Program Structure

Our curriculum provides residents an exceptionally-designed program to meet the demands placed on a new generation of orthopaedic surgeons. Throughout the five years of training, residents rotate through 12 different services across seven clinical care centers and benefit from mentorship in both individual and team models. Learning is an active process for both the orthopedic educator and the resident. During a resident's early clinical years, faculty members and senior residents help the trainee develop into an independent and capable clinician.

 

Hear in their own words why residents chose Washington University, and what life is really like as an orthopedic resident.

The Intern Year (PGY-1)

 

The first year combines general surgery training and orthopaedic surgical procedure participation. Residents will train at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and outpatient care centers: 

 

Six months of orthopaedic surgery:

  • Musculoskeletal oncology (tumor)
  • Sports
  • Night float
  • Pediatrics
  • Trauma

Six months of general surgery:

  • Surgical ICU
  • Emergency department
  • Plastics
  • Acute care/trauma: one month each. Included in general surgery time:
    • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
    • Surgical skills

Junior Residents (PGY-2 and PGY-3)

 

Junior residents engage in three-month rotations on services in the PGY-2 or PGY-3 year. The pediatric rotation includes St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Children's Specialty Care Center (outpatient center) and Shriners Hospital for Children - St. Louis. The experience emphasizes both simple and complex elective pediatric orthopaedic surgery as well as fracture care:

  • Spine
  • Hand
  • Pediatrics
  • Trauma

PGY-2 residents also complete rotations in:

  • Adult reconstruction
  • Foot and ankle
  • Night float
  • Research

PGY-3 residents will complete additional rotations in:

  • Musculoskeletal oncology (tumor)
  • Shoulder and elbow
  • Sports
  • General orthopaedics at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Senior Residents (PGY-4 and PGY-5)

 

Senior residents take on more responsibility in managing cases and junior residents. These rotations allow the senior residents to develop leadership and teaching skills, and refine their orthopaedic knowledge and surgical skills.  


Senior residents complete three-month rotations in:

  • Adult reconstruction
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports
  • Trauma

PGY-4 residents also complete six-week rotations in:

  • Foot and ankle
  • Hand
  • Shoulder and elbow
  • Research

PGY-5 residents also complete six-week rotations in:

  • Spine
  • Musculoskeletal oncology (tumor)
  • General orthopaedics at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Elective (including two-week international elective)

Program Components

 

Research

The department encourages high-quality resident research projects by providing dedicated research time free of clinical responsibility. Interns begin with a research session during surgical skills month, and will determine their project and begin study design during PGY-2. The research project will be completed during the PGY-4 year. Chief residents and PGY-5 will present their completed research project during graduation week. Learn more about our research.

 

Curriculum

Our curriculum incorporates the fundamentals of orthopaedic surgery in didactic learning and interactive sessions. Faculty, fellows and residents present weekly. Invited guest speakers provide unique perspectives to topics related to orthopaedics and leadership.

 

Core Lectures

This comprehensive review and update is presented in lecture format. Topics are presented in a two-year cycle so a resident gains new perspective each time the material is taught.    

 

Specialty Interactive Conferences

These presentations provide an educational experience where key concepts are presented in a problem-solving environment.

 

Resident Grand Rounds

Senior residents prepare these thematic and case-based presentations under faculty direction. The goal of these conferences is to expose residents to a variety of clinical approaches.  

 

Leadership for Achievement Series

Multiple sessions throughout the year focus on topics related to leadership, and include participation from residents, fellows and faculty. Orthopaedic leaders across the country are also invited to discuss their own leadership experiences.

 

Surgical Indications Conferences

Indication conferences are conducted by specific services prior to each operative day. They provide a forum for the discussion of upcoming cases and an opportunity to discuss relevant reading material.

 

Anatomy Sessions

An anatomy curriculum is conducted by each service. A dissection outline is provided as required reading and provides detailed anatomical information to guide dissections. Surgical skills month, held in January, provides comprehensive training for interns.

 

Journal Club

This conference series is designed to improve residents’ ability to determine the validity and significance of recent literature in major journals including Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

 

Essential Readings

Residents review papers, book chapters and critical studies in specific services each year. The essential knowledge increases as the resident progresses through the curriculum.    

 

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