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Electives - Orthopedics


ACE - Adult Orthopaedics

Elective Number: 2107 (Lottery)

Rotation Supervisor: Dr. Winston Gwathmey

Duration: 4 weeks

Available: All Rotations

A pager is required for this rotation but is not supplied by the department

Report to: TBD, varies per assigned team - call 243-0265 to determine

Time to Report: TBD, varies per assigned team - call 243-0265 to determine

Place to Report: TBD, varies per assigned team - call 243-0265 to determine

Typical day: 6:00 am - 6:00 pm

Attendance: A student may not take time off during an ACE.

Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.

  • Anyone who is ill or has a personal or family emergency must contact Student Affairs and the Attending on Service.
  • Students are allowed to take off up to 1 day per week to interview between November 1 and February 1.
    • Specific days missed must be approved by the Attending on Service.

Suggested preparatory reading: Orthopedic Surgery: The Essentials

Number of students per rotation: 6

Course Description: The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is divided into seven orthopaedic services in order to provide appropriate subspecialty-oriented patient care and educational experience. Students will be assigned to one or more of the following services during the rotation.

  1. Adult Reconstruction: provides in and outpatient exposure to major joint replacement, reconstructive osteotomies and orthopaedic onclolgy.
  2. Foot and Ankle: provides exposure to foot and ankle reconstruction as well as the surgical and non-surgical care of the diabetic foot.
  3. Spine: provides exposure to the non-surgical and surgical treatment of both acute and chronic conditions involving the axial skeleton.
  4. Sports Medicine: provides exposure to the operative and non-operative treatment of sports-related injuries for the recreational and competitive athlete.
  5. Trauma: provides exposure to the management of complex pelvic and peri-articular fractures, as well as upper extremity reconstruction.
  6. Hand: provides exposure to the management of traumatic and non-traumatic conditions affecting the upper extremity.
  7. Pediatric orthopaedics: provides in and outpatient exposure to the care of the pediatric orthopaedic patient.

In addition to the sub-specialty interests, all services participate in the surgical and non-surgical care of orthopaedic trauma patients and general orthopaedic care. Students are expected to:

  • participate in all of the in and out-patient activities (out-patient clinic, hospital rounds, surgery, emergency room care) pertaining to the service to which they are assigned;
  • to take evening and weekend call (1 call every 5-7 days) to participate in the evaluation and management of acute orthopaedic trauma in the emergency department, the hospital and the operating room. Students will be under the supervision of the Orthopaedic House Officers during the call period;
  • attend and actively participate in daily orthopaedic conferences (Fracture, Indications, Service specific, Grand Rounds, Basic Science);
  • prepare for surgical cases by reviewing the pertinent anatomy, surgical procedure and indications and contra-indications for the operation. Resource materials are available in the Orthopaedic Departmental library and the Medical School library;
  • read independently in preparation for the daily conferences and to obtain additional information regarding a particular case presentation or diagnosis.

Objectives: Knowledge:

  • develop a 3-dimensional appreciation and understanding of anatomy as it applies to orthopaedic injuries, diagnoses and procedures;
  • develop the ability to read and interpret orthopaedic radiographs as they pertain to acute orthopaedic trauma;
  • develop the ability to classify and categorize major fracture types as well as a basic understanding of the treatment of these injuries.


  • improve surgical skills as they pertain to instrument usage and wound closure;
  • develop the ability to safely and effectively apply upper and lower extremity splints and casts;
  • improve your efficiency in the evaluation and management of both acute and chronic orthopaedic conditions;
  • develop the ability to aspirate/inject major joints utilizing sterile aseptic technique.


  • acquire an appreciation for the diversity and complexity of orthopaedic surgery and its various subspecialties;
  • with regards to the students interests, strengths and weaknesses, evaluate and assess orthopaedics as a potential post-graduate career. 

Visiting Students - apply through VSAS. All visiting student applications MUST include: CV, Letter of Recommendation and Step 1 scores.