To apply for an orthopaedic rotation:
- 3rd year students: You may apply for an orthopaedic rotation through the Department of Surgery.
- 4th year students: All applications for rotations are handled through the Student Affairs Office. You can find information about dates, electives offered, and other information through their website.
Are you signed up for a rotation? We want to make your orthopaedic rotation as worthwhile as possible. It is very important that you read this "mini-text"before beginning your rotation on Orthopaedics because it provides a basic overview of orthopaedic surgery that can be digested during a clerkship that is only a few weeks long. During your rotation, you will have the opportunity to learn basic principles of caring for patients with musculoskeletal problems. Because of the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems encountered in our medical practice, the principles gained on this rotation will serve you in your future even if you do not pursue orthopaedics as a career.
To make the most of this experience, you must realize that surgery is a contact sport. You must become an active member of your team. Although you may not be the primary surgeon, you should learn about the patient’s condition and operation and follow the patient’s course as if you were the doctor solely responsible for that patient’s care. You must try to anticipate the course of your patient's progress. The “C” student knows where the patient was yesterday. A “B” student knows what has happened today. The “A” student tries to anticipate what is likely to happen tomorrow and plans accordingly.
At this stage in your education, almost everything that happens is an opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, we cannot teach you everything you need to know in advance. When you do not understand something, ask a resident or look it up. From here on out, the process of learning medicine is largely one of teaching yourself. You can learn much about critical care, radiology, and primary care from orthopaedic patients, so even if you have no particular interest in orthopaedics, you can learn many important things about common problems.