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Orthopaedic Residency

Orthopaedic Residency

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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.

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Program Details

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a modern facility that of more than 550 beds 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 the 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 that provides first-hand 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.

Learn More about the Residency

Leadership Welcome Expand answer

The mission of the Orthopaedic Residency at Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine is to provide the highest-quality patient care in an academic community that fosters an outstanding educational experience for residents and supports the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that will ultimately improve the treatment of musculoskeletal disease.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Kevin Black, MD

Kevin P. Black, MD

The program provides a balanced educational exposure to all disciplines within the field of orthopaedics. Although the majority of graduates continue their education in the most outstanding fellowships in the country, as graduates, residents are able to function competently and independently as general orthopaedic surgeons and will possess an intellectual curiosity and continued quest for knowledge that will promote the “lifelong learning” necessary for clinical excellence throughout their careers.

Faculty members model, and expect 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 faculty have pursued additional training in the principles of adult learning, serving to further enhance the educational experience of the 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 each trainee’s ultimate career aspirations, the program is committed to the growth and development of each resident, helping them become an outstanding orthopaedist.

Kevin P. Black, MD
Interim Dean, Penn State College of Medicine
C. McCollister Evarts Professor and Chair, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

To Apply Expand answer

General Application Information

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

Applicants must submit the following documentation in ERAS:

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

Application and Interview Process

The highly competitive program receives more than 400 applications per year, so applicants are encouraged to begin the process early. Applications open on or about Sept. 15 each year and close on or about Oct. 30.

Once the program’s review and selection process is complete, invitations for interviews will be extended via ERAS email. 

There are two separate interview days per year, with 30 candidates interviewed each day. Candidates will be interviewed by clinical faculty, basic science faculty and senior residents. The program also offers a facility tour, and candidates may sit and talk with other faculty members and residents throughout the course of the interview day.

Faculty Expand answer
Current Residents Expand answer
Past Residents Expand answer
About Hershey: Benefits, Stipends and More Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Two banners depicting cartoon candy characters are seen on a light pole in downtown Hershey, PA, in summer 2016, with a brick building with large glass windows in the background.

About Hershey

Interested in learning more about living and working in Hershey, PA? See details here:

Contact Us Expand answer

Mailing Address

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

General Contact Information

Phone: 717-531-4833

Fax: 717-531-0498

Email: lhamann1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Curriculum Details and Rotations

Adult Reconstructive Service Expand answer

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 Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Foot and Ankle 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 Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Hand 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 the appropriate administrative assistant 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.

Hip and Knee Joint Arthroplasty Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Hip and Knee Joint Arthroplasty 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 the appropriate administrative assistant to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation, and end-of-rotation evaluation.

Musculoskeletal Oncology Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotations on the orthopaedic Musculoskeletal Oncology 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 the appropriate administrative assistant to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation and end-of-rotation evaluation.

Orthopaedic Traumatology Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Orthopaedic Traumatology 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 administrative assistant to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation and end-of-rotation evaluation.

Pediatric Orthopaedics Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Pediatric Orthopaedics 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 and Elbow Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Shoulder and Elbow 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 Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotations on the Spine 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 the appropriate administrative assistant to obtain a reading list and to schedule a beginning, mid-rotation and end-of-rotation evaluation.

Sports Medicine Service Expand answer

At the conclusion of the residency rotation on the Sports Medicine 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.

PGY-1 Expand answer

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.

PGY-2 through PGY-5 Expand answer

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

The Orthopaedic Residency at Penn State Health has developed the following rotation schedule for the PGY-2 through PGY-5 years in accordance with ABOS guidelines.

PGY-2

  • Sports
  • Emergency department rotation
  • Hip and knee joint arthroplasty
  • Spine

PGY-3

  • Foot and ankle
  • Pediatric orthopaedics/orthopaedic musculoskeletal oncology
  • Trauma
  • Hand
  • Elbow/shoulder

PGY-4

  • Trauma
  • Pediatric orthopaedics/orthopaedic musculoskeletal oncology
  • Foot and ankle
  • Spine
  • Shoulder/elbow

PGY-5

  • Trauma
  • Hip and knee joint arthroplasty
  • Sports
  • Hand

Resident Honors and Recognitions

Exceptional Teachers Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center accept ongoing nominations for the Exceptional Moments in Teaching award.

The award, given monthly by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment, accepts nominations from College of Medicine students who are invited to submit narratives about faculty members, residents, fellows, nurses or any other educators who challenge them and provide an exceptional learning experience. See more about the award here.

Previous nominees from the Orthopaedic Residency are listed here. Click the + next to a nominee name to read their nominator’s comments.

Resident/Fellow Research Day Presentations Expand answer

The annual Resident/Fellow Research Day is held each summer on and around the Penn State Health Milton S. Medical Center campus in Hershey, PA.

The intent of the event is to provide an opportunity for residents and fellows to showcase their research accomplishments to their peers in other clinical departments, as well as their colleagues in the basic sciences.

Learn more about Resident/Fellow Research Day here.

Previous presentations from the Orthopaedic Residency are listed here.

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