The Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation offer our residents outstanding opportunities to participate in research. With the support of scientists specializing in biomechanics, cell biology, and animal research, our department is world-renowned for its contributions to orthopedic basic science, clinical, and transitional research.

We have an unparalleled tradition of long-term follow-up studies in a variety of orthopedic conditions. The department supports well equipped state of the art biomechanics, cell biology, biochemistry, image analysis, histopathology and animal surgery facilities. Through collaborations with a wide variety of faculty mentors, our residents are exposed to musculoskeletal research in its entirety. Participating in research helps develop the ability to critically evaluate currently accepted ideas and practices and new information and thereby become a better clinician.

We have a faculty research committee that guides residents through our research program. The committee is comprised of clinical and basic research faculty and has enough breadth and expertise to mentor residents in any research direction.

The program begins with introductions to our research environment in the PGY1 year. It then progresses the residents through developing project proposals and grant applications and concludes with their final research presentation at the end of their PGY4 year. In addition to guidance and mentoring, the department provides support for experimental design and statistical analysis, approval of clinical protocols, financial support for supplies, materials, and presentations at meetings.

In the PGY1 and PGY2 years, residents perform a quality improvement/patient safety project. These projects are designed to introduce residents to a structured approach to understand and evaluate the quality and safety performance of the health care system they work in and how it affects the patients in the system. The goal is to identify an area for improvement, then recommend, implement, or evaluate a trial solution.

This process relies on primary and secondary data collection and review. The plan for and the results of these projects are also presented to the department by the resident. Many of these projects are presented at national meetings and/or published. Others form the basis of resident grants. Some are expanded during subsequent years into the resident’s senior research project.

Beginning in the PGY2 year, and culminating in the PGY4 year, residents conduct a senior research project. Working with a faculty mentor, residents propose and develop a research project. Projects undergo a formal grant application process and review by the research committee. They execute their project, upon approval, then present at the end of the PGY4 year.

The expectation is that this project will be presented in a profile external conference. It will also be submitted to high quality peer reviewed journals such as:

  • Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 
  • Journal of Orthopedic Research
  • Journal of Hand Surgery
  • Journal of Orthopedic Trauma
  • Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 
  • Clinical Orthopedic and Related Research.

We feel by promoting exploration and inquiry into musculoskeletal conditions and care, we not only contribute to the future, but improve the lives of those we treat within our own community. Our senior resident day research program devotes 1.5 days for resident research, along with having two national visiting professors’ critique and discuss the residents work.

Our residents are very productive in research, with many performing additional research studies beyond the required research projects. Many residents apply and receive grants and/or publish numerous studies. Some individuals develop a concentrated effort in one area, and others participate and publish on a wide range of projects. These research experiences attract many to future academic careers and build a foundation for success in the pursuit of highly sought-after fellowships.