Clinical Training

Clinical training for orthopaedic surgery residents begins with a one-year internship in general surgery. The content and organization of the PGY-1 year are under the direct supervision of the Program Director. This training is provided through the general surgery department and includes at least 1-month assignments in general surgery and orthopaedic and surgical subspecialties such as ENT, Urology, Neurology, ER, Burn, Cardiothoracic (CT), Trauma, ER and Transplant. All training is provided at the UCSD Medical Center and Veteran’s Administration, San Diego Healthcare System (VAMC).

The PGY-1 year fulfills the orthopaedic RRC requirements including a minimum of six months of structured education in surgery, burn care, intensive care and vascular surgery. The internship also includes three rotations in emergency medicine, critical care, neurologic surgery and rehabilitation with a maximum of three months on the orthopaedic service. Typically two months are spent on the orthopaedic service in order to meet all of the RRC requirements (nine non-orthopaedic rotations), with a one-month vacation block included for all residents.

Clinical training in Orthopaedic Surgery is four years.

  • Residents assigned to UCSDMC (Hillcrest and Thornton facilities) are either on the acute orthopaedic service or they are assigned to subspecialty services.
  • The Hillcrest orthopaedic rotation (acute orthopaedics) includes trauma and general orthopaedics, some sports medicine, simple hand injuries, foot and ankle, and joint reconstruction. Residents rotate separately onto the hand (complex hand cases – acute and chronic), adult spinal disorders, joint reconstruction, sports medicine and foot and ankle services.
  • Pediatric orthopaedic training is done at Rady Children’s Hospital.
  • Rehabilitation and amputation care and more complex general orthopaedic problems are encountered at the VAMC. Adult orthopaedic training is gained on rotations through the VAMC and UCSDMC.
  • Thornton hospital has more faculty private patients than Hillcrest, which is the level I trauma center.

The orthopaedic surgery residents at all levels are responsible for teaching residents more junior to them, as well as the medical students, on the service. The residents are also responsible for teaching at orthopaedic conferences during weekly educational sessions.