Education Curriculum

Formal teaching conferences are an integral part of our residency program. Achieving an appropriate balance in orthopaedic residency education between didactic learning and hands-on learning is one of the major strengths of the UNC residency program. Perhaps nowhere in the educational program is the depth of faculty commitment more evident than in the formal teaching conferences; all conferences are presented and/or moderated by faculty - there are very few "resident-taught" conferences in the UNC Orthopaedic program. Resident attendance at all educational conferences is mandatory, and all residents are released from patient care responsibilities to attend conferences. Faculty attendance at conferences is also excellent, with nearly all faculty attending the Wednesday AM conferences. A brief description of the various conferences follows.

  • Basic Science Seminar. The conference provides residents with a strong background in orthopaedic basic science. On a two-year cycle, all topics in the AAOS Orthopaedic Basic Science textbook are covered by faculty preceptors. In addition, there are twelve sessions on anatomical dissection held annually.
  • Core Curriculum Conference. The curriculum is covered in a two-year cycle. The conferences are a didactic program meant to provide the residents with the essentials of orthopaedic education. They are structured and conducted by faculty from the various subspecialties and cover a variety of topics including: pediatric orthopaedics, sports medicine, foot & ankle, total joints, upper extremity, spine, trauma, tumor, and medical issues. (Topics in orthopaedic trauma and tumors are covered more extensively in separate conferences.
  • Grand Rounds is held 2-3 times a month following the Postoperative Conference. Usually an orthopaedic resident gives a 30-minute presentation. Occasionally visiting professors give a formal presentation on a topic of their choice. This is an ideal opportunity for the residents to get another perspective on current trends and important topics in Orthopaedics.
  • Imaging Conference. This monthly conference provides the residents a unique clinical exposure to the tools of radiology and their usefulness in the diagnosis of orthopaedic pathology.
  • Journal Club is held bimonthly. The current format centers around a subspecialty of the month. An article from the current JBJS and articles from related subspecialty journals are reviewed. The conference is moderated by the selected subspecialty attendings.
  • Kindergarten/Motor Skills Conference is held weekly for the first six months and bimonthly for the last six months. This conference is a combination of lectures and hands-on experience using sawbones, etc., to quickly bring the junior residents up to speed and help all of the residents to develop their motor skills.
  • Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference is held monthly. Residents and attendings report any complications encountered during the previous month, with all cases reviewed by faculty, and 2-3 cases presented for discussion and education. 
  • Postoperative Conference is held weekly. The format is informal. Recent cases are selected and presented by the resident who was involved with the patient. Lively floor discussion is a constant feature. These are occasionally moderated by outside dignitaries.
  • Research Seminars are usually held monthly. Basic science faculty, residents on the research rotation, chief residents who are completing their theses, and outside collaborators present current projects.
  • Trauma Conference is usually held every other week. This rotating, two-year specialty conference provides the residents with a separate and focused educational opportunity in trauma and reconstruction. It is presented simultaneously to the residents both at WakeMed in Raleigh and at UNC through video teleconferencing.
  • Tumor Conference is held monthly. The format is recent case presentations including diagnostic and pathologic studies. Open discussion is encouraged. One topic receives special emphasis each month and appropriate readings are assigned in advance.