Thomas Parker Vail, MD, Professor and Chairman
Thank you for your interest in the University of California, San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency training program. The UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is recognized as one of the leading academic orthopaedic departments in the United States. The program is rich in history and has played a prominent role in the development of orthopaedic surgery in the United States.
The training of residents is one of the most important missions of our Department along with care of patients and research. Our goal is not only to provide the best orthopaedic education, but also to emphasize leadership, creating a training environment that is the first step of a career characterized by energy and opportunity. The training program benefits from a faculty that is dedicated to teaching, and a clinical practice that is both broad in scope, and deep in volume and experience. Enhancing the orthopaedic experience is the UCSF Medical Center, which is consistently ranked among the top ten hospitals in the U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll.
The research experience in our Department is just as replete with opportunity as the clinical experience. The research options are an important feature of the training for any resident who is either considering an academic career, or already committed and seeking a place to develop research skills. As a Department, UCSF Orthopaedics ranks among the top ten nationally in terms of NIH grant funding. Our faculty currently serve on the board of directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the AOA, and hold leadership positions in every subspecialty. Our facilities include the basic science labs, the Industrial Research Center (IRC), the Learning Center Lab at San Francisco General Hospital, and the Orthopaedic Institute, which opened in 2009.
Fifty-eight full-time academic faculty members, including nine full-time research professors, nurture the scholarly activity of the Department. Thirty-six residents comprise the training program, with one resident per year pursuing an academic track that includes a further year of full-time clinical or laboratory research. An additional resident per year pursues a Global Health Scholars track that includes formal didactics on public health. An international perspective is an important feature of our training program and mission. All residents are afforded the opportunity of a month-long overseas global health rotation during the fourth year of training. Recent trainees have volunteered at sites in the developing world such as South Africa, Nicaragua, and China.
Perhaps the most special element of our Department is the profound relationship that exists between the residents and the faculty. Resident education is the primary focus of our training program. The combination of faculty dedicated to excellence in clinical and academic education and residents with the highest level of enthusiasm and motivation enables us to train the future leaders of clinical and academic orthopaedic surgery.
Thomas Parker Vail, MD
James L. Young Professor and Chairman
Pioneering musculoskeletal discovery and innovative care to transform lives.
Hubert Kim, MD, PhD, Residency Program Director
The UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program is dedicated to training orthopaedic surgeons who will make a difference locally, nationally, and globally. UCSF is a wonderfully collaborative and inclusive place where excellence is the norm. We strive to create a learning environment that rewards exploration, discovery, and the rigorous pursuit of knowledge. Our graduates have gone on to leadership positions at major hospitals, academic institutions, and organizations throughout our field. We believe that no matter what your interests and ultimate career goals may be, UCSF can help you get there.
Our Department is focused first and foremost on training residents. Compared to many of the other training programs you are likely considering, ours trains relatively few fellows, and some of our subspecialty groups train no fellows at all. We believe this commitment to resident education allows us to create a learning environment where your educational needs come first.
Our clinical training paradigm is based on a model in which residents have two rotations in each subspecialty area, once as a junior resident and again as a senior resident. This schedule provides ample exposure to all subspecialty areas before our residents need to decide on fellowship options. We also utilize a variety of teaching sites, including some overseas, to provide exposure to a diverse patient population and to different health care delivery systems. This structure allows us to provide the breadth and depth of clinical exposure that our residents have asked for through years of fine-tuning their experience.
As accomplished and dedicated as UCSF faculty may be, the real strength of our residency program is the residents themselves. They are a supremely talented, motivated, and diverse group of individuals who work hard and play hard. We are proud of our graduates, what they have accomplished, and how our program contributed to their development as orthopaedic surgeons. We encourage you to spend a month with us as a sub-intern so that we can learn about, and from, each other. San Francisco is one of the truly great cities in the world—if you’ve never been here, you owe it to yourself to visit. Perhaps you belong here.
Hubert Kim, MD, PhD
Residency Program Director
Professor and Vice-Chair for Education
James O. Johnston Endowed Chair for Education