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Curriculum Overview

The goal of the orthopedic surgery residency at SIU is simple; we aim to train technically skilled, academically sound surgeons prepared to excel in either fellowship or practice. Accordingly, our graduates match at top programs across the country. Recently we have sent alumni to Harvard, the Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital of LA, University of Chicago, Allegheny General Hospital, Virginia Tech, Harborveiw Hospital etc… We also take pride in the fact that we often graduate residents directly into community practice as they feel more than capable of delivering orthopedic care on graduation without further training.

Mentorship Model:

Our residency is designed around a mentorship/preceptorship model. From their first orthopedic rotation as an intern, residents are paired with attending staff one on one. They attend all clinics, elective surgical cases and call cases together. This allows the resident to learn how to care for patients throughout the entire cycle of their care. They follow patients from initial clinic visit, through conservative or surgical care, and follow up. We feel this provides a more holistic and comprehensive education. Additionally, spending 2-3 months at a time with an attending allows residents and attendings to develop a mentor-mentee relationship which accelerates the rate at which residents acquire surgical skills.

Graduated Autonomy:

We pride ourselves not only on our excellent teaching faculty but on our resident to resident teaching. From a call perspective, training proceeds in a stepwise fashion. Interns take “buddy call” all year with a PGY4 resident. PGY2 & PGY3 residents take solo call. PGY4s are given the responsibility of training the interns. Finally, PGY5s provide backup to the junior resident call pool and cover daily on call surgical cases. Quality control is ensured with morning fracture rounds. The junior call team presents their cases, consults and reductions from the previous day and the senior residents and chiefs critique the management and provide teaching.

Hybrid Program:

Although we are a Southern Illinois University School of Medicine affiliated program, we pride ourselves on our robust community experience as well. In fact, the majority of our training time is spent with our extremely robust, well trained community faculty. In addition to SIU faculty, we work with pediatric orthopedic surgeons at HSHS Saint John’s Children’s Surgical Services. Two private practices, The Orthopedic Center of Illinois (OCI) and Springfield Clinic Orthopedic Group make up the bulk of our community staff. We cover over 20 surgeons from these two groups who represent every subspecialty in orthopedics. This model makes our program uniquely able to provide exposure to single specialty, multi-specialty, hospital employed and university practice models. We are also able to offer exposure to every subspecialty in orthopedics within Springfield, IL.


We utilize a formal didactic curriculum which is on a two year cycle and comprehensively covers the breadth of orthopaedics. Additional supplemental conferences, journal clubs and skills labs are available as well. Didactic time on Monday morning and Wednesday evening is protected time so that all residents can attend. The curriculum is described in detail on the Didactic Conference page.

Supplemental Courses:

We send all of our residents to specific courses during their training. Interns attend the AO or OTA fracture basic course. PGY3s attend the AAOS/AANA arthroscopy course at the Academy Learning Center in Rosemont, IL. PGY4s attend the AAOS ABOS review course. PGY5s attend the AAOS annual meeting and the Maine or Miller ABOS review course. Additional funding is available for supplemental training courses and academic meetings throughout residency. Previous residents have attended a variety of didactic and cadaveric based courses around the country as well as subspecialty meetings in their desired fields.

Training Sites:

We cover ER/Trauma call two level one trauma centers in Springfield, HSHS Saint Johns Hospital and Memorial Medical Center. We also perform elective cases at both of these facilities and their associated ambulatory surgical centers. Two of the private practices we work with, OCI and Springfield Clinic, maintain their own ambulatory surgical centers as well. Springfield is an easy town to get around and there is a maximum 15min drive between various facilities.