Teaching fellows how to educate is a core mission of the Orthopaedic Trauma fellowship.
One PGY3 resident is assigned to the orthopaedic trauma service full time, and one PGY2 resident is on the service two to three days per week. The service is also comprised of multiple advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants), of which three or four work on the service daily. There is also an ample complement of medical students on clerkship throughout the year. Fellows are an integral part of the trauma service’s educational endeavors.
With an average of three-to-four operating rooms running daily, each Orthopaedic Trauma fellow has the freedom to choose which room they will cover on a daily basis to maximize educational benefit. This system provides the fellow an opportunity to be the primary surgeon on complex fellowship level fracture care cases, or choose a different room where they may serve in a faculty-like role by taking a junior resident through more straight-forward cases (eg, nailing of a long bone fracture). Although the fellow assumes greater responsibility in this educational scenario, faculty members remain in the operating room to evaluate the fellow’s teaching skills and assist as needed.
The fellows also participate in educational conferences for the residency program, including small group facilitation/table instructor in resident cadaver labs and hands-on skills labs. They also prepare cases for presentation at the monthly department morbidity and mortality conference. Finally, fellows give several grand rounds presentations over the course of the year on Orthopaedic Trauma specific topics.
Each fellow is a member of the Program Evaluation Committee, which meets four times a year. Fellows provide valuable feedback for program improvement.
The Clinical Competency Committee meets four times annually to discuss fellow progress and to assess milestone completion. Subsequent to these meetings the program director meets individually with the fellows to relay strengths and opportunities for improvement. Fellows are encouraged to reflect on their own progress and compare with faculty evaluations.