Intern rotations are broken into twelve one-month blocks. There are the ACGME-mandated six blocks of non-ortho rotations and six blocks of ortho rotations.
PGY-2 through -5 rotations are broken into five 10-week blocks. All rotations are subject to change, as staffing changes and feedback from residents is taken into account for scheduling.
Below is a description of the current rotations by level of training.
- General Surgery Nights
- Plastic Surgery
- Vascular Surgery
- Emergency Medicine
- Musculoskeletal Radiology
- Adult Reconstruction x 2-3
This is a fast-paced and busy rotation with a fellowship trained arthroplasty surgeon and a senior resident. You will work with the chief on the service, with a mix of clinic and operating room experience. As the intern, you will begin to learn the basics of inpatient management and patient optimization for elective procedures. In the operating room, you will be guided through the basics of hip and knee reconstruction and begin learning tangible surgical skills. Interns typically rotate once or twice on this rotation.
During the general orthopaedics rotation, you will work with one of our generalist orthopaedic surgeons and be exposed to a broad spectrum of pathology representative of a community practice, through both clinic and operative experience.
- Trauma x 2-3
This rotation, on the team-based trauma service at University Medical Center of El Paso, exposes you to the perioperative management of trauma patients at our Level I facility. From initial management and stabilization in the ED, through indicating for operative or non-operative treatment, surgical treatment, and the post-operative care of patients, this rotation has a lot of hands-on learning opportunities. You’ll also get the opportunity to see patients in clinic. The intern is an important component of the team, and works under the direct supervision of the PGY-2 or PGY-3. Interns typically rotate two or three times on this rotation.
Dedicated research month for orthopaedics.
Second year residents complete a 10-week rotation with one of our fellowship-trained hand surgeons. This block is a true mentorship style with one-on-one training in the operating room and clinic. As a PGY-2, you begin to gain autonomy in the operating room as you are guided through common and complex upper extremity pathology.
- Trauma x 2
The PGY-2 rotates for two blocks on the trauma service. They are responsible for consult management, either directly or by supervising the intern as appropriate. About half of the block is spent on nights, a formative process where you are entrusted with in-house call responsibility at the Level I. Oversight is provided by the senior residents on call and the attending surgeons. Senior residents are approachable and happy to answer questions or assist on a difficult reduction. The PGY-2s while they are on the day team are expected to help teach the interns and other learners on the team (rotating ED residents, medical students, physician extenders). They also get into the OR. It may seem impossible now, but the growth and confidence that is gained in your orthopaedic knowledge while on this rotation is exponential.
You’ll be the only resident on this general orthopaedics rotation. A wide variety of pathology comes in through clinic, and it is a great window into how a generalist practice works. You may perform a total knee arthroplasty, carpal tunnel release, and shoulder arthroscopy on any given OR day.
Working with a senior resident, usually a chief, this rotation is on a very busy service, with excellent exposure to pediatrics and sports injuries in young athletes. Dr. Garcia’s service features a heavy operative case load. You’ll get exposure to primary ACL reconstruction, PAOs, hip arthroscopy, as well as operative pediatric trauma during your rotation.
- Pediatrics – Utah
This is the first of two off-site rotations. We have the opportunity to rotate at Shriners and Primary Children’s hospital, associated with the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. We are exposed to rare pediatric pathology, the opportunity to see another excellent residency program through their pediatrics rotation, and a heavy dose of closed reductions while on call. Their staff attendings are also enthusiastic about teaching residents. This rotation augments the exposure to pediatrics that we receive longitudinally in our other rotations in El Paso, through a mix of clinic and OR.
This rotation provides one-on-one training with Dr. Rajani, our department chair, in orthopaedic oncology. This rotation is located at TTUHSC El Paso, so most of your time is at University Medical Center of El Paso in the OR or clinic, learning the intricacies of tumor surgery. You’ll occasionally have an opportunity to jump in on other cases at University Medical Center of El Paso as well.
- Sports Recon
This mentorship model rotation, focused on the shoulder and its treatment with Dr. Fitzpatrick, or a generalist practice with a strong preference for arthroplasty procedures with Dr. Burns, is an excellent opportunity to continue to advance your clinical acumen and surgical skills with one-on-one teaching from our staff.
This is a rotation with our dual-fellowship trained hand and oncology program director. This block is another mentorship style rotation, with one-on-one training in the operating room and clinic. As a PGY-3, you continue to gain autonomy in the operating room as you are guided through common and complex upper extremity and tumor pathology.
On this rotation, you will work with a senior resident, typically a chief, and have excellent exposure to varied sports pathology. Get ready for plenty of arthroscopy as well as the opportunity for trauma cases. You’ll get shoulder instability, multi-lig knee injuries, meniscus transplant, hip arthroscopy, and the more bread-and-butter cases, like primary ACL reconstruction.
- Adult Reconstruction – Chicago
Fourth year residents have the privilege to train under the guidance of Dr. Richard Berger at Rush Orthopaedics in Chicago. Dr. Berger is a pioneer in the field of arthroplasty with an emphasis on minimally invasive total hip and knee replacements. As a resident on Dr. Berger’s service, you will be participating in surgical cases and clinical duties. Residents from TTUHSC El Paso/WBAMC are provided with an apartment within walking distance to the hospital while in Chicago. A sub-rotation with Dr. Berger to Munster, Indiana is also included in this rotation.
- Trauma x 2
As a senior resident on service, you will continue to progress with your surgical decision-making and operative skills. Expect to help provide teaching and guidance to junior residents, while honing your operative skills. You’ll also typically be in clinic once a week. Autonomy is granted according to individual ability as well as surgeon preference.
- Foot and Ankle
On the foot and ankle service, you will be working one-on-one with a highly trained foot and ankle surgeon in a true mentorship model. The goal of this rotation is for senior residents to become confident and competent in common and uncommon foot and ankle disorders. Surgical skills will be sharpened under the guidance of a skilled mentor in the field. Pathology ranging from lower extremity trauma to complex congenital disorders will be encountered.
During the spine surgery rotation, you will work with a fellowship-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon and an orthopaedic intern. You will learn the management of both adult and pediatric spinal disorders in the clinic and operating room setting.
Chief residents will have the opportunity to rotate with our dual fellowship-trained sports and pediatrics department chair on a pediatrics and sports rotation, typically with the assistance of a junior resident. Dr. Garcia’s service features a heavy operative case load of sports cases and pediatric cases. In this mentorship-model rotation, you will be guided through common and complex sports and pediatric cases.
As the trauma chief, you will run the University Medical Center of El Paso service administratively. At this point, it is expected that you will be walking junior residents through cases as appropriate. You will typically spend one day a week in clinic, usually with our senior orthopaedic traumatologist. The rest of the time, you will have the opportunity for honing your operative skills with the wide variety of injury patterns that we take care of, including a high number of periarticular fractures of the lower extremity.
On this rotation, you will work under a fellowship-trained sports surgeon and supervise a junior resident. Get ready for plenty of arthroscopy as well as the opportunity for trauma cases. You’ll get shoulder instability, multi-lig knee injuries, meniscus transplant, hip arthroscopy, and the more bread-and-butter cases, like primary ACL reconstruction.
- Adult Reconstruction
As a senior on this rotation, you’ll have a junior resident, typically an intern, who you’ll help guide in the basics of adult reconstruction. This rotation is with our HSS fellowship-trained arthroplasty staff surgeon, and consists of primary and revision total hip and knee reconstruction. This is a fast-paced and busy practice.
- Elective Rotation
An opportunity to carve out a rotation according to your interests. In the past, we have rotated with local community orthopaedic surgeons, getting excellent exposure to a general orthopaedic practice. If you have other ideas, start planning early, especially if you want to go out-of-state, as you’ll need to get your affairs and paperwork in order.
Junior call varies based on where you are assigned. When at University Medical Center of El Paso, a night float system is used, where a PGY-2 takes in-house night call for approximately 8-10 weeks, evenly split over two blocks. On the weekend, a PGY-2 or PGY-3 will have a 24-hour shift on Saturday, and a different junior resident will have the day call on Sunday. These weekend residents may be on or off-service at University Medical Center of El Paso.
When at WBAMC, juniors (PGY-2 and PGY-3) take nightly home call, roughly q5. Junior residents will usually have one “power weekend” per month, where they are on call over the weekend at WBAMC.