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"To see patients without reading is like going to sea without charts."
Dr. William Osler
Conferences and Training

Ground roundsThe teaching conferences at UTMB cover a broad variety of topics, and are scheduled to minimize conflicts with clinical responsibilities.

Orthopaedic surgery teaching conference is held every Wednesday morning for three hours. Residents and faculty are expected to make presentations and the responsibility rotates among the different services each month. Cases are presented during the conference and residents are called on to describe radiographs and discuss differential diagnoses, final diagnoses, and treatment options. A morbidity and mortality conference is conducted monthly.

Fracture Conference is held every Monday morning to discuss management of recent trauma cases. This conference is structured to demand active participation from the residents to help them prepare for their oral Board examination.

Most of the services hold weekly planning conferences to review recent operative cases, discuss preoperative planning for upcoming cases and provide teaching sessions for the residents rotating on the service.

Journal Club is held monthly to review selected articles of interest in leading orthopaedic journals.

The orthopaedic Research Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays. Ongoing research activities are discussed, with teaching staff and residents participating when their projects are under discussion.

All orthopaedic surgery residents PGY 2 and above are funded to attend an educational conference each year. PGY 2 residents attend a resident’s basic fracture course to learn techniques of internal fixation. PGY 3 residents attend a prosthetics and orthotics course or an advanced resident’s basic fracture course. PGY 4 residents attend Dr. William Enneking’s orthopaedic pathology course held in Florida. PGY 5 residents attend the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Every year, the entering PGY 1’s receive several textbooks from the department, including Rockwood and Green’s Fractures in Adults and Children (all three volumes), Miller’s Review of Orthopaedics, and Hoppenfeld’s Surgical Exposures in Orthopaedics. In the subsequent four years, residents receive a generous allotment of textbooks appropriate to the clinical services through which they will rotate.

The G.W.N. Egger’s lectureship is held each spring. Egger’s weekend is a three-day program with a variety of speakers. Recent topics have included the spine, the knee, sports medicine, oncology, and pediatric orthopaedics. A number of outside speakers as well as local faculty and program alumni contribute to the program. The Egger’s conference also serves as the annual reunion for the orthopaedic alumni of UTMB. In addition, a sports medicine conference is held each summer, covering a variety of sports-related topics.


Feedback is an important component of any educational experience. Students need to know what they are doing well and what they need to improve. At the end of each three-month rotation, the faculty will evaluate each resident’s performance, complete an evaluation form, and review it with each resident. The evaluation is based on the ACGME core competencies (medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and system-based practice) with some additional questions unique to orthopaedic residents. Residents, likewise, are given the opportunity to anonymously evaluate the educational experience of each rotation and critique the teaching skills of the faculty members.

An important measure of each resident’s progress is the annual Orthopaedic In Training Examination (OITE) developed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Studies have demonstrated that success on the OITE correlates well with success in passing the written certifying examination given by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Residents whose performance on the OITE is less than expected will be given additional remedial course work to help them improve their knowledge of orthopaedics.

Learning Resources

A library with current texts, CD-ROMs, and journals is available in the orthopaedic residents’ office 24 hours a day. Eight IBM compatible computers with appropriate software are available for use by the residents. These computers are connected to the campus broadband network, allowing access to the Internet and the National Library of Medicine.

All residents are given a subscription to the American and British volumes of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. In addition, PGY 4 and PGY 5 residents are eligible to become candidate members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Candidate members receive the Academy’s Instructional Course Lecture volume as benefit of their status. Residents are awarded with incentives for doing well on the Orthopaedic In Training Examination.