Residency Rotations

The residency rotations are structured around three fundamental principles:

  • Education based on the classic orthopedic subspecialties
  • Graduated responsibility based on residency experience
  • Residents work in small teams with dedicated subspecialized faculty members

The goals are achieved through a model of small resident and faculty teams based on the orthopedic subspecialties, including:

  • Bone and soft tissue tumors
  • Children's orthopedics
  • Foot and ankle
  • General orthopedics (VA)
  • Hand and upper extremity
  • Joint replacement
  • Shoulder
  • Spine
  • Sports medicine
  • Trauma

Each resident rotates on these teams up to three times during their training and progressing from junior level responsibilities to senior level responsibilities. Small teams allow focused educational experiences with subspecialized faculty members. Residents working in small teams share responsibilities and benefit from the experience of their more senior colleagues.

Rotations during the orthopedic resident's training cover all of the orthopedic subspecialties.

Resident Rotation Schedule

Rotation Summaries

Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors-Silver Team

Residents rotate twice on the tumor service as a PGY2 and PGY4. This 2-month block is split with the foot and ankle service and is designed as a 1-month immersive experience on each service. Residents are responsible for preparing for operations, caring for inpatients, seeing consults, and helping in the outpatient clinic. The clinical exposure is varied and includes benign bone tumors, complex sarcoma resections, and stabilization of metastatic disease of bone. Given the limited formal exposure to orthopedic oncology, residents are expected to read extensively while on service.


Children's Orthopedics-Green Team

Children's Orthopedics is on  three rotations, PGY1, PGY3, and PGY5. Residents are exposed to pediatric trauma patients not only on this rotation, but also while on call and on the four rotations on the orthopedic trauma service. Residents also take care of children with hand problems on three hand rotations throughout their residency.


Foot and Ankle-Silver Team

The residents rotate on the foot and ankle service three times during their residency, PGY2 and PGY4. There is one foot and ankle fellow to help out during the year as well.  Children's foot and ankle experience is also obtained on the children's orthopedic service.


General Orthopedics (VA)-Gray Team

A portion of the resident's general orthopedic experiences are during three rotations at the VA, twice as a PGY3 and once as a PGY5.


Hand and Upper Extremity-Yellow Team

The resident will be on the hand and upper extremity service three times, PGY2, PGY3 and PGY5, which is devoted to reconstructive and traumatic conditions of the hand and wrist. While on call, residents treat traumatic and infectious conditions of the hand. Hand call for our Level 1 Trauma Center is split between the orthopedics and plastic surgery staff. A hand fellow is on also on this service to help out during the year.  


Joint Replacements-Blue Team

There are three 10 week rotations (PGY2, PGY4, PGY5) on the total joint team with a focus on hip and knee reconstruction. Each resident will get extensive experience with complex reconstructions and revisions.


Shoulder-Pink Team

The residents rotate on the shoulder service twice during their residency, PGY1 and PGY4. This allows for a comprehensive exposure to traumatic and degenerative shoulder conditions throughout residency. While on service each resident will gain extensive experience with both arthroscopic an open shoulder reconstruction.


Trauma-Red Team

Residents treat trauma patients while on call during their entire residency. As an PGY1 spend one month on the general surgery trauma service and two months in the surgical Intensive care unit where they care for patients with multi system trauma and other severely injured patients. They also complete the ATLS course during their first year. As PGY2’s, the residents attend an AO or OTA trauma course. There are four rotations (PGY1, PGY2, PGY3, PGY5) on the orthopedic trauma service focused on all types of musculoskeletal injury including multisystem trauma.  The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is a fully accredited Level 1 trauma center. The growth in trauma volume has been dramatic and growing yearly.


Spine-Orange Team

The residents rotate three times on the spine service (PGY1, PGY2, PGY4). The experience on these rotations is a combination of degenerative spinal conditions, spinal deformity and spine trauma. Spine trauma call for our Level 1 Trauma Center is split between orthopedics and neurosurgery on an every other week basis.


Sports Medicine-Black Team

The residents rotate through the Sports Medicine service three times during their residency experience (PGY2, PGY4 and PGY5 years). While rotating on the Sports Medicine team, they are exposed to a wide variety of athletic injuries of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and ankle in the both the clinic and the operating room. The rotation structure is that of a mentorship model and residents spend 4 weeks with a select faculty member performing all aspects of medical care to athletes. Junior residents quickly develop the necessary skills for basic major joint arthroscopy while senior residents are challenged with more complex tasks such as hip arthroscopy with Dr. Westermann, ankle arthroscopy with Dr. Duchman, and elbow arthroscopy with Dr. Wolf. Additional arthroscopic training is achieved in our on-site skills lab where protected time is provided with cadaveric specimens one afternoon a week. An orthopedic Sports Medicine fellow is also a member of the sports team, however their presence does not detract to resident education in any way (1:1 faculty to trainee ratio). Sports coverage opportunities are also available involving the University of Iowa athletic teams and local area high school football.