Intern Skills

We have a one month skills curriculum course during which the interns are assigned readings, supervised skills instructions, and related activities.  Residents do not have an assigned clinical rotation during this time although they may take a limited amount of call.  Clinical faculty participate in either a half day or a full day of instruction sessions largely based on the ABOS inspired curriculum modules.  Resident have found this time to be helpful not only in skills development but as an opportunity to get to know the faculty on a personal basis, to team build with other colleagues from the same PGY year and to get to know some of the upper level residents. 


Rock Patel, MD, MBA, FAOA; Orthopaedic Spine

We are strongly invested in helping our resident trainees become expert, ethical, caring leaders who can work well as part of their healthcare teams when they go on to their own practices in their own careers. We are very proud to construct the UM Orthopaedic Resident Leadership Curriculum funded by Orthopaedic Surgery Alumni. We invite speakers that have unique perspectives on leadership in the community including local and state government, volunteerism, business, banking, military command, local boards, and more.

Leading this curriculum is Dr. Rock Patel, an MBA graduate of the Ross School of Business here at the University of Michigan. Dr. Patel in conjunction with faculty from the Ross School of Business have developed an annual curriculum with bimonthly meetings aimed at developing leadership skills, the ability to work in teams, as well as conflict resolution. This curriculum will consist of interactive lectures from business school faculty and invited speakers who are exemplary leaders in the healthcare space and beyond. Our goal is to provide each student with actionable skills that can be used immediately in their professional lives.


Wellness Director: Alex Gornitzky, MD; Pediatric Orthopaedics

Establishing a culture of mental, physical, social and emotional well-being for our residents is of paramount importance to the department. Our goal is to create a safe and supportive learning space that promotes resident’s continued growth and development across all facets of orthopaedics. 

Supported by generous departmental resources, we have a number of ongoing efforts dedicated to resident well-being. Specifically, there are monthly social events for residents to connect with each other, talk about their shared experiences and decompress. These events, along with other get-togethers, will be intermittently coupled to faculty initiatives in order to promote social connection across the department and between faculty and residents. We are also developing a well-being newsletter, which includes efforts to connect residents to the wider department and highlight their accomplishments. Finally, the Michigan Medicine Wellness Office has a strong history of developing a host of valuable resources for all UM house officers (peer and stress support groups, confidential counseling and mental health resources, resilience training, etc), and efforts are being made within the department to destigmatize these resources and encourage resident use.  

As part of these efforts, there is a resident well-being committee with broad representation from within the program. Residents on the committee help to advocate for their peers and identify new opportunities for investment in resident well-being. Residents will also have representation on the wider department-level committee to ensure the commitment to resident well-being remains at the center of our mission. 


The University of Michigan residency program maintains a curriculum for teaching residents the basics of orthopaedics in all of the sub-specialty areas. The content is directed by the residency program director and Program Evaluation Committee, which consists of both resident and faculty members. The curriculum lectures are generally held every other Friday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. These lectures are “protected time.” Residents are required to attend these lectures and are exempt from clinical duties during these lectures unless they are on vacation or have another legitimate excuse. It is expected that over the course of the year, residents will attend greater than 80% of these lectures. Prompt attendance is mandatory.

Teaching conferences include:

  • Bi-weekly subspecialty conferences – Each subspecialty follows a 2 year curriculum. Included throughout the year are special topics such a medicolegal issues, ethics and professionalism, orthotics and prosthetics, geriatric care and billing. These lectures are presented by the Orthopaedic faculty and visiting professors.
  • Grand Rounds - Departmental grand rounds are held each Thursday from 6:30–7:20 am. These conferences include a rotating schedule of resident case presentations, visiting lecturers, faculty presentations, and a monthly morbidity/mortality conference.
  • Anatomy Week – Is held during the second week of the rotations which include cadaver labs to help understand anatomy and the different surgical approaches.
  • Indications conference – Review of all orthopaedic trauma cases held each weekday at 6:30 am except on Thursday it is held at 7:15 am.
  • Each year several specialty conferences with visiting professors are hosted by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Michigan. These specialty days include: Dean Louis Day (hand), Foot and Ankle Day, Badgley Day (sports medicine), Pathology Day (orthopaedic oncology), Fischer Day (pediatric orthopaedics), and Larry S. Matthews Day (joint reconstruction).
  • Weekly lectures for residents on each service, led by faculty on that service

Journal Club

Journal club is held on a monthly basis and is designed with the objective of improving the resident’s ability to critically review and apply current literature to their practice. New articles from JBJS as well as classic articles are reviewed by residents followed by staff commentary.