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Orthopedic Surgery Resident Education

Residents in Conference

Various conferences are held every morning of the week, Monday to Friday, immediately following checkout and all residents are expected to attend. These activities provide a structure learning environment to complement the mentorship structure of our rotations.

Both residents and faculty serves as lecturers at these conferences. And, additionally, we have a large component of hand-on education in the form of labs and simulations.

Core Curriculum

Core curriculum conferences are held every Wednesday and Thursday mornings. The lectures consist of biyearly topics split up by each subspecialty -- spine, pediatrics, adult reconstruction, trauma, foot/ankle, hand, tumor and sports medicine. Lectures take the form of case reviews, journal article reviews, didactics, etc. These are almost always given by a faculty physician. A few times of year, these lectures cover topics like practice management and devising a contract to make the transition into practice less daunting.

Trauma Conference

Trauma conference is a weekly resident-presented conference where recent operative cases from the trauma service are reviewed, with residents and multiple subspeciality attendings participating in the discussion. Residents present cases they were involved with that they found interesting or challenging. Pre- and post-operative planning, treatment decisions, surgical technique and outcomes are discussed.

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds takes place three weeks each month on Monday mornings and is given by resident-physicians on a rotating basis. Residents independently prepare topics and obtain relevant case-studies for any orthopedically related topic they choose. Attendings are very supportive and often invaluable in formulating these discussions. This experience also imbues public speaking and presentation skills while concurrently educating fellow residents and providing an avenue to foster resident-attending mentorships.

Visiting Professorships

Throughout the year, distinguished individuals are invited to speak during our Grand Rounds. The residents typically present cases for discussion after the visiting professor’s presentation. Recent visiting professors have included: Richard H. Gelberman, Vernon T. Tolo, AOA American, British and Canadian Traveling Fellowship, James H. Beaty, Michael A. Simon, David S. Bradford, James H. Herndon, C. McCollister Evarts, Dan M. Spengler, Marc F. Swiontkowski, Thomas A. Einhorn, Joseph M. Lane, and James D. Heckman.

Journal Club

Three articles selected by various attendings are presented weekly by residents each Monday after morning conference for group discussion. Additionally, once a month articles are assigned from JBJS for Evidence-Based Medicine journal club. Articles are critically analyzed for ways to improve current orthopedic practice, and improve our technical evaluation of the evidence.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference

This conference is presented on monthly basis by our chief residents. Each case and relevant management evidence is presented to focus on improving the care of our patients. Often attendings from other departments are invited for cases that span specialties to improve holistic patient care.

Educational Conferences

Each year residents attend an instructional meeting with their classmates. Additionally, residents are encouraged to attending any meeting, within reason (generally defined as the contiguous 48 states), where they will be presenting a paper. Funding from the department of Graduate Medical Education covers the cost of the yearly meeting including travel, hotel accommodations and meals. Instructional meetings typically attended are:

  • PGY-1: OTA Comprehensive Fracture Course
  • Research Fellow: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting
  • PGY-2: Arthroscopy Meeting
  • PGY-3: Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America Meeting
  • PGY-4: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting
  • PGY-5: Maine Orthopaedic Review Course

Anatomy/Surgical Skills

  • Anatomy Dissections: After completion of the OITE, Thursday afternoon anatomy conference begins. With the assistance of relevant subspecialty faculty, surgical approaches and anatomy are reviewed on a cadaver specimen. Junior and senior residents are responsible for weekly anatomic and surgical approach dissections, respectively, and the accompanying dialogues. Additionally, for some core curriculum lectures, attendings complete live surgical dissections and techniques and assist residents in performing them.
  • Simulation: Multiple opportunities exist for simulation experiences covering techniques from all subspecialties. Hands-on attending-led workshops familiarize residents with operative tools and techniques including arthroscopy, cast application and internal and external fixation techniques. Additionally, our program recently acquired an ArthroSim device, currently only available at a select number of programs nationally. This device uses haptics to mimic arthroscopic surgical procedures with both visual and tactile feedback. It allows residents the opportunity to build arthroscopic skill sets prior to entering the operating theater and to improve techniques learned from attendings. The ArthroSim is available 24-hours a day so residents have ample opportunity and are encouraged to utilize this valuable educational tool.
  • Microsurgical Lab: These lab sessions are completed early in training to prepare residents for clinical rotations involving microsurgery. Directed by Dr. Chadderdon, residents work under a microscope, initially with models and culminating with the completion of arterial and venous anastomoses on rat specimens with 10-0 suture.
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