Review Detail

9.1 5 10
Massachusetts August 20, 2007 15024
University of Massachusetts
(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Staff Surgeons
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching
 
10.0
Operating Experience
 
10.0
Clinical Experience
 
9.0
Research
 
10.0
Residents
 
10.0
Lifestyle
 
9.0
Location
 
8.0
Overall Experience
 
9.0

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
The significant update from the previous post is that we now have all of the orthopedic sub-specialties represented with the hiring of several new faculty members. Since 2009, we have added 2 new Foot Ankle fellowship trained attendings (Fellowships: Union Memorial, Michigan), 1 Tumor/Oncology attending (Mayo Clinic), 1 trauma attending (Minnesota/Hennepin County), 2 new spine attending (Vancouver, Mayo Clinic), 2 sports attendings including a guy who does a lot of elbow surgeries (MGH, Kerlan Jobe), and we just added another new pediatric/trauma attending (Duke Pedi Fellowship) this month. Overall there is a big growth in our department in terms of number of staff and research funding (see below). All of the new attendings are very approachable and we are on a first name basis with most of them. The diversity of their fellowship training really adds to the educational experience of our residents in terms of both clinical and operative. We have also expanded our PM and Rehab dept. with addition of several new attendings as well. Most of our faculty member place emphasis on the education of the residents and will go to bat for us on any type of issues.
Didactics / Teaching
Same as below. CORE is still on a Friday morning from 6:30am to 9:30am and taught by attending physicians. We try to do a journal club everyone month and also sawbone workshop once per month as well. Overall our educational conferences are very good and organized. Last year as a group, our overall program OITE score was in the mid/upper 80th percentile in comparison to all of the ortho programs. That is a testament to the CORE curriculum and individual efforts.
Operating Experience
I definitely still agree with the previous post that our operative experience is probably the best aspect of the program. You get to operate as the first assist early on in your training. Although as a PGY2 and 3 you are not in the OR as much as the PGY4 and 5 due to being on call at the big house and post call, but when you are in the OR, you get to do a lot. During the PGY-4 year, we rotate through trauma, joints, sports, and hand. In each of these rotations, you are the one doing the case with the attending assisting. It is very hands on. As the PGY-4 on the trauma service, you are in the OR with the attending pretty much everyday for the 3 month block doing cases. As you progress to the chief year, you will be able to have the opportunity to walk though junior residents through bread and butter cases.
Clinic Experience
Same as below. A lot of your clinical time comes as a PGY 4 when you are on the sports and hand service because those rotations are mentorship model setup and you are in clinic when your attending is in clinic, which is about 2 to 3 days per week. Also when you are on the pedi ortho service, you will be in clinic about 2-3 days per week. That's definitely plenty of clinic for most residents.
Research Opportunities
The other big change in our department since the last post is the amount of research. UMass was just recently awarded with a 14 million dollar grant to start a prospective total joint registry from the NIH. There is several NIH R01 grants in the orthopedic department along with R21s and many other smaller grants. Overall the amount of NIH research dollars in our dept total to somewhere in the $20 to $25 million mark which puts us in the top 3 or 4 ortho programs in the country in terms of NIH funding. There is a tremendous amount of research growth in our department just in the last couple of years. This is evident by the amount of abstracts we had accepted to the last year ORS and AAOS meetings. So the bottom line is that there will be plenty of research opportunities for the incoming residents to take on in the future. All of the orthopedic residents are required to do one project during residency and to present it at graduation. But if you are aggressive and want to take on more projects then the sky is the limit. We have had residents that put out over 20 publications coming out of this program.
Residents
This is definitely one of the strength of our program! We work well with each other and emphasize teamwork. The chief resident round at the same time as the intern every morning to see patients and write progress notes. About half of the residents are married and the other half are single. We do hang out with each other after work especially going out for happy hours or the married couple have their kids play together. The Chief residents are very much involved in the interview and resident selection process. We definitely look for people who are more laid back but at the same time is willing to work hard.
Lifestyle
See the previous post.
Location / Housing
There are more developments happening in Worcester now. More restaurants opened in the last couple of years. You can pretty much find anything here from good food to good beer bars to entertainment (DCU center) and sports. Housing is cheap and both Boston and Providence is about 45 mins away. Location (Worcester) is probably better for couples than single guys/girls.
Limitations
We are still in the process of trying to add another 1-2 residents. This may happen this year, which will make a difference in terms of earlier sports and hand experience. Also there is talk of adding an elective research block to the schedule as well. The other limitation or a plus to some people is that in our program, we do 9 months of spine surgery. 3 months as an intern, then PGY3 and then PGY5. So for people who are going into spine this would be a dream come true, but for the people going into sports, then this is kinda painful. Just all depends on the prospective.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
UMass is definitely a great Orthopedic residency with excellent balance between clinical, operative and research experiences. All the opportunities are there for you to take advantage of in our program. Our residents work hard and work well together. We do well in the fellowship match, this year Chiefs are going to Union Memorial (Foot/Ankle), Hospital for Special Surgery (Sports/Shoulder), Univ. of Pittsburgh (Spine), and an international total joint fellowship (Glasgow, Scotland). We are definitely a blue collar type of program. As a resident who has gone through the program, I definitely have no regrets and would highly recommend UMass to anyone who is interested in a solid and well balanced training program. <br />
<br />
If you are interested, either apply or the best way to check out our program is by rotating though. <br />
<br />
For more information regarding UMass, here is our new website,<br />
<br />
http://www.umassmed.edu/orthopedics/index.aspx <br />
<br />
Updated info to our program coordinator,<br />
<br />
Michelle Auger<br />
Residency and Fellowship Program Coordinator<br />
University of Massachusetts Medical School<br />
Department of Orthopedics<br />
55 Lake Avenue North<br />
Worcester, MA 01655<br />
<br />
Michelle.Auger@umassmed.edu <br />
(774) 442-4262 - Phone<br />
(774) 443-7273 – FAX

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
10-16-2010
TL
Top 50 Reviewer
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