Each resident is an integral part of the team, which evaluates and treats patients in the outpatient clinics, in the emergency room, and trauma unit. Residents perform surgical procedures under appropriate supervision and follow patients post-operatively in both the inpatient setting and outpatient clinics. The training program provides for increasing independence and responsibility as residents encounter increasingly complex cases. The expectations and responsibilities of the residents are dependent on their level of training.
First clinical year orthopaedic residents at the end of their first four month rotation should be capable of managing many orthopaedic conditions seen in the emergency room and outpatient clinics. They work under close supervision with more senior residents and faculty and receive assistance as needed. First year residents should be able to perform a complete history and physical exam, formulate a differential diagnosis, and plan and/or evaluate treatment accordingly. In addition, first year residents are responsible for helping teach third and fourth year medical students and interns on the service.
Second clinical year orthopaedic residents have similar responsibilities to first year residents, but are encouraged to make more independent decisions. They also have additional responsibilities in teaching the first year residents. Second year residents at the end of rotations should be able to treat most patients in the emergency room, the trauma unit, and the outpatient clinics, formulate differential diagnoses, and in many cases execute management plans.
Third clinical year orthopaedic residents an emphasis is placed on refining skills and knowledge and completing exposure to all specialties. Residents encounter a variety of more complicated and difficult procedures and have greater responsibility in teaching.
Fourth clinical year orthopaedic residents assure the role of chief resident and are responsible for overall supervision of the orthopaedic team. They are assisted and supervised by the orthopaedic surgery fellows and faculty. They should be capable of performing complex orthopaedic surgical procedures with supervision as needed. The chief residents supervise more junior residents in outpatient clinics and should be capable of independent decision-making.