Review Detail

by John Langland     August 16, 2007    
(Updated: December 12, 2011)
Overall rating 
Staff Surgeons 
Operating Experience 
Clinical Experience 
Overall Experience 

University of Louisville

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
New Chairman is the long-time program director. The program appears stable. We have the opportunity to work with older, well-established physicians, as well as with new and innovative younger surgeons.
Didactics / Teaching
Historically a weak point in the program as many of the lectures have been resident driven. However, recently we have revised our didactic teaching and grand rounds schedule and it is significantly improved.
Operating Experience
Am willing to bet it is second to none. Trauma rotations offer early, early, early access to OR and operating. Good mix of blunt (high speed MVA, ATV, Motorcycles) and penetrating trauma (lots of hunters and a very active Knife and Gun Club on the west side of town). Lots of resident autonomy in decision making, surgical planning, and operating. Primary surgeon as a second year (level appropriate, of course) and beyond for cases. Exposure to multiple implant companies and products.
I Personally have 1300 unique ortho cases logged before the start of my PGY4 year and I have not been very good at logging cases. OR:clinic time increases significantly during PGY 4 and 5. I expect to graduate with well over 2500 cases. Lots of trauma including pelvic and acetabular fractures, pilons, plateaus, etc... Leatherman Spine and Neurosurgery take spine call, and Kleinert and Kutz takes hand call at University, lightening the call load from an otherwise busy service. You will take call with them when you rotate on those services. Ortho gets first crack at bony hand cases in the polytraumatized patient, severe soft tissue or neurovascular injuries go to the hand surgery team. Podiatry also available to take crappy foot cases including diabetics/cellulitis. Good foot trauma goes to ortho.
We also have a good mix of operative cases in the private practice/community setting with fellowship trained attendings in all ortho subspecialties. I will have 80-100 anterior total hips (~100 posterior), 30+ reverse total shoulders, etc, lots of complex spine cases during our 3 month rotation, experience with severe hand trauma including replants and transplants at Kutz and Kleinert, as well as a more "gentleman's" hand experience with Louisville Arm and Hand (our preferred hand surgery experience in town).
"Hands on" sports medicine has been a weakness in our program but we have recently started working with a young sports med fellowship trained surgeon that trained here for residency, that understands where we are at and has been great at remedying that.
Another nice aspect of our program is that we are not fellow heavy. Fellows are used as a way to extend our ability to manage patients and are not "stealing" cases from the residents themselves.
Clinic Experience
Clinic is clinic. I can't think of any rotations that have us doing more than 2.5 days of clinic in a week. Most are 2 days or less. No strictly run resident clinics.
Research Opportunities
We have a biomechanics lab on campus and an engineer in the ortho department to help with projects. There is a fully staffed fresh tissue anatomy lab with 24/7 access for specimens. The leatherman spine institute pumps out paper after paper and is well respected. Other faculty have multiple projects going on and you will be able to be published. Research hasn't been stressed here and you have to be very self motivated to get projects done, as certain faculty can be less than helpful, however, great research has come out of here and the new chairman is trying to change our culture and make it easier to do more research.
Very laid back group of guys and gals over the last few years. Everyone gets along well, many go out together on a regular basis. Most are married, many with (multiple) children.
We have recently gone to a night float system decreasing the call burden throughout residency. Formerly during the weak there was a resident covering the pediatric hospital and a differnet resident covering University hospital. Now there is one 3rd year resident covering both places during the week. Weekends are split among the Pgy 2-4 classes covering University OR Childrens hospital, not both.

Plenty to do in "The Ville". College sports are king here. U of L football and basketball tickets are available to residents at a very reasonable rates. Good bar scene in town. Many microbreweries and of course, many local bourbon distilleries. Churchill Downs for Oaks and The Kentucky Derby, as well as for "Downs After Dark" night racing (basically a 25,000 person nightclub with horse racing). Alternative lifestyle friendly. Thriving independent business scene. Multiple "farmer's markets" for fresh, affordable produce. Great city park system (designed by Olmstead, designer of NY's Central park among many others). Close to outdoor activities.
A very cosmopolitan city nestled in the south.
Location / Housing
Very affordable housing in safe neighborhoods. I've been told the public school system is pretty good, private schools are excellent.
Moderate climate (little snow in winter, reasonable summers, although can be somewhat humid for long stretches).
Close to Cincy, Indy, Chicago, St. Louis
Not as "well known" of a program but there are many well connected people here. We have historically matched people to VERY competitive fellowships. Graduates also feel comfortable starting practice directly after residency.
We have historically taken a large proportion of our residents from U of L med school and from rotating students, and many feel they are unlikely to be ranked highly if they are not amongst those two groups. It is possible to match here without being a rotator or former student (Current PGY4 class only had 1 student, the 3 others did not rotate or have ties to area).
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Great operating experience. Improving educational and research component. Recent fellows that have come back to work as attendings say we are well ahead of others in terms of operative skills.


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