Curriculum

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July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

Yr 1: 

4 weeks

Recon /
Tumor

Ortho
Night Float

Pediatric
Ortho

Pediatric
Ortho

General
Surgery
Trauma

Vascular

Burn
Surgery

SICU

ED

VA
General
Surgery

Recon /
Tumor

Ortho
Night Float

Yr 2:

10 weeks

Foot and Ankle

Sports/Hand

Trauma

VA

Pediatric Ortho

Yr 3:

10 weeks

Trauma

Spine

Recon/Tumor

Waterbury

Lab

Yr 4:

10 weeks

Sports

Hand

St. Raphael’s Campus

Lab

VA

Yr 5:

10 weeks

Pediatric Ortho

Recon/Tumor

Lab

Spine

Trauma

Rotations

Our five-year program begins with the PGY-1 year in the Yale-New Haven Hospital System in a diversified experience of monthly rotations that includes general surgery and polytrauma, vascular surgery, burn surgery, surgical intensive care unit, emergency room and orthopaedics. The content of the PGY-1 year is determined by the orthopaedic program director and the residents' education committee and is compliant with ACGME requirements.

Year 1
Reconstructive Orthopedics8 weeks
Pediatric Orthopedics8 weeks
General Surgery Trauma4 weeks
Vascular Surgery4 weeks
Burn Surgery4 weeks
Surgical Intensive Care Unit4 weeks
Emergency Room4 weeks
VA General Surgery4 weeks
Orthopedic Surgery Night Float8 weeks

*4 weeks of vacation are integrated into the year.collapse

During the second year, residents rotate exclusively through clinical orthopaedic services. These include orthopaedic trauma; pediatric orthopaedics; a foot and ankle service; a combined sports and hand service (designed to give exposure to these popular subspecialties early in the program); and the nearby West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center. 

Year 2
Pediatric Orthopedics
Orthopedic Trauma
Foot & Ankle
VA Orthopedics
Sports & Hand Orthopedics

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Four-fifths of the year is spent at Yale-New Haven Hospital where the experience includes rotations on the trauma, spine, and adult reconstruction (joint replacement and oncology) services. A rotation at Waterbury Hospital involves each resident in a high volume, highly skilled and efficient hip and knee joint replacement experience where substantial clinical research opportunities exist. During the third year each resident is provided with an elective rotation at Yale that allows one to focus on those subspecialties that he/she is considering for fellowship education, devote protected time to research, or combine both in a self-designed experience.

Year 3
Orthopedic Trauma
Spine
Reconstructive Orthopedics
Waterbury Joint Replacement
Research

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The fourth year residents spend three-fifths of their time at Yale, one-fifth at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and one-fifth at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven. At Yale-New Haven Hospital there are separate sports, hand, and protected research rotations. At the Hospital of St. Raphael the resident is chief resident on the orthopaedic service. The Veterans Administration Medical Center rotation is also a chief resident rotation with a wide variety of adult reconstruction surgical cases and hand and upper extremity problems. A combined outpatient clinic with rheumatology adds essential experience with the non-operative management of joint diseases.

Year 4
VA Orthopedics
Hospital of St. Raphael Orthopedics
Sports
Hand
Research

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During the chief residency year four-fifths of the year is spent on clinical services at Yale and one-fifth is devoted to completion of research projects begun in the earlier years. The culmination of one's research is the presentation of results at the annual disputations conference held at the end of the academic year. The clinical rotations during the chief year are trauma, spine, pediatrics, and adult reconstruction.

Year 5
Orthopedic Trauma
Spine
Pediatric Orthopedics
Reconstructive Orthopedics
Research

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2nd Through 5th Year Residents

The rotations are composed of five time blocks per year (2.4 months/rotation) evenly divided so that each resident in each year rotates through the same services and has an equivalent experience. While five years of orthopaedic residency are mandated, a total of one year of flexibility is built into the second through fifth years as long as each resident has at least 12 months of trauma experience, 6 months of pediatric orthopaedics, and 10 months of adult reconstructive surgery. This allows ample block time for research and some elective time as well. Rehabilitation experience is integrated in virtually every clinical service and is particularly comprehensive in adult reconstruction, trauma, sports, hand, spine, and pediatric orthopaedics.

Core Curriculum: Wednesday - 6:30 to 7:30 A.M.
This comprehensive two-year curriculum serves as the cornerstone of our residency’s didactic education. It is composed of lectures and conferences that review all basic and clinical science topics in orthopaedic surgery.

Bone Board: Wednesday – 7:30 to 8:30 A.M.
This is weekly lecture is delivered by the current Trauma Chief and supplemented by the attending surgeons. This conference is a very interactive and educational presentation with a focus on fracture assessment, management and follow-up.

Grand Rounds: Friday - 8 to 9 A.M.
These lectures are presented by orthopaedic residents (PGY 3 – 5), Yale faculty, or visiting professors. Each resident presents twice during their residency, with the majority of presentations provided by faculty and visiting professors. Topics span a wide spectrum of pediatric and adult clinical or research topics.

Clinical Orthopaedic Series: Friday - 9 to 10 A.M.
This is an alternating sequence of conferences:

  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference
    First Friday of each month. Residents present specific cases to the full-time and clinical faculty that reflect all instances of morbidity or mortality and then concentrate on either quality assurance issues or cases of unusual educational value.
  • Core Curriculum Follow-up Conference
    Second and third Friday of each month. These conferences usually follow the topic of the weekly core conferences and often involve case discussions with visiting professors and/or faculty.
  • Radiology/Pathology Correlation Conference
    Fourth Friday of each month. Faculty from diagnostic imaging, pathology and orthopaedics present specific cases designed to illustrate the pathophysiology of disease and its correlation to clinical practice. Residents are asked to describe x-rays and histology as well as comment upon clinical findings and treatment plans. Stress is given to interpretation of histologic material and correlation with a radiologic driven differential diagnosis.

Service-Specific Conferences
Each rotation has its own weekly, service-specific curriculum that typically involves a pre-op and post-op assessment as well as scheduled journal or textbook readings and discussions.

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Southwick Fellowship Lecture
This endowed fellowship is held annually. A distinguished orthopaedic surgeon from outside the Yale community visits with the department for two to three days. There is ample opportunity for informal teaching between the guest professor and the orthopaedic residents.

Sports Medicine Seminar
This seminar is held in the late summer and focuses on the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of selected sports medicine injuries. Guest professors are invited for this half-day symposium and all faculty, housestaff and students are encouraged to attend.

Disputations Seminar
In the late spring, as per tradition, each chief resident presents their senior thesis to the orthopaedic department and its visiting professors. The presentations are challenged by the disputants and openly defended by the presenter. There is a strong emphasis on correlating basic science and clinical medicine.

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Anatomy Course
From March to May, each Friday from 10 – 12PM, members of the faculty direct a two-year rotating schedule of upper extremity, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and lower extremity anatomy with the use of cadaveric dissections and weekly self-assessment quizzes. Prosections are prepared by two selected members of the housestaff in advance of the weekly conference. A final written and practical examination is given at the conclusion of the course.

Journal Club
This is a monthly conference held at an informal dinner, residents and faculty gather to review articles from the most recent issues of Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Residents benefit from all of the educational opportunities at Yale University, most notably the world-renowned Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, which houses an incredible historical library and museum in addition to its vast array of resources and study spaces.

All residents are provided with a yearly educational fund, which they can use to purchase anything to help further their orthopaedic training. Typical purchases include textbooks, equipment (loupes, lead aprons, etc.), or courses. In addition to this fund, the department will support each resident with the funding needed to attend 1 weeks’ worth of educational conferences (i.e. AO Basic) each year. Also, if a resident is presenting at a particular conference, they are again provided with the funding needed to participate. 

Residents are provided with the AAOS Comprehensive Orthopaedic Review during their intern year. They also benefit from the generosity of the community orthopaedists who provide the AO Principles of Fracture Management as well as Schatzker and Tile’s The Rationale of Operative Fracture Care during their residency training. 

Finally, during the PGY-5 year, residents attend the Boston Pathology Course and the Maine Orthopaedic Surgery Board Review Course.