Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program at PCOM

The orthopedic surgery residency program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is among the largest in the osteopathic profession.  Currently, it consists of six residents in each post graduate year, for a total of 30 residents. PCOM is an excellent orthopedic surgery residency program for the right individual. It is a busy clinical residency program with a large number of residents (30) and a large faculty (approximately 60). The residency program provides both broad exposure to the entire field of orthopedic surgery, as well as an intense training program that imparts its graduates with the knowledge and skill to pursue either further fellowship training or immediately begin clinical practice.

The successful resident needs to be a self-starter who is capable of learning in a diverse setting. The attending staff will present many methods of successfully managing clinical problems, and the resident will need to decide which method works best for them. The training program assists the resident in accomplishing this by a carefully designed progression of responsibility, autonomy, and expectation. Throughout the five clinical years, the residents are exposed to the pre, peri, and post operative care of the orthopedic patient in a structured and hands-on manner that facilitates their growth as a practitioner. 

The resident will rotate through services that provide exposure to the subspecialties of:

  • Trauma
  • Adult reconstruction
  • Pediatrics
  • Spine
  • Hand & Upper Extremity
  • Oncology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Shoulder & Elbow
  • Foot & Ankle
  • General Orthopedics
  • Neuro-orthopedics

The resident would be exposed to world class care at multiple facilities, including:

  • Lankenau Medical Center
  • Cooper Hospital
  • New England Baptist Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Mount Sinai Hospital (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Shriner’s Hospital for Children
  • Methodist Hospital
  • Aria Hospital – Bucks Campus

A didactic curriculum for basic and clinical sciences is taught by the faculty with an emphasis on resident participation.  The educational/didactic forum is held every Thursday from 1pm-7pm and includes:

  • Presentation of interesting cases, including x-rays
  • Orthopedic knowledge update review
  • Orthopedic-In-Training Exam (OITE) question review
  • Lectures on assigned topics
  • Journal articles

Journal Club is held once a month, usually at a local restaurant, and is led by a faculty moderator.  Usually, four to six interesting articles are presented covering a specific topic. Dinner is provided. 

Once a month, residents are expected to attend the Philadelphia Orthopedic Society Meetings, at which time all six orthopedic residency programs in the City of Philadelphia get together for dinner and a lecture.  This gives the PCOM residents an opportunity to experience a world class lecture, interact and network with attendings and residents from the other orthopedic surgery residency programs. 

All orthopedic surgery residents are required to take the following:

  • Basic fracture course
  • Pathology course
  • Advanced trauma life support
  • Attendance at either AOAO Fall Clinical Assembly or the Spring Post Graduate meeting prior to beginning their post graduate year #5

The cost of the above requirements are paid for by PCOM.

In addition, all residents are supplied with microscopic loups, as well as x-ray gowns. 

Every May, the PCOM Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program hosts a Grand Rounds Program, from 6pm-9pm. At this time, resident posters are presented from 6pm-7pm, and dinner is served from 7pm-8pm, and a nationally known lecturer presents from 8pm-9pm, including a question and answer period. Lecturers in the past have included:

  • Kenneth Koval, MD
  • Joseph Zuckerman, MD
  • Paul Lotke, MD
  • David Green, MD
  • James Andrews, MD
  • Wayne Paprosky, MD

In addition, there is a golf outing the following day, and all the residents are excused from their clinical responsibilities to attend the outing.

Certainly one of the advantages to the PCOM Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program is location. It is headquartered in Philadelphia, which is one of the truly great cities in our country with a wealth of historic, cultural, and recreational activities. It is also home to some of the top medical facilities in the world.

Orthopedic surgery resident interviews are traditionally held the first or second week of November.  We receive approximately 150 applications, interview approximately 30-35 individuals, and select four to six individuals. All prospective candidates must have completed an audition rotation in order to be invited for an interview.  Candidates are ranked on the basis of their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, personal demeanor, and how well they did on their audition rotation. The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program does not discriminate with regard to race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, or veteran status.

A relatively new addition to The Residency Training Program is an arthroscopic simulation device. 

All residents received adequate time off to pursue vacation or educational activities.

The Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program at PCOM is a comprehensive, intensive, five-year training program that graduates knowledgeable, skilled, compassionate, and ethical orthopedic surgeons who are dedicated to life-long learning. Our superb facilities, teaching staff, and curriculum are integral to this impressive tradition, along with the residents who are crucial to the success of the training program.  As members of a close-knit team, residents build a solid base of knowledge and develop surgical skills to function as outstanding orthopedic surgeons in both private and academic settings. Over 95% of our residents have been accepted into prestigious fellowship programs. The only residents who have not been selected into fellowships are those who have chosen to enter directly into clinical practice.

Dr. John J. McPhilemy has been Professor and Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at PCOM since 1990, and is intimately involved in the Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program.  Dr. Max Stepanuk has been Program Director since 1990. 

Drs. McPhilemy and Stepanuk are now in their 25th year as leaders of PCOM Orthopedics. 

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