Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

<span property="schema:name" class="field-wrapper">Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program</span>
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 over 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 and orthopaedic surgery continues today.

Our faculty consists of over 30 resident-centric individuals, both full-time academic and community hospital-based, that provide an excellent balance to optimize your orthopaedics exposure.  We utilize three separate and independent healthcare systems that offer different infrastructures toward patient care that includes but not limited to: various electronic medical records; both Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers; dedicated pediatric care; and hospital staffs that have won national awards in overall quality and quality improvement.  

Our medical school affiliation bridges bench to bedside concepts with research opportunities for scientific exploration, providing resources to facilitate traditional academic pursuits:  librarians, statisticians, clinical research coordinators, regulatory specialists, and a scientific writer.  Consider our rich and balanced curriculum offering didactics from medical school faculty and resident surgeons. Other educational formats include world-class Visiting Professors, monthly Grand Rounds, hands-on bio-skills labs, anatomy labs, a state-of-the-art simulation center, basic science laboratory for biomedical and tissue engineering, a monthly Journal Club, an AO Techniques course, dedicated national leadership courses, and an opportunity to serve the underprivileged in Honduras.

We are more than a residency dedicated to developing compassionate and competent surgeons well prepared for a general orthopaedic surgery career or poised to excel in fellowship. We aim to produce young women and men capable of leading at the local, state, regional, or national levels. Our goal is to provide a vibrant and supportive learning environment for physicians to reach their most profound 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!

COVID-19 Update for Residency Interviews

As recommended by the Coalition for Physician Accountability (CoPA), AOA/CORD, and Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, our residency interviews for the 2021 Match will be conducted virtually. Select the link to the left, Applicant and Interview Process, for more information on applying to our program.

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.
  • What is the typical surgical experience?
    Our residents typically graduate with over 2000 cases entered in the ACGME case log system. Yearly surgical activity ranges from an average of 150 cases during your PGY-1 year, where 6 months are spent on orthopaedic surgery rotations, to over 500 cases during your PGY-5 year.
  • What is a typical day for a WMed Orthopaedic Surgery resident?

    A typical day involves rounding and clinical responsibilities with educational 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 their own patients and service. This autonomy affords even junior 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 for any questions. They will also round independently, and share concerns or suggestions if/when warranted.

    In our program, residents operate early and often. It is extremely rare for a case to be double-scrubbed, except for those that are the most rare/interesting. We typically have more cases going on than we do residents to cover. Our rotation-based case assignments ensure you work one-on-one in a mentorship model with your rotation preceptor. This allows the building of trust and developing a graduated level of responsibility. This earned trust leads to our residents receiving outstanding, hands-on operative experience early in their career. 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 comfort and confidence beginning practice with or without fellowship.

    With an average daily schedule, you begin rounding by 6 a.m. There are transition of care meetings with fellow 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. You account for your own patients throughout the workday. Our junior residents gain valuable clinical and operative experience rather than running errands and managing the floor. You are assigned to a rotation service and once the clinic and surgical activities are completed for that specialty service, your day is done. You will work hard, have a large degree of autonomy, and have an outstanding quality of life that is conducive to studying, personal and/or family life, and wellness.

Our Mission

We are a hybrid academic/community based orthopaedic surgery residency program boasting extensive surgical exposure coupled with excellent clinical and academic support to provide an exceptional experience in treating pathology related to the musculoskeletal system.

Our Aims

  • To teach solid scientific and orthopaedic principles, sound surgical decision making and procedural skills to prepare the graduate for a career in general orthopaedics or for fellowship specialty training
  • To develop team building and leadership skills that remain patient centric
  • To create an orthopaedic community that nurtures the growth and education of the residents and faculty