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Curriculum

Residents are immersed in orthopaedic surgery during the intern year with a comprehensive program utilizing bioskills, simulation, didactic, group sessions, and early operative experience. In years 2-5, the residents rotate through all orthopaedic specialties with junior and senior rotations. Emphasis is placed on engaging residents to become quality educators and leaders, in addition to technically skilled and compassionate surgeons.

Clinical experiences

For details of clinical experiences:

AHN educational facilities

The main training facility is Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), a non-profit, Level 1 Trauma Center that is one of the largest tertiary care centers in the region. AGH's surgical facilities include:

  • AGH - The main operating room consists of 27 surgical suites and 6 same day ambulatory suites. On any given day there are multiple subspecialty orthopaedic divisions at AGH including at least two-to-four dedicated trauma suites. Advanced orthopaedic technologies including MAKO robotics, CT navigation, and Mazor spine robot compliment the educational experience.
  • AHN Outpatient Surgery Centers - Our faculty and residents operate at multiple state-of-the-art outpatient surgery centers. Divisions utilizing the surgery centers include Hand and Upper Extremity, Sports Medicine, and Foot and Ankle. Typical cases include arthroscopy, routine fracture care, carpal tunnel, etc. Turnover time in the surgery center averages 10-15 minutes, allowing for efficient flow of operative cases.
  • AHN Forbes- Forbes Hospital is a Level II regional trauma center in the Eastern Suburban Corridor of Pittsburgh with fellowship-trained orthopaedic faculty. The rotation at Forbes Hospital exposes the residents to a diverse array of orthopaedic specialties, including sports medicine, hand and upper extremity, orthopaedic trauma, adult reconstruction, spine surgery and general orthopaedic surgery. The goals of the rotation at this site include: exposure to comprehensive open reconstructive and arthroscopic surgery, including advanced cartilage restoration techniques and high volume total joint reconstruction involving robotic assisted surgeries. This rotation also allows the resident to gain increased experience in practice management, resource allocation, and other non-clinical aspects of orthopaedic care.
  • Akron Children’s Hospital - In the PGY3 year, our residents spend three months at Akron Children's Hospital, a 253-bed hospital. While at Akron, residents are provided with a furnished apartment. Our residents are exposed to an excellent high-volume experience with over 10 specialized pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Orthopaedic surgery residents from Akron General, Summa, and Cleveland Clinic programs also rotate at Akron Children's Hospital.


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Intern experience

The Orthopaedic internship is coordinated by the Orthopaedic Department. Each resident will spend 6 months on Orthopaedic surgery and 6 months on non-orthopaedic services. All interns participate in a didactic training program with the goal of introducing the new residents to the field of orthopaedic surgery. Learning sessions take place weekly throughout the year where interns discuss various orthopaedic pathologies, are introduced to standard operating room procedures and surgical tools, are taught casting and splinting techniques, and participate in surgical simulation. Day-long simulation testing takes place several times throughout the year to ensure each intern is adequately prepared for the transition to the PGY2 year.

Orthopaedic months

  • Orthopaedic Pager – 2-3 months
  • Adult Reconstruction – 2-3 months
  • Orthopaedic Night Float – 1 month

Off-service rotations

  • Emergency Department- 1 month
  • Plastic Surgery- 1 month
  • Vascular Surgery- 1 month
  • Neurosurgery- 1 month
  • Trauma ICU- 1 month
  • General Trauma Surgery – 1 month

Orthopaedic pager

The intern will hold the call pager for all ED consults, floor consults, and floor calls. Goals for the rotation include becoming proficient in evaluation of orthopaedic consults, learning about the various orthopaedic pathologies, formulation of a differential diagnosis, and skill in communication, evaluation, and management of orthopaedic patients. There is an assigned back-up resident available to assist at all times.

Adult reconstruction

On this rotation, time will be spent with an adult reconstruction surgeon in both the operating room and clinic setting. Goals of the rotation are to develop a foundation in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of orthopaedic patients in the field of adult reconstruction.

Emergency department

The ED rotation is made up of 17-20 shifts over the month including both day and night shifts. Goals for the rotation include exposure to various pathologies across the spectrum of medicine, management of acute patients, and ability to initially assess and manage patients from a medical standpoint.

Plastic surgery

Goals for the service include evaluation and management of soft tissue injuries as well as knowledge of available reconstruction options utilizing grafts and flaps. In addition, residents will also be involved in the management of patients with hand trauma.

Vascular surgery

Primary goals for the service are to become proficient in the assessment of patients with vascular insufficiency, evaluation of acute vascular injury, and coordinated care with the orthopaedic surgery service.

Neurosurgery

Interns will work with the spine surgeons within the Neurosurgery department, spending two days a week in the OR and one day a week in clinic. Goals for the rotation are to become proficient in office evaluation of spine patients with various pathologies and gain initial exposure in operative management of spine patients.

Trauma ICU

This ICU month exposes interns to the care of critically ill patients secondary to a traumatic event. The service generally consists of 3-4 residents from various departments, providing exposure to inter-disciplinary coordinated care. Goals of this service involve the management of patients who are critically ill, many having sustained injuries to multiple organ systems. This rotation allows orthopaedic interns an opportunity to manage the patient not from an orthopaedic standpoint, but from an overall view to allow greater integration with other health care teams.

Trauma nights and/or trauma floors

This rotation provides the interns with the experience of managing total care of traumatically injured patients outside of the ICU. Responsibilities include general patient care and management as well as responding to all Level 1 and Level 2 traumas with the General Surgery Trauma team. Interns will be exposed to a variety of injury mechanisms including blunt and penetrating trauma, and will become proficient in the triage, evaluation, and management of trauma patients.

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Call schedule

The administrative chief resident is responsible for developing the call schedule. This schedule is typically created 1.5-2 months in advance.

Night float

In-house, overnight weekday call is covered by the PGY2 night float resident. PGY2 residents will each rotate through this dedicated night float rotation 5 weeks at a time for two rotations. The rotation consists of 5 night shifts (Sunday through Thursday) over the course of the week. Friday and Saturday night call is covered by a different PGY2 or PGY3 resident.

During this rotation, the resident is free from all other clinical responsibilities. The resident is still involved in the lecture series and PGY2 simulation training sessions.

Senior weekday backup call

Each weeknight, a PGY4 or PGY5 resident will be available as the back-up senior call resident. This call is taken from home. The call resident is available to answer any questions from in-house residents, evaluate difficult patients, and present to the hospital for any emergent overnight surgical cases.

Weekend call

A team of junior and senior residents cover all call, rounding, and surgical responsibilities each weekend. Two to three junior residents are present and have assignments as the in-house call resident or surgical junior resident. Friday night in-house call is shared between PGY2 and PGY3 residents. Saturday in-house call is covered by PGY2 residents while Sunday is covered by PGY3 residents.

Two senior residents are present every weekend as backup call residents. The senior residents participate in all surgical cases that take place over the weekend and are always available to answer any questions from in-house residents or assist in the evaluation of complex patients.

Each resident typically works 1-2 weekends per month. The weekend call is structured to allow residents to become directly involved in emergent and weekend surgical cases early on in the training years. Each PGY2 and PGY3 participates in surgeries during their call weekends, with graduated responsibility as they progress.

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Didactic learning experiences

Morning conference schedule

  • Monday - Spine and Pediatrics Conferences
  • Tuesday - Foot & Ankle, Oncology, Biomechanics and Basic Science Conferences
  • Wednesday - Upper Extremity Fracture Conference and Hand Conferences
  • Thursday - Trauma and Adult Reconstruction Conferences
  • Friday - Sports and Research Conferences

Daily schedule

Residents meet at 6am daily for Fracture Conference followed by Morning Conference. At the beginning of each academic year, conferences are based on our Summer Anatomy Series. This is a comprehensive, 2-month lecture series aimed at reviewing physical exam, radiographic evaluation, anatomy, and basic operative skills. Each week focuses on a different anatomic segment of human anatomy. Anatomic dissections are performed and presented on cadaveric specimens in our Center for Surgical Arts. Weekly teaching labs occur throughout the summer when surgical skills are taught both on cadaveric models and sawbones. There is a bioskills curriculum thorough out the year.

Following the completion of the Anatomy Series, the Morning Conference Schedule returns from September through June. Daily fracture conference is typically followed by a 30-45 minute didactic lecture within Orthopaedic Subspecialties as listed above. These lectures are either Attending physician led, or presented by a resident with an Attending present.

2018-2019 Visiting Professors

Jay C. Albright, MD, FAOA
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Surgical Director of Sports Medicine
Orthopaedics Institute, Children’s Hospital Colorado,
Aurora, Colorado

Matthew S. Austin, MD
Director of Joint Replacement Services
Rothman Institute
Newtown, PA

Jay F. Deimel, MD
Director, Sports Medicine
St. Vincent Hospital
Erie, PA

Sheila A. Dugan, MD
Professor, Acting Chief, Medical Director, University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rush Medical College
Director, Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health
Chicago, IL

Asif M. Ilyas, MD
Program Director, Hand Fellowship, Rothman Institute
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery,
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson
Vice President, Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society

Anthony T. Sorkin, MD
System Medical Director
Program Director, Trauma Fellowship
Indiana University Health
Indianapolis, IN

Scott David Weiner, MD
Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Summa Health System, Akron, OH

Kurt R. Weiss, MD
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Musculoskeletal Oncology
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA

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