At the University of British Columbia, orthopaedic surgical education
is based on participation in clinical rotations. The first two years
of the program include “core” rotations in a variety of
subspecialties including: plastic surgery, vascular surgery, general
surgery, ICU, and general medicine. After completing the “core”
training years residents complete the "Principles of Surgery"
Exam administered by the Royal College of Surgeons. The residents
then rotate through orthopaedic subspecialty rotations for the remaining
three years of the program. The rotations include: general orthopaedics,
orthopaedic trauma, reconstructive orthopedics, paediatric orthopaedics,
orthopaedic oncology, hand surgery, foot and ankle surgery, athletic
injuries, upper extremity orthopaedics and an elective experience.
The final year of the program is tailored to the resident’s
career desires and their academic needs.
A number of physical sites participate in the orthopaedic training
program. Vancouver Acute serves as the home base for the residents.
The academic offices are situated at Vancouver Acute and the resident
half day seminar and lecture series occurs at that location. Daily
morning teaching rounds take place in the orthopaedic conference room.
Key trauma, reconstructive and orthopaedic oncology rotations take
place at this site. Paediatric rotations are completed at British
Columbia’s Children’s Hospital located a short distance
away. Athletic injury rotations and upper extremity rotations take
place at the UBC Hospital. The residents complete a foot and ankle
rotation at St Paul’s Hospital. The Royal Columbian Hospital,
situated in New Westminster, is a busy general hospital that manages
a large volume of orthopaedic trauma. Residents complete a general
orthopaedic rotation at that site. Subspecialty hand, foot & ankle,
and athletic injury training are also available at the RCH site.
The UBC Orthopaedic Residency Program is the only residency training
program in the province of British Columbia. As a result the residents
have access to a high volume of orthopaedic cases and the program
is able to provide complete training. By the time of their graduation
our residents are competent surgeons who have participated in a large
volume of surgical procedures. Managing orthopaedic emergencies is
a key component of orthopaedic training and the residents see a large
volume of orthopaedic trauma cases. Call requirements are typically
1/4 for in house call and 1/3 for at home call.
The University of British Columbia has a strong academic record and
very strong leadership. Within the Department of Orthopaedics there
are 7 faculty members with masters level clinical epidemiology training.
The Department has an orthopaedic engineering division with 2 full
time bioengineers as members of the Faculty. Throughout the 5 year
program residents participate in a structured academic half day. A
portion of that time is self directed learning or research participation.
The second half of the afternoon includes a resident led interactive
seminar and a faculty lecture.
The summer academic program includes a weekly anatomy session with
cadaveric dissection. This focused anatomy program greatly facilitates
the residents understanding of musculoskeletal anatomy and surgical
approaches. Throughout the year there are different academic events
that the residents participate in. Each spring the Department hosts
its “Orthopaedic Update”, with local, national and international
guests participating. A variety of local courses provide the residents
with experience in arthroscopy, arthroplasty, fracture fixation and
many other techniques and procedures. These local events are supplemented
by national and international courses and meetings that the residents
Morning rounds are a key component of interactive problem based learning
within the Department. Each academic site has its own schedule of
teaching rounds based on the subspecialty focus of the surgeons at
that location. These rounds provide the residents with an excellent
small group learning environment.
Ongoing learning is a key component of successful modern orthopaedic
practice because of the rapid pace of technological advancement. Orthopaedic
surgery by its nature is greatly affected by advances in surgical
techniques, engineering, biomaterials, pharmacology, genetics and
human biology. An understanding of orthopaedic research and critical
appraisal skills are mandatory for successful practice and Royal College
Certification. These skills are taught through a combination of scheduled
didactic lectures, interactive group seminars, journal review meetings,
and participation in orthopaedic research projects. The residents
participate in two research projects during the 5 year program. They
work directly with a research supervisor on a project of their selection.
The residents present their work in progress annually at an Orthopaedic
Grand Round and during their 3rd and 5th years they present their
completed work at the annual Orthopaedic Research Day. Residents also
present their work at national and international meetings.
Residents graduating from our program have diverse career paths, ranging
from direct entry into community practice to advanced clinical fellowships
and PhD training. The reputation of the training program and the orthopaedic
faculty provide our residents with a great deal of opportunity outside
Canada for fellowship training or career development. A large number
of our graduates have gone on to successful academic careers and are
among the leaders in orthopaedic surgery in Canada.
By their nature, surgical training programs are demanding. Residents
are challenged to learn a large amount of new information. Also, they
must develop surgical skills and surgical experience. Call requirements
are in agreement with the Professional Association of Residents Guidelines.
Organization skills, desire and commitment greatly assist residents
in achieving success in the residency. Clearly, students will need
to be dedicated and have an excellent work ethic to achieve success
in a surgical residency and career.
Entering the UBC Orthopaedic Residency Program
Positions in Postgraduate training in British Columbia are funded
and allocated by the Provincial Government. At the present time the
UBC program accepts 4 new orthopaedic residents each year. All residents
are selected through the Canadian Residents Matching Service in an
annual match. Detailed information can be obtained at the CARMS website
at www.carms.ca. Orthopaedic positions are competitive. Applications
are received from across Canada and Internationally. Applicants need
to have demonstrated strong academic performance, keen interest, integrity
and commitment in their undergraduate training. Potential candidates
are interviewed by members of the Residency Selection Committee.
Frequently Asked Questions about Orthopaedic Training
Do residents ever leave the program?
Occasionally a resident will request to leave the program, usually
to transfer to another residency training program. Because of the
competitive nature of orthopaedics, most residents have clearly thought
out their career goals and have carefully evaluated their residency
choice. However, because of the structure of undergraduate medical
education in Canada, and the resident selection process, medical students
must select the residency early in their education and occasionally
someone makes an incorrect career choice and is more suited to another
discipline. There is a specific process directed by the Postgraduate
Dean’s Office for resident transfers.
Is there any time for electives in the residency program?
Residents are provided with a two month elective rotation during their
fourth year. Many residents elect to work in a rural community or
in another centre for that experience. Residents interested in subspecialty
training may use the time to explore fellowship opportunities. The
final year of the program also offers residents with the ability to
structure their year according to their academic needs.
How much holiday time is provided?
Residents are given 4 weeks holiday each year.
Is there maternity leave within the residency program?
Maternity leave is protected within the PAR-BC contract structure
and by legislation. Up to a year of leave is available and is at the
discretion of the resident.
Is it beneficial to do an elective if you are interested
in obtaining a residency position?
Certainly elective experiences can be very valuable for both the orthopaedic
program and the medical student. The student is provided with an opportunity
to evaluate the program, staff and residents. The residency program
is provided with an opportunity to showcase its educational program
and also to evaluate the student. However, the orthopaedic community
in Canada is relatively small and the surgeons at UBC have close contact
with other surgeons throughout Canada, and in many international centres.
Reference letters from other locations are very useful tools for the
selection committee and allow us to evaluate students who have not
performed an elective at UBC.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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