About the Residency Program

The Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program is a comprehensive, intense five-year training program, located within a 20-mile radius of the University of Kansas Hospital, which consists of three facilities that each play an important role in the training of residents.

  • The University of Kansas Medical Center, which is the focus of the residency program and is the teaching hospital for the state of Kansas, has all the specialty services of a modern tertiary care medical center. The patients at this hospital provide an optimal mix of basic and complex orthopedic cases.
  • Kansas City VA Medical Center's orthopedic rotation is a large, adult reconstructive service with busy outpatient clinics.
  • Children's Mercy Hospital provides a comprehensive exposure to pediatric orthopedics.

The entire five years of medical training is under the direction of the Department Chair, Dr. E. Bruce Toby and the Program Director, Dr. Kim Templeton. The orthopedic program emphasizes increasing levels of responsibility for residents as they move through their five years of training.


The PGY-1 year provides a broad exposure to medical and surgical problems that face orthopedic surgeons in many settings. The residents rotate through General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Trauma, ICU, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Rehab Medicine, Musculoskeletal Radiology, and Orthopedic Surgery. PGY-1 residents will learn:

  • overall management of patients, including care of the polytrauma patient;
  • basic operative techniques;
  • minor surgical procedures with supervision and assist with major operations.  


PGY-2 and PGY-3 years are considered junior resident years. The junior residents rotate on the trauma and sports medicine service at KU Hospital, at the VA Medical Center, and also at Children's Mercy Hospital. In addition their three month research rotation is also completed. While on these rotations, the residents participate in all aspects of orthopedic care, including outpatient clinics, emergency room treatment, inpatient and outpatient surgery, and treatment of the multisystem trauma patient.

By evaluating patients in the emergency room and orthopedic clinics, residents become central in the management of the inpatient orthopedic service. Both surgical and nonsurgical treatments are taught and demonstrated. Significant operating room experience is a mainstay of the program for junior residents, who perform low-to-moderate complex operative procedures under supervision and assist with more complex procedures.

Supervised by senior residents and the attending staff, junior residents take first call and are responsible for evaluating patients in the emergency room where they work closely with the trauma team in the care of polytrauma patients.

During PGY-2 and PGY-3 years, residents are exposed to the entire basic science and clinical conference schedule. They also have access to the resources of a complete orthopedic library and a computer system to enhance their orthopedic knowledge.

PGY-4 and PGY-5

The senior PGY-4 and PGY-5 years involved rotations through all the various teams at the university hospital and rotations at the VA hospital. At the end of the PGY-5 year, each resident should be a capable and competent orthopedic surgeon. Responsibility levels are significantly increased during these years.

Senior residents:

  • will help supervise junior residents and have considerable authority in running the inpatient and outpatient services;
  • will work closely with the trauma team in the care of polytrauma patients;
  • will participate in the care of nonsurgical fracture patients in the emergency room;
  • are expected to perform major and complex orthopedic procedures with staff supervision.

The senior PGY-4 and PGY-5 years involve rotations through all the various teams at the university hospital and rotations at the VA hospital. Both surgical and nonsurgical care is given equal importance throughout the program. In outpatient clinics, increasing responsibility is transferred to the resident. In the fifth year this culminates in the orthopedic evaluation clinic, which is managed by the chief resident with a staff physician assigned for consultation.

During the senior years the residents revisit the entire orthopedic curriculum. Their accumulated knowledge should enable them to successfully pass the orthopedic board exam, and more importantly, provide quality care to future patients. Each resident learns that education is an ongoing process not ending at the completion of the residency program. During their five years of study, they observe and are expected to develop a code of proper ethical conduct.

Last modified: Sep 19, 2012