Fellowship Structure

All of our trauma faculty trained in fellowships where the fellow was expected to teach and contribute to the resident’s education, therefore playing a vital role in improving the resident’s experience.  Our fellowship is designed to achieve the same goal. The number, variety, and complexity of our case volume has grown at our program over the last decade. These increases led to the addition of faculty and also facilitates simultaneous complimentary education of the residents and the fellow.

The majority of the clinical experience will occur in the operating room, where the fellow will be working one on one with the trauma faculty.  As the year progresses, surgical autonomy will increase; an important step in reaching the goal of independent trauma care being provided by the end of the fellowship year. Clinical experience will also consist of approximately 1 day of clinic per week with the trauma faculty.  The fellow will also staff a resident clinic once a month, where they will be able to develop their own treatment plan and book their own cases.

The fellow will have nearly equal exposure to each of the faculty.  While all of the trauma faculty work full-time (roughly 60 hours/week), the fellow’s clinical time will be split among the faculty based upon the complexity of the cases and who they are scheduled to be in clinic with that week. In other words, there aren’t strict rotations that would limit the movement of fellows and residents in order to coordinate and maximize their educational experiences.

Didactic Program

  • X-Ray Rounds: Daily checkout with the residents to discuss admissions/consults and operative cases scheduled for the day (daily).
  • Fellow Case Conference: A fellow-oriented discussion of cases performed over the previous 2 weeks (1st and 3rd Tuesday morning of every month).
  • Fellow Research Conference: A meeting with the research manager and faculty designed to discuss the various research projects that the fellow is involved in.  The main goal of the conference will be to keep the fellow engaged with research and have a productive year (2nd Tuesday of every month).
  • Fellow Teaching Conference: a primarily case-based lecture/discussion series focusing on trauma related topics (Acute trauma care, acetabulum, pelvic ring, peri-articular injuries, etc). This conference will be only with the faculty and the fellow (2nd and 4th Thursday morning of every month).
  • Trauma Journal Club: A trauma journal club with the fellow and faculty discussing the most current trauma related journals (once every 2 months).
  • Multidisciplinary Trauma Conference: a combined meeting with multiple service lines (general surgery trauma, neurosurgery, and orthopaedic trauma) to discuss trauma care and areas for improvement (monthly).

CME/Courses

The fellow will attend the following courses during their fellowship year:

  • AO Fellows course
  • OTA Fellows course
  • OTA annual meeting
  • Southeastern Fracture Consortium annual meeting
  • Includes opportunity to present at didactic or research sessions

Research

During their fellowship year, the fellow will be expected to perform clinical and/or basic science research.  On a monthly basis, the fellow will meet with our trauma research manager and one of our research directors, Dr. Jeray or Dr. Adams, to discuss ideas, report on progress, and further their education regarding research.  Twice a month, there will a dedicated half-day of research time.  During their training year, the fellow will be expected to complete a retrospective study, write a review article on a trauma related topic, and begin a prospective study during their fellowship year.  They will also be given opportunities and encouraged to co-author book chapters, as available.

In addition to our research manager, Stephanie Tanner, we also have 3 trauma research coordinators to provide support.  Mrs. Tanner, along with various faculty, conducts a monthly research lecture series that will also provide dedicated education for research.

Call

The fellow will mimic the current call structure of the trauma faculty beginning approximately 6 weeks after the start of their fellowship year.  This will allow time for the fellow to get acclimated to our system, our trauma service, and provide 6 weeks of education and evaluation prior to beginning call responsibilities.  Call frequency and duration are designed to provide adequate call exposure from an educational perspective, while keeping work-hours in mind to provide a proper work-life balance.  Once the fellow begins taking call, they will take a total of 3 weeknights of call per month and 1 weekend every 6 weeks. A weeknight of call begins at 5pm and ends at 6am.  A weekend consists of Friday night (5pm) to Saturday (5pm) and Sunday (9pm) to Monday (6am).  This will result in approximately 32 weeknights and 8 weekends of call during their fellowship year.

The fellow’s call responsibility will be a graduated process throughout the year, with the goal of the fellow feeling very comfortable taking independent trauma call prior to finishing fellowship.  When on call, the fellow will be the primary attending on call; however, a trauma faculty member will be assigned to be on call at the same time to provide backup.  To provide proper oversight early in the year, the fellow will be expected to notify the backup attending any time the fellow feels that a patient needs to go to the operating room.  In addition, the backup attending will be available to answer any questions from the fellow or evaluate patients as needed.  As the year progresses, the autonomy of the fellow to make independent decisions, without discussing it with the backup attending, will be increased at the program director’s discretion.

Sample case volume: 2017
Pelvis & Acetabulum 78
Peri-articular elbow 22
Tibia Plateau 70
Pilon 40
Calcaneus & Talus 26
Nonunion/Malunion lower extremity 25