Residency Experience

Case Western Reserve University is at the forefront of much of the orthopaedic research being conducted in the United States and abroad. In fact, the residency training experience at Case Western Reserve University is designed to be fulfilling, educational and preparatory. Living and working in Cleveland allows residents a broad range of professional experiences, from outpatient to inpatient and surgical, as well as a breadth of memorable life experiences.

Patient care is provided on a team basis with residents carrying a major share of the responsibility. Residents have degrees of responsibility and participation in surgery commensurate with their level of training and ability.

Residents rotate through three medical centers: 1) University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, 2) MetroHealth Medical Center, and 3) The Wade Park Veteran's Administration Hospital. The attendings at all three sites are Case Western Reserve University faculty dedicated to resident training. All orthopaedic subspecialities, including trauma, pediatrics, tumor, and spine, are represented across the three sites, eliminating the need for residents to rotate through hospitals outside of Cleveland with non-Case Western Reserve faculty.

Operative Experience

The faculty of the department believes that a firm understanding of orthopaedic surgery is a result of interactive learning, and an intense, hands-on surgical experience. Our graduates consistently report that they feel well qualified to handle the practices they enter.

Outpatient Experience

The outpatient clinics provide the majority of resident exposure to the varied nuances of orthopaedics. Many of the clinics are resident-run, with attending faculty members supervising diagnoses and decisions. Private, faculty-run clinics allow residents to see outpatients with a faculty member in a one-on-one setting. Clinics are held in all affiliated facilities and comprise a part of each rotation.

Teaching Conferences

Each affiliated hospital maintains a regular series of teaching conferences. The conference schedules are designed to maximize resident education considering the unique opportunities, daily schedules and educational priorities of each institution. This approach additionally minimizes travel between sites and allows residents to participate in a diverse didactic curriculum that is delivered daily with minimal interference with clinical education.

Teaching in the conferences follows the Socratic method, allowing residents and faculty to interact in an engaging learning environment. The majority of the lectures are faculty-led, with resident involvement, and frequently incorporate case presentations, recent research, and review questions. Subspecialty focused surgical labs and journal clubs are planned concurrently with relevant didactics to further reinforce critical principles. The Department-Wide Grand Rounds is held weekly and hosts a number of endowed visiting professors from across the world, in addition to a section of faculty lectures.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

  • Fracture Review Conference Daily
  • Trauma Conference Weekly (Monday)
  • Department-Wide Grand Rounds Weekly (Wednesday)
  • The Case Orthopaedic Review (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday)
    A Subspecialty-Based Curriculum for the Orthopaedic Surgery Resident. 9 subspecialty blocks (Pediatrics, Tumor, Basic Science, OITE Review, Joints, Foot & Ankle, Hand, Sports, Elbow & Shoulder, and Spine) are covered throughout the year in hour-long didactic sessions three days each week. Didactics are tailored for board review with incorporation of case presentations and board review questions.

MetroHealth Medical Center

  • Fracture Review Conference Daily
  • Department-Wide Grand Rounds Weekly (Tuesday)
  • Indications Conference Weekly (Tuesday)
  • Trauma-focused Journal Club Weekly (Thursday)

Louis Stokes VA Medical Center

  • Indications Conference Weekly (Monday)
  • Department-Wide Grand Rounds Weekly (Wednesday)

Cleveland/Akron Orthopaedic Society

The Cleveland orthopaedic community is unique in its conduct of area-wide programs. Monthly continuing education programs in cooperation with the teaching hospitals in the community support not only the practicing orthopaedists, but also the resident and student programs of the community institutions. The programs bring to the city prominent orthopaedists from around the world. Membership in the Cleveland/Akron Orthopaedic Society is provided for each resident by the department.

Journal Club

Topical reading of pertinent research and findings is critical to developing a well-rounded orthopaedic surgeon. Each month, Journal Club is hosted by one of the faculty members in his or her home. Residents are responsible for reading, outlining and discussing--with their peers and faculty members--particular articles, studies and findings from leading journals based on that month’s teaching conference subspecialty.


A full benefits package is available through Apex. All residents are eligible for the following: individual and family health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and accidental death and long-term disability insurance. Investment and savings plans, including a 403(b) matched savings plan, are also available, and professional liability insurance is provided at no cost for residents.

Full-time orthopaedic residents receive three weeks of paid vacation each year. In addition to annual stipend compensation, residents receive a $1,000 annual educational stipend which must be used toward the purchase of textbooks, equipment, courses or other learning aids.

Residents are encouraged to attend national educational conferences, meetings and symposia throughout the course of their training. Graduate physicians selected for the optional research year will be invited to attend the annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Orthopaedic Research Society meetings that year, as are all PGY-4s. Residents who are presenting papers or studies may also attend. Chief residents are given an additional 5 days’ paid leave to attend a meeting or course of their choice.

Charles H. Herndon Alumni Society

All graduates of the program are inducted into the Charles H. Herndon Alumni Society. This organization provides an opportunity for alumni to maintain contact with each other, to share ideas and otherwise interact. In addition to a frequent newsletter and annual Academy dinners, biannual meetings are held throughout the United States and abroad.

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