Orthopedic Surgery Residency

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, and Harborveiw Hospital. 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 upon graduation without further training.

Orthopedic resident practices casting

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 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.

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, PGY5/Chief residents 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.

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 adjunct faculty from two private practices in town, The Orthopedic Center of Illinois (OCI), and Springfield Clinic Orthopedic Group. We cover over 25 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 orthopedics. 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 below.

We utilize the J. Roland Folse Surgeical Skills Center for residents to hone their skills through hands on training. Some of the Skills Lab modules in which our residents participate are:

Knee Arthroscopy - Arthrex
Total Shoulder -Zimmer
Total Hip Arthroplasty - Zimmer
Spinal Fixation - Medtronic
Pelvis Fixation - Synthes
Distal Radius + UE Trauma –Trimed + Smith and Nephew
Total Knee Arthroplasty - Zimmer
Shoulder Arthroscopy - Arthrex
Traction and Compartment Syndrome - Synthes
Intramedullary fixation (IMN/CMN) - Synthes
External Fixation and plating - Synthes
Cervical Traction/Halo Application


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. 

We cover ER/Trauma call two level one trauma centers in Springfield: HSHS Saint John's Hospital and Springfield Memorial Hospital. 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 15-minute-or-less drive between various facilities.

D. Gordon Allan, MD

D. Gordon Allan
Program Director

Dr. Andrew Mills

Andrew Mills, MD
Associate Program Director

Kelly Cagle

Kelly Cagle
Residency Program Coordinator

Applying to Orthopedic Residency

Eligibility Requirements 
All applications must be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We require the following before offering an interview:

  1. USMLE Step 1 score of 230 or higher for tests taken before January 26, 2022. After January 26, 2022, we require a "pass" on Step 1.
  2. Three (3) letters of recommendation other than the MSPE (formally the Dean’s letter), 
  3. A personal statement

We only require that you have passed USMLE Step 2 prior to starting the program in June.

  • If you have taken Step 2, we will factor that into our interview selection and overall ranking.
  • We require a passing exam score of 230. We do not have a limitation on the number of attempts for USMLE exam, but do take into consideration any failed attempts. 
  • Research and honors in the surgery clerkship are also factors.

We are currently approved for three categorical spots per year. We do not offer preliminary positions or observerships.

We do not have a cut-off for the number of years since graduation from medical school. This will be taken into consideration when reviewing applications.

We do not require U.S. clinic experience to apply to our program.

SIU and its affiliated hospitals do not, as a matter of policy or practice, sponsor residents/fellows for H visas or benefits. Please review the Office of Graduate Medical Education's Resident Eligibility and Employment Authorization Policy. Learn more about Visas here.

The interview day will begin with an orientation by the program director highlighting the SIU Orthopedic Residency program. You will then individually meet with faculty members, our 3 chief residents and the Program Director. All selected applicants will have an opportunity to meet and socialize with junior and senior residents. 
We will be conducting in-person interviews in Springfield, IL this year. We will be participating in the American Orthopaedic Association’s Universal Offer Day.

December 16, 2023
January 6, 2024

Didactic conferences

We take pride in demonstrating consistently strong academic performance on yearly Orthopaedics In-Training Examinations (OITE). This is, in part, due to our comprehensive didactic lecture series. Weekly didactic conferences are protected time from clinical activity for all residents, including interns on non-orthopedic rotations (this means you are excused from general surgery team rounds). 
Here is a brief overview of our current curriculum and conference structure.

Monday (6:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.) 
Wednesday (5 p.m. - 6 p.m.) 
Friday (6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.) 
Weekends (Absolutely NO Conference)

Monday morning conferences are weekly (except for holidays) and are our major didactic sessions for the week. Early in the year, we have supplemental cadaveric anatomy and orthopedic pathology sessions in addition to the core lecture series.

  • 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. – Community Grand Rounds.
    • Rotating schedule of resident grand rounds, attending grand rounds and monthly morbidity and mortality conferences
  • 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. – Core Curriculum Didactic Lectures
    • Based on two-year curriculum
    • Comprehensive review of orthopedics
    • Follows AAOS/ABOS board review curriculum
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Weekend Sign Out & Fracture Rounds
    • Imaging from weekend call team reviewed
    • Resident led teaching about fracture care
    • Resident led quality control
  • 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Cadaver Lab (July – Sept)
    • Resident led presentation of anatomic specimens
    • One Cadaver is dissected head to toe for gross anatomy
    • One cadaver is utilized to demonstrate surgical approaches
    • Comprehensive hands-on look at human anatomy completed before OITE yearly
  • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Orthopedic Pathology Review (July - November)
    • Comprehensive review of orthopedic oncology
    • Resident led lecture series leading up to OITE
    • Culminates in comprehensive review from fellowship-trained orthopedic oncologist
  • 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. – OITE Review (July - November)
    • Board review question and answer session
    • High yield “Chief Review” leading up to OITE

  • Fracture Conference (twice monthly):
    • Case based review of common fractures, classifications and treatment
    • Discussion of cases from ED presentation through operative management
  • Journal Club (once monthly):
    • Topics & Subspecialties vary by month
    • Informal setting, typically over dinner with attending staff
  • Fracture Skills Lab (once monthly):
    • Takes place in the J. Roland Folse Surgical Skills Center in the Memorial Learning Center (MLC)
    • Cadaveric and sawbones labs dedicated to fracture fixation
    • Over the course of the year, we cover the majority of peri-articular and diaphyseal fracture fixation 

Optional weekly morning conference with a rotating cycle of Upper Extremity, Spine, Joints, Sports Medicine, Foot & Ankle, and Pediatrics conferences.

Optional monthly informal evening journal clubs typically at the homes of our adult reconstruction attending staff, or virtual. Current literature pertaining to the field of adult reconstructive orthopedics is reviewed and discussed with attending staff and adult reconstruction fellows.

Contact us 

Kelly Cagle

Kelly Cagle  
Program Coordinator 
(217) 545-6155 
PO Box 19638 
Springfield, IL 62794