Orthopaedic Surgery Residency - General Information

The Orthopaedic Residency Program at the University of North Carolina, directed by Robert J. Esther, MD, is dedicated to providing residents with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet the challenges of medical practice in the 21st century. The assumption is made that the residency years are an extension of the educational process rather than an apprenticeship; thus, educational balance, a strong basic science foundation, individualization of programs, continuity of patient care, close faculty supervision in all phases of the learning process, and emphasis on the "whys" as well as the "hows" of orthopaedic surgery are emphasized. Since a complete operative experience is impossible in any orthopaedic residency, an understanding of the anatomy, biology, and pathology of the musculoskeletal system is essential for the continued development of surgical skills after completion of the residency years. Stated another way, if one understands the basic principles, the methods usually become obvious. For this reason, clinical problem-solving is related to basic science precepts throughout the educational experience.

House officers are expected to be committed to teaching and investigation, as well as to the acquisition of clinical skills. Residents are selected on the basis of past academic performance, interviews, and recommendations, without consideration of gender, race, or geography. The prerequisite for orthopaedic education at the University of North Carolina is graduation from an accredited medical school.

The basic program in orthopaedics is five years, for which four positions are offered each year through the National Residency Matching Program. A fifth position is available for a six-year program, which includes twelve months in research and basic science.