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

Chris Betzle
Christopher Betzle, MD
Chief Resident, 2018-2019

I would like to thank you for considering WMed in your residency search. I consider it an honor and privilege to be a resident at WMed. This program has exceeded my expectations, and given me an excellent education by providing me with a high operative case volume covering the breadth of Orthopaedics, balanced with a well-rounded clinic experience. Research opportunities are numerous and growing everyday as the medical school continues to partner with other departments within the university and organizations in the community to advance the field of medicine. My time at WMed has allowed me to build my curriculum vitae to make me a competitive applicant for fellowship, given me the tools for lifelong learning, and helped to build my leadership skills so that I can take an active role in the future of Orthopaedics.

Not only is our specialty competitive, but residency is stressful. You should be in a place that helps you thrive. You should be happy with the program, your colleagues, and the location. WMed was the perfect place for me, and I cannot stress enough how happy I was to match here. We have dedicated faculty that foster the development of new physicians into excellent surgeons. They are outstanding mentors and teachers that take a vested interest in our success. The residents have always been a tight-knit group, much like a big family. During my time, I have developed lifelong friendships that I will cherish. If you are unfamiliar with Kalamazoo, it is an amazingly unique place. There are lots of things to do, from amazing restaurants to festivals and concerts to outdoor activities. It is also a great place to live whether you are single or raising a family. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

Wherever you end up, I hope you can look back with the same gratitude and optimism. Good luck in your future endeavors and I urge you to look seriously into our program. I think you will find something special.


  • 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?
  • 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.