Residents passing through Allegheny General Hospital become well-rounded orthopaedic surgeons. The operative experience at AGH is extensive and begins during the 3-month orthopaedic rotation during the PGY1 year. Early involvement in hands-on operative techniques allows the resident to refine and perfect his or her abilities over the 5-year program.
During the Orthopaedic Internship, residents spend 3 months on the orthopaedic rotation. When on orthopaedic electives, the PGY1 resident is primarily responsible for the emergency department and consults. During down time, however, the interns are encouraged to participate in the OR. Additionally, the internship includes two months of Trauma and General Surgery, and a month each of Plastics, Vascular, Muskuloskeletal Radiology, Emergency Medicine, and Neurosurgery Spine.
Rotations through the PGY2 through PGY5 years vary depending on specific resident needs. Residents rotate through the following services: Trauma, Joint Reconstruction, Sports Medicine, Foot and Ankle, Spine, and Hand and Upper-Extremity. Chief residents also participate in a Chief’s Clinic rotation that allows them to have an independent, but supervised, patient care experience to help transition them from residency to orthopaedic practice.
Pediatric Orthopaedics is done both at Allegheny General Hospital (about 4 months/resident) and at Akron Children’s Hospital (about 2 months/resident). Attempts are made to expose residents to all subspecialty rotations early in their training so that they may make informed decisions about possible future fellowship choices.
Clinical experience includes hospital care at a Level I Trauma center. A busy ER provides ample clinical experience in emergent/traumatic conditions. There is a predominance of blunt trauma with less penetrating trauma. This leads to more orthopaedic operative cases. While the trauma experience is excellent, it is not overwhelming.
Additionally, residents work in the office at least one day a week. While there is an orthopaedic clinic for the chiefs, the earlier office experience is in the attending physicians’ private offices. This allows for sufficient exposure and experience with a variety of degenerative conditions under the guidance of the attending.
In general, PGY 5 residents leave the program with 1,800-2,500 procedures logged over the course of 4 years.