson specializes in sports medicine injuries like ACL tears, shoulder rotator cuff and labral tears, hip labral tears and impingement. Dr. Klug specializes in complex shoulder and elbow reconstruction, and Dr. Bernbeck specializes in surgery of the spine, including the neck, upper back, and lower back.

Recommendations & Reviews

Recommendations and reviews are also an important component you should consider when choosing an orthopedic surgeon. Here are some ideas on how to get a good mix of information during your search:

  • Ask your primary care doctor for recommendations; they often know the reputations of local orthopedic surgeons.
  • Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have undergone similar procedures.
  • Check with your insurance provider to see which orthopedic surgeons are covered under your plan.
  • Look at online reviews sites for the surgeons you’re considering, which you may find on Google and Yelp, as well as on the surgeon’s website. For example, testimonials for all of our doctors can be found on their individual pages below their photographs.

Remember, the choice of an orthopedic surgeon is a personal one and should be based on careful consideration of your specific needs and preferences. The most important thing you can do is take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision that you’re comfortable with.

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