Educational Objectives

How are the Orthopaedic Residencies set up? Below is more information on the five rotation years, as well as information on how rotations are structured.


The first year (PGY-1) of the orthopaedic residency program is spent as an intern in the Department of General Surgery at Vanderbilt. Twelve one-month rotations at the institutions' affiliated hospitals provide an introduction to general, orthopaedic, pediatric, thoracic, plastic, urologic, neurologic and vascular surgery, as well as anesthesia and emergency medicine.


During the second year of residency, emphasis is placed on gathering information and organizing appropriate treatment plans for a wide range of orthopaedic problems. PGY-2 residents are exposed to adult trauma, reconstructive surgery, hand surgery and sports medicine. They gain further exposure to trauma as they represent orthopaedics in the ER at Vanderbilt and the VA.


The third year of residency emphasizes further exposure to adult orthopaedic disorders at the VA and an introduction to pediatric orthopaedics at Vanderbilt Hospital. It features spine and foot surgery at Vanderbilt, experience with inpatients at Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital and outpatients at the VA, and a research rotation in the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Labs.


The resident is given much more independent responsibility during the fourth year of training at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Rotations include orthopaedic oncology, hand surgery, spine surgery, and sports medicine.


For the PGY-5 resident, rotations include adult trauma and reconstructive surgery at Vanderbilt and the VA Hospital, and a rotation in pediatric orthopaedics at Vanderbilt. Independence and responsibility are functions of the resident's ability to perform, increasing as the acquisition of orthopaedic knowledge and the development of surgical skills increase.

Resident Rotations

Resident rotations are at approximately three-month intervals. Although the rotation schedule varies somewhat from year to year, all residents at a given level of training have the same educational experience (i.e., rotate through the same subspecialties). All educational requirements stipulated by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery are met by the end of the 5th year of training.