The core of Geisinger's orthopaedic residency program is our unique preceptorship style approach to surgical training where residents are paired one-on-one with attendings for three month blocks. Since its inception in 1960, preceptorship teaching fosters close supervision and graduated autonomy. This model allows the teaching staff to better evaluate and improve upon each resident's ability- encouraging earlier autonomy in both the clinic and the operating room.

This level of teaching has successfully trained well-rounded, confident, capable surgeons with the ability and skill-set to practice general orthopaedic surgery or to apply for highly competitive fellowships.

Program structure

An early exposure to orthopaedics is emphasized at GMC. PGY1s rotate within the orthopaedic department for six months- the maximum time allowed by the ACGME. This comprises a total of 4 1/2 years of pure orthopaedic rotations. The first six months of intern year are non-orthopaedic rotations, which include:

  • Trauma surgery
  • Plastic surgery
  • Emergency medicine
  • Radiology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Vascular surgery

The second-half of intern year is dedicated to junior orthopaedic rotations. These usually include a few months on trauma, pediatrics, and joints although this can change depending on availability.

PGY 2 - 5
Residents have the ability to rotate throughout all of the orthopaedic subspecialties. As an integral team member of each subspecialty service, serve as a key part of patient care.

From PGY2 year through graduation, each resident is paired with an attending or service for three month blocks. In this way, a resident's typical schedule will mimic the attending with whom they are paired. This model allows for the resident to become proficient with preoperative evaluation and planning, postoperative care, assessment of outcomes and participate in continuity of care. In the OR, progressive surgical autonomy and independence is given to those residents who demonstrate the capability of operating in a safe and efficient manner.

Clinical services

  • Adult reconstruction
  • Foot and ankle
  • General orthopaedics
  • Hand, wrist & microvascular
  • MSK oncology
  • Pediatric orthopaedics
  • Shoulder & elbow
  • Spine
  • Sports medicine & arthroscopy
  • Trauma

PGY 2 - PGY 5 ample rotation schedule
Monday: GMC clinic
Tuesday: GMC operating room
Wednesday: outpatient clinic
Thursday: outpatient surgery center/operating room
Friday: half-day clinic, half-day research

Operative experience
At GHS, we strongly believe that early hands-on supervised experience in the operating room is a driving factor to the success of future surgeons. On average, Geisinger orthopaedic residents log approximately 2,500-3,000 operative procedures by the end of residency.

Residents team up one-on-one with attendings for three month blocks, progressively work towards total patient care, surgical skills, and fracture management. This allows us to produce compassionate, knowledgeable and technically competent orthopaedic surgeons.

Call schedule
Resident call schedule is approached differently at GHS. PGY2 (October-June)-PGY5 orthopaedic call is taken from home. Providing front line support for three dedicated orthopaedic trauma specialists, a resident’s call covers all aspects of adult and pediatric trauma and care for all orthopaedic surgery patients in the hospital. Residents that are not on call are free from residency responsibilities. There is NO night float system so residents are never expected to remain in house overnight, freeing them up for clinical and operative duties during normal work hours.

The first three months as a PGY2 (July-September), junior residents take call with an upper level backup. This allows junior residents to learn the essentials of emergency orthopaedic care and prepare to take call individually.

Starting in October of PGY2 year, solo call begins. PGY2-PGY5 residents share call equally.

  • One attending, one resident
  • Monday – Thursday: 1/9 on average
  • Weekend: ¼ on average

Geisinger results orthopaedic in-training exam
2012 - 100%
2011 - 96%
2010 - 98%
2009 - 98%
2008 - 98%
2007 - 98%
2006 - 99%
2005 - 99%
2004 - 95%
2003 - 99%