Review Detail

9.8 6 10
California August 12, 2007 18112
UCSD Residency Orthopaedic Surgery
Overall rating
Staff Surgeons
Operating Experience
Clinical Experience
Overall Experience

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Definitely a divergence from East coast mentality with regards to staff. Attendings are approachable, open to academic discussion, and generally pleasant.
Didactics / Teaching
There is 2 hours of weekly attending lead didactics followed by 1 hour of resident education. This is helpful but does not significantly detract from the operative experience.
Operating Experience
Operative experience is solid. As with any residency, participation in cases is dependent upon individual resident preparation and confidence. At other programs, I witnessed a substantial portion of cases that would be either attending as a primary surgeon performing the surgery or attending not in room and senior resident/fellow leading the case.
Something I saw frequently at UCSD was the resident serving as primary surgeon, with attendings assisting and watching.
I recognize the value of having autonomy in the OR, however, I think that residency is an opportunity to improve efficiency, develop operative skills and appreciate nuances of cases from people who have done that case 100s-1000s of times. I think that the model at UCSD allows for this to occur in a situation that provides good surgical outcomes for patients.
Clinic Experience
Clinical experience is great. You will see patients in some clinics independently and other attendings prefer to see all of their patients. Clinical sites use epic except for the VA (CPRS).
Research Opportunities
There is ample research opportunity at UCSD as there is an integrated research year. Those who are non-research residents need to accumulate research throughout their training.
A large draw of this program is the resident culture. Residents get along well and there is substantial camaraderie outside of the workplace. Journal clubs are an engaging and fun experience.
Adherence to work hour restrictions and value of lifestyle shared among staff allows for one to enjoy beautiful San Diego while in residency here.
Location / Housing
Personally, I do not think there is a more favorable place in the country with regards to location. Unfortunately, housing is not cheap in San Diego. It is still a place where one can find a reasonable place to live while here.
This is a great program. It potentially doesn't boast the autonomous experience in the OR that other programs may, but as I said above, I think this is a benefit of the program; others may feel differently. If you want to be doing a TKA as a PGY2 with no supervision, it probably is not the place for you. Let me know where you go to residency so I can make sure my grandma doesn't get her tibia cut in 6 degrees of varus.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
This is a great program as outlined above. I believe that most residencies offer the opportunities to develop great surgical skills and orthopedic knowledge, complete influential research, and obtain the fellowship of your dreams, if you are willing to put in the work. That being said, the people at this program (staff and residents), as well as the location, make it one of the most desirable places to be and a pleasure to go to work. You will work long and hard hours in residency, you should appreciate the people you are working with and enjoy the free hours that you do have.


I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
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