Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

Dr. Joseph Weistroffer
Joseph Weistroffer, MD
Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Thank you for showing interest in our great program. This residency offers a unique set of strengths and opportunities that have been attracting students since 1966. That’s half a century of excellence in the care of musculoskeletal pathology exemplified with an exceptional success rate in graduates passing their board examinations.  Kalamazoo’s dynamic medical community has a rich history to include Drs. W.E. Upjohn and Homer H. Stryker whose legacy in medicine continues today throughout the world.

Our faculty consists of over 30 individuals, some full-time academic, and the rest hospital and clinic based for an excellent balance to maximize your exposure to orthopaedics. We have two great teaching health systems, Ascension Borgess and Bronson Healthcare, that offer experiences in Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers, dedicated pediatric care and hospital staff that have won national awards in overall quality and quality improvement. WMed adds the scholarly activity of academic medicine: research, cutting-edge technology and innovation. A rich and balanced curriculum offers didactics from medical school faculty and resident surgeons. This syllabus is supplemented with special programs to include world-class visiting professors, courses in Pathology and AO Techniques, anatomy labs and a state of the art simulation center. We foster research opportunities with dedicated research rotations, a unified institutional review board and a full-time staff that includes two statisticians, 10 clinical research coordinators, four regulatory specialists, a data management specialist and a scientific writer.

We are more than a residency with a mission to train excellent surgeons. We aim to develop young women and men to be outstanding leaders in both the community and medicine.  Our goal is to provide a vibrant and supportive learning environment for physicians to reach their deepest potential.

Welcome from the Chief Resident

Dr. Eric Christianson
Eric Christianson, MD
Chief Resident, 2020-2021

Thank you for your interest in our program! Choosing a residency is a major decision, both personally and professionally. WMed has been a perfect fit for me, and there are a few things that truly make our program a hidden gem.

First, the quality of the training is top-notch. We are a smaller program with only three residents per year, providing us with early autonomy and direct learning from attendings. Operative experience comes early and often, and is complemented well by the variety of staff in the community. Beyond clinical training, research opportunities are becoming more abundant, with residents having opportunities for regional and national level participation.

Second, Kalamazoo has been a great place to train and live for the past four years. We serve a wide area, with much of the trauma in Southwest Michigan coming to Kalamazoo, giving us a top-notch trauma experience. Beyond that, the size of the area provides for a nice blend of city commodities in a smaller package. With just a 45-minute drive from the beach on Lake Michigan, a plethora of breweries/wineries in the city, and just two hours from Chicago or Detroit, there is plenty to keep us busy on our off time.

Third, and more importantly, the people are what truly make the program stand out. Attendings truly care not only for our education, but for us as individuals. I feel as though I have not only found lifelong mentors, but people that will become lifelong colleagues and friends. Our core faculty have continued to put our education above all else, and the staff behind the scenes are beyond compare. No matter where you end up you will work hard, but in Kalamazoo I have found my fit and cannot be happier. I hope you will consider us in your search, and I wish you luck in this endeavor!

FAQs

  • How do I apply to be a visiting medical student?
    Information is located on the visiting students program page.
  • How many resident positions are offered?
    We are accredited for three residents each year.
  • Do you ever have upper level openings?
    We rarely have upper-level openings. However, any open upper-level positions will be posted on http://www.orthogate.org
  • Do you accept foreign medical graduates and/or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine?
    We accept all applications. Historically we have matched with first-time graduates of American LCME-accredited medical schools.
  • Do you pre-match or match outside of NRMP?
    No. We only accept applications through ERAS and only match through the NRMP match.
  • Do you offer Orthopaedic Surgery fellowships?
    No.
  • What is a typical day for a WMed Orthopaedic Surgery resident?

    A typical day for our residents involves rounding and clinical responsibilities with education lectures spaced throughout the week. What sets our program apart is the autonomy our residents receive from Day One. After you admit or operate on a patient, they become yours. Each resident is responsible for seeing and caring for his/her own patients and service. This autonomy affords even our younger residents the opportunity to feel a sense of purpose and responsibility and it prepares you for the day when you will no longer have an attending assisting with decision making. That being said, our attendings are available at all times with any questions and will also round independently, and share concerns or suggestions if/when warranted.

    In our program, residents perform operations early and often and it is extremely rare for a case to be double-scrubbed, except for those that are the most rare and interesting, because we typically have more cases going on than we do residents to cover. Our rotation-based case assignments keep residents working hand-in-hand with their appropriate rotation preceptor, which allows the building of trust that develops a graduated level of responsibility. This earned trust leads to our residents receiving outstanding, hands-on operative experience within a few weeks. By the time our residents become chiefs they are doing nearly all cases in their entirety while the attending assists and gives pointers. This leads to most graduates feeling confident and comfortable beginning practice with or without fellowship.

    As far as an average daily schedule, our residents begin rounding by 6 a.m. There are transition of care meetings with residents and attendings at both hospitals to review the previous call’s cases and experiences, and discuss care for patients continuing on the orthopedic service. Every resident accounts for his or her own patients throughout the work day so that our junior residents are also able to gain valuable clinical and operative experience rather than running errands and managing the floor. Our residents are assigned to a rotation service and once the clinic and surgical activities are completed for that specialty service, their day is done. Our residents work hard and have a large degree of autonomy, and we have an outstanding quality of life that is conducive to studying, personal, and/or family life.