Goals of the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

As a five-year program, residents are given the opportunity for increasing responsibility as they gain experience and knowledge for each rotation. The overall goal of the residency is for the resident to obtain the necessary knowledge and experience during the five-year program to successfully complete the certifying exams of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and to enter the practice of orthopaedic surgery as a well-trained, highly competent orthopaedic surgeon.

Residency Year One

The first year is a combined medical and surgical experience under the auspices of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Rotations include general surgery, trauma, vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, hand surgery, radiology/anesthesia, orthopaedic surgery, time in the Intensive Care Unit, and emergency medicine.

Residency Year Two

The goal of the second year is for residents to gain experience in the outpatient and inpatient management of different orthopaedic conditions. Operating room experience emphasizes acquiring basic psychomotor technical skills as well as teaching the fundamental principles of orthopaedic surgery, anatomy, and surgical dissection. During each rotation, the second-year resident serves as a junior resident of a clinical service.

Residency Year Three

At this point in the program, the resident should have gained sufficient knowledge and experience to more actively direct the care of patients. On some rotations the resident will be directly responsible to a fellow or to the attending faculty. Extensive experience in both inpatient and outpatient care continues at this level, as well as increasing experience in the operating room. Cases increase in number and in complexity during this year, providing the resident with the background necessary to enter the senior resident years (four and five).

Residency Year Four

Responsibility for patient care continues to increase and in some rotations the resident reports directly to the fellows and attending staff. Even in instances that involve the fifth-year resident as Chief Resident, the fourth-year will have specific clinical responsibilities that allow for functioning as the supervising resident. Residents become more actively involved in the development of treatment plans for both out- and in-patients, while moving into the roles of primary surgeon and first assistant in the operating room.

Residency Year Five

During this final year, the resident always functions as the Chief of a multiple-resident service, which will vary from two to six residents depending on the rotation. Responsibility for all clinical activities of service, inpatient and outpatient care, as well as all operating room activity is given to the resident. The coordination of all resident activity and the oversight of the care provided is the resident’s responsibility, working directly with the Chief of Service and other members of the teaching faculty. The roles of primary surgeon and first assistant continue in the operating room, depending on the complexity of the case.

Surgical Skills Lab

An important new component of resident education is the Surgical Skills Lab. For more information please visit our Surgical Skills Lab Page.