Orthopaedic Residency

Program Overview

The Orthopaedic Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a five-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits five residents per year.

Program Details

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a modern, 550-plus-bed facility that provides a range of primary to quaternary medical services to a large catchment area in rural central Pennsylvania, spanning from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Patients present with a broad variety of problems ranging from common everyday orthopaedic conditions to the most complicated of injuries shuttled to our Level I Trauma Center by the institution’s helicopter transport units.

The Orthopaedic Residency consists of eight clinical services that encompass all of the recognized areas of subspecialty orthopaedic practice, each represented by fellowship-trained faculty members. A senior and junior resident are paired on each of the services; in addition to the high priority given to teaching by the faculty members, the pairing of residents encourages mentoring and camaraderie. Additional clinical rotations include emergency and inpatient consultation services at Hershey Medical Center as well as an extramural community hospital rotation which provides firsthand exposure to the common challenges of contemporary orthopaedic practice. Outpatient practice is located in the Penn State Bone and Joint Institute, with musculoskeletal practitioners in orthopaedics, rheumatology, radiology, metabolic bone disease, pain management, physical medicine and therapy services.

A regular morning conference schedule provides a didactic session each day prior to the commencement of activity in the operating room. Conferences range from weekly grand rounds to a rotation of specific subspecialty conferences, an operative indications conference, monthly confidential peer review conference, an interdisciplinary tumor board and a core basic science curriculum. This strong program is supplemented by an array of service-specific meetings and a monthly journal club.

The Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory provides a unique opportunity to study musculoskeletal disease from an interdisciplinary perspective. Faculty expertise includes bone and cartilage cell biology, molecular biology, experimental biomechanics and computational finite element analysis. Research activities range from cell and tissue culture to in vivo animal models and biomechanical studies supported by both servohydraulic materials testing equipment as well as computational finite element modeling.  Each resident is afforded unlimited access to the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory, its faculty and its resources. The resident is expected to participate in an investigative project that provides an introduction to critical scientific thinking as well as a foundation for a lifetime of analysis of the published orthopaedic literature.

We are located in a rural setting with easy access to major cities of the Eastern seaboard by a short car or train trip. Within Hershey itself is a diverse array of activities including theater, outdoor recreation, a sports plaza and indoor/outdoor pool complex, ZooAmerica, HersheyPark arena facilities, youth sports leagues, professional hockey, soccer and baseball, Hershey Gardens, museums and an outstanding public school system.

We appreciate your interest in our program and look forward to the opportunity to share with you our pride in Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Our Team

Curriculum

Learn more about the curriculum in the Orthopaedic Residency.

Our mission is to provide the highest quality patient care in an academic community that fosters an outstanding educational experience for our residents, and supports the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that will ultimately improve our treatment of musculoskeletal disease.

Kevin Black, MDWe provide a balanced educational exposure to all disciplines within the field of orthopaedics. Although the majority of our graduates continue their education in the most outstanding fellowships in the country, we graduate residents who are able to function competently and independently as general orthopaedic surgeons, and that will possess an intellectual curiosity and continued quest for knowledge that will promote the “lifelong learning” necessary for clinical excellence throughout their careers. Our faculty model and expect our residents to provide compassionate care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable.

Residents work with the faculty in the clinic and operating room to participate in the continuum of care of patients with the entire spectrum of adult and pediatric musculoskeletal disorders. The vast majority of the resident educational experience occurs at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the only Level 1 trauma center for both adult and pediatric orthopaedics in Pennsylvania. Many of our faculty have pursued additional training in the principles of adult learning, serving to further enhance the educational experience of our residents.

Residents are required to complete at least one clinical or basic science research project that is submitted for publication during their training, and may apply for up to three months off to accomplish this. In addition, residents have the opportunity to take one year off during their training to pursue a funded one-year post-baccalaureate program in academic medicine.

Regardless of your ultimate career aspirations, we are committed to your growth and development and helping you become an outstanding orthopaedist. We appreciate your interest in our program and welcome the opportunity to share in your personal growth during your orthopaedic residency education.

Sincerely,

Kevin P. Black, MD
C. McCollister Evarts Professor and Chair
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

Postgraduate Year 1

The PGY-1 rotations are based upon educational requirements established by The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) for board certification. These requirements include:

  • A minimum of three months of structured education in surgery, to include:
    • Multisystem Trauma
    • Plastic Surgery/Burn Care
    • Intensive Care
    • Pediatric Surgery
    • Vascular Surgery
  • A minimum of one month of structured education in at least three of the following:
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Medical/Cardiac Intensive Care
    • Internal Medicine
    • Neurology
    • Neurological Surgery
    • Rheumatology
    • Anesthesiology
    • Musculoskeletal Imaging
    • Rehabilitation
  • A maximum of six months of orthopaedic surgery.

During an orthopaedic month, PGY-1 residents will complete a two-week health systems rotation.

Postgraduate Years 2 through 5

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) requires that orthopaedic education in PGY-2 through PGY-5 must be broadly representative of the entire field of orthopaedic surgery. 

The minimum distribution of educational experience must include:

  • 12 months of adult orthopaedics
  • 12 months of fractures / trauma
  • Six months of children’s orthopaedics
  • Six months of basic and/or clinical specialties

We have developed the following rotation schedule for the PGY II through V years in accordance with ABOS Guidelines:

PGY-2

  • Sports
  • ED Rotation
  • Hip and Knee Joint Arthroplasty
  • Spine

PGY-3

  • Foot and Ankle
  • Pediatric Orthopaedics/Orthopaedic Oncology
  • Trauma
  • Hand
  • Elbow/Shoulder

PGY-4

  • Community-Based Rotation
  • Pediatric Orthopaedics/Orthopaedic Oncology
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Spine
  • Shoulder/Elbow

PGY-5

  • Trauma
  • Hip and Knee Joint Arthroplasty
  • Sports
  • Hand

Rotations

Learn more about the rotations that are part of the Orthopaedic Residency.

Hip and Knee Joint Arthroplasty

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of adult reconstructive problems and their associated rehabilitation encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Sports Medicine Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice.  At the start of the rotation, the resident must contact Dr. Davis’s secretary to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation, and end of the rotation final evaluation.

The goal of the Adult Reconstruction Service is to provide the resident with an educational experience that maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat orthopaedic adult reconstructive injuries. This is achieved by combining a structured study program that utilizes an extensive recommended reading list with a clinical experience that has an appropriate balance between office evaluation and surgical treatment of total joint related injuries. Junior- and senior-level residents rotate through the Adult Reconstruction Service for three-month blocks and assume responsibility based upon demonstrated knowledge, previous experience and clinical skills.

Foot and Ankle

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of foot and ankle problems encountered in the sub specialty practice of orthopaedic foot and ankle reconstruction. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

The primary goal of the Foot and Ankle Service is to provide the fellow with an educational experience that maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat orthopaedic foot and ankle conditions. This is achieved by combining a structured study program that utilizes an extensive recommended reading list with a clinical experience that has an appropriate balance between office evaluation and surgical treatment of foot and ankle related conditions. Junior- and senior-level residents rotate through the Foot and Ankle Service for three-month blocks and assume responsibility based upon demonstrated knowledge, previous experience and clinical skills.

Hand

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of hand problems encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics and plastic surgery. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Hand Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. At the start of the rotation, the resident must contact Dr. Hauck’s secretary to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation and end-of-rotation evaluation.

The goal of the Hand Service is to provide the resident with an educational experience that maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat hand conditions. This is achieved by combining a structured study program that utilizes an extensive recommended reading list with a clinical experience that has an appropriate balance between office evaluation and surgical treatment of hand related conditions. Junior and senior level residents rotate through the Hand Service for three-month blocks and assume responsibility based upon demonstrated knowledge, previous experience, and clinical skills.

Orthopaedic Oncology

At the conclusion of the residency rotations on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of musculoskeletal oncology conditions encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Musculoskeletal Oncology Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice.

The goal of the Musculoskeletal Oncology Service is to provide a well-rounded learning experience for the resident staff through a combination of clinical, surgical, and didactic experiences. The service allows a truly multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of patients with benign, malignant and metastatic neoplasms of the musculoskeletal system. The educational goal of the service is to educate orthopaedic surgery residents in the appropriate diagnosis and management of neoplastic processes of the musculoskeletal system. This includes primary malignant and benign bone tumors, metastatic bone tumors, benign and malignant soft tissue tumors, and metabolic processes At the start of the rotation, the resident must contact Dr. Fox’s secretary to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation, and end of the rotation final evaluation.

Orthopaedic Traumatology

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of orthopaedic trauma problems encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Orthopaedic Trauma Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. At the start of the rotation, the resident must contact the trauma secretary to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation, and end of the rotation final evaluation.

Pediatric Orthopaedics

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of pediatric orthopaedic conditions and their associated rehabilitation encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Pediatric Orthopaedic Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice.

Shoulder/Elbow

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of shoulder and elbow conditions problems in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Shoulder and Elbow Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

The goal of the Shoulder and Elbow Service is to provide the resident with a comprehensive learning experience that maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat orthopaedic shoulder and elbow injuries. This is achieved by combining a structured study program that utilizes an extensive recommended reading list with clinical experience that has an appropriate balance between office evaluation and surgical treatment of shoulder and elbow injuries. Junior- and senior-level residents rotate through the Shoulder and Elbow Service for three-month blocks and assume responsibility based upon demonstrated knowledge, previous experience and clinical skills.

It is recognized that advanced competence in shoulder and elbow surgery implies an additional year of specialized training. The objectives of shoulder and elbow training in this orthopaedic training program are two-fold: first, the preparation of resident for such specialized training; and second, clinical competence in common community shoulder and elbow procedures.

Spine

At the conclusion of the residency rotations on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in care of spine problems and their associated rehabilitation as might be encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the spine service will include not only those competencies specific for each subspecialty such as medical knowledge, but also demonstration of abilities in practice-based learning, interpersonal communication skills, professionalism, patient care and systems-based practice.

The overall goal of the Adult Spine Service is to provide the resident with an educational experience that maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat conditions that affect the spine. This is achieved by combining a structured study program that utilizes an extensive recommended reading list with a clinical experience that has an appropriate balance between office and emergency room evaluation and surgical treatment of conditions of the spine. Junior and senior level residents rotate through the Adult Spine Service for two to three month blocks and assume responsibility based upon demonstrated knowledge, previous experience, and clinical skills.

Prior to the beginning of the rotation, each resident must contact Dr. Knaub’s secretary at 717-531-2770 to obtain a reading list, and to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation and end-of-rotation evaluation.

Sports Medicine

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of sports medicine problems encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. It is important to recognize that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Sports Medicine Service will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

The goal of the Sports Medicine Service is to provide the resident with an educational experience that maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat orthopaedic sports medicine injuries. This is achieved by combining a structured study program that utilizes an extensive recommended reading list with a clinical experience that has an appropriate balance between office evaluation and surgical treatment of sports related injuries. Junior- and senior-level residents rotate through the Sports Medicine Service for three-month blocks and assume responsibility based upon demonstrated knowledge, previous experience, and clinical skills.

Community-Based Rotation

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on this service, the graduate is expected to be proficient in the management of community-based musculoskeletal problems encountered in the general practice of orthopaedics. The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation recognizes that competency as a physician extends beyond medical knowledge and direct patient care. Therefore, evaluations for the Community/Harrisburg Hospital rotation will include not only these competencies, but also demonstration of abilities in medical knowledge and patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

The purpose of the community/Harrisburg Hospital rotation is to provide the PGY-4 resident with an educational experience which maximizes the opportunity to understand, evaluate, and treat common musculoskeletal disorders frequently seen and treated by orthopaedic surgeons practicing in a private practice setting. It is intended to be complimentary to the subspecialty rotations the resident has experienced in the previous two years, with an emphasis on joint arthroplasty, arthroscopy, hand, and spine surgery. Therefore, the rotation provides significant flexibility and can be tailored to the leaning goals of that particular resident. The resident will also be exposed to a high volume of common orthopaedic conditions seen in the private practice setting including low energy hip fractures. The PGY-4 resident will spend one three-month block on this rotation.

To Apply

Applications for the Orthopaedic Residency must be made through Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS)

You must submit the following documentation in ERAS:

  • USMLE scores
  • At least three letters of recommendation (we recommend that at least one should be from an orthopaedic physician who can provide an assessment of your potential as a future orthopaedic surgeon; we will accept more than three letters)
  • Personal statement
  • Medical school transcript
  • Dean’s letter
  • Curriculum vitae

Application and Interview Process

Our programs are highly competitive, receiving more than 400 applications per year, so we encourage you to begin the process early! 

Our mailbox opens on or about Sept. 15 each year, and closes on or about Oct. 30.

Once our review and selection process is complete, we will extend invitations for interviews via ERAS email. We will conduct two separate interview days per year, interviewing 30 candidates each day. Candidates will be interviewed by clinical faculty, basic science faculty and senior residents. We also offer a facility tour, and you may sit and talk with other faculty members and residents throughout the course of the interview day.

Faculty

Current Residents

Past Residents

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, EC089
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
30 Hope Dr., Building A.
P.O. Box 859
Hershey, PA 17033

General Contact Information

Phone: 717-531-4833

Fax: 717-531-0498

E-mail: jwoodley@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Penn State College of Medicine is an equal-opportunity employer and accepts all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.