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. Christine Bowman
Christine Bowman, MD
Chief Resident, 2019-2020

Thank you for looking into our program here at WMed! With three residents per class, we are one of the smaller programs in the country. This allows us a great deal of ownership and autonomy in our education and in our clinical practice beginning early in residency. We take pride in our patient care and work closely with over thirty attending physicians at WMed and our two affiliated hospitals in Kalamazoo. Our orthopaedic community has supported a legacy of education and excellence for over fifty years; many of our attendings are prior graduates of our residency who returned to practice in Kalamazoo, which shows how special this place is.

I was personally thrilled to find WMed to be the “hidden gem” I was looking for: a smaller program that allows for close relationships among the residents and attendings both in and out of the workplace, along with the incredible experience that comes from early responsibility in the clinic and operating room. We have recently expanded our research department to provide ample opportunity for regional and national conference presence. Prior graduates have gone on to both private and academic careers; I think you’d find it easy to pursue whatever path you choose after training here. 

I try to impart to all of our home and visiting students the importance of choosing the residency that best fits them. You will be working long hours no matter where you end up; it is imperative that you seek out the environment where you feel most supported and able to thrive. I have without question found that here – I was able to match into the fellowship of my choice and along the way have made lifelong friends and mentors. I hope you will consider us in your residency search and wish you luck in your future endeavors!

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.