Review Detail

by John Langland     August 20, 2007    
(Updated: January 11, 2016)

Visiting medial student

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
This is a great program through and through!!
The staff is nice and approachable. The faculty is always ready to answer your questions and teach you anything as long as you are willing to learn. Resident education is the main focus of this program, they take less fellows so most of the surgeries are done by the residents.
The Chair of the program is an army colonel, Dr. James R Ficke. He has been the chair since taking over from the interim chair Dr. Charles W. Cummings a few years back. His humility is the first thing anyone who meets him is struck by. The residents and staff admire and respect him greatly which says a lot about his leadership. Dr. D. Laporte is an excellent program director and is devoted to making sure the program stays on top and the residents needs are met.
Vicky Norton is the residency coordinator, she is very good at her job. She is just a sweetheart, greets you with smiles, and the next time you meet her be sure to get your big hug. She makes you feel welcome.
I had the opportunity of being supervised by Dr. Sponseller, he is an excellent teacher, surgeon and researcher. He is very hardworking to the extent that makes me wonder if he ever sleeps or if he has more than a 24 hr day.
Didactics / Teaching
The curriculum consists of basic and clinical sciences taught by the faculty, with extensive resident participation. There are also lectures in pathology, human anatomy, OITE reviews and journal club
Each subspecialty holds morning conferences. Grand rounds are on Thursdays, after which the residents stay for their lectures that lasts for many hours. Each month, 3 hour teaching sessions on Thursday mornings are held at the international center for orthopedic advancement.
Operating Experience
The operating experience is great. The residents work under the supervision of the faculty and are allowed to operate. There are very few fellows at this program and I think this is because the faculty wants the residents to gain as much exposure as possible. The cases are also very interesting as you can see very rare cases you may not see elsewhere.
Clinic Experience
The clinical experience is very vast. The exposure is great as they have international patients from all over the world. There is virtually no case you will not see at Hopkins, from the mild ones to the rare cases.
Research Opportunities
The program also receives funding from the National Institutes of Health. There is a program known as Training in Orthopaedic Team Science (TOTS) which was developed to better integrate musculoskeletal research into resident training.

The Ross Research Building is a 7,500 square feet of lab space that serves the Oncology Research Program, the Nerve Regeneration Lab and the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. There is also an International Center for Orthopedic Advancement on the Bayview Campus. There is interdisciplinary interaction with biomechanical engineers, molecular biologists and others to further enhance research productivity.

If you are interested in research this is a place for you. As a visiting student, I utilized these resources first hand, it made my research experience a pleasant one and it peaked my interest in research.
The residents are laid back and have excellent relationships with each other. They do a lot of things together both at the hospital and outside.
This is a very busy program. However, it still affords you time to have a life outside of work.
Location / Housing
Personally, I like Baltimore. Safety appears to be a concern while visiting the city. The hospital is located in one of the unsafe areas in the city, but there is good security around the hospital. There are many safe places to live, like Federal Hill, Charles village, Canton and others. There are great places to eat and Baltimore is known for excellent crab dishes.
Honestly, I am not aware of any. May be there are limitations that I did not notice, due to the length of the time I spent there.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I enjoyed this rotation. The residents and faculty were nice to me. It was a good learning experience for me. There are lots of opportunities and resources at your disposal. It gives you well balanced education in basic and clinical sciences and also in research. This program will prepare any resident to be the best orthopedic surgeon he/she can be.


I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
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