Review Detail

9.1 5 10
Massachusetts August 20, 2007 16550
UMass: Excellent Training in a Team Oriented Culture
(Updated: July 15, 2020)
Overall rating
Staff Surgeons
Operating Experience
Clinical Experience
Overall Experience

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Chair: David Ayers, MD (Joints)
Program Director: Nicola DeAngelis, MD (Sports Medicine) - new as of May 2019
Dr. DeAngelis completed medical school and residency training at UMass and therefore, has experienced many different chapters of the program. He is incredibly approachable and his top priority is positively representing the residents’ voices to the orthopedic faculty and medical school GME team. He meets with the residents every other week prior to the CORE didactic sessions and meets with the Chief residents monthly.
Associate Program Director: (new as of May 2019) Michael Stauff, MD (Spine)
Vice Chair of Education: (new as of May 2019) Marci Jones, MD (Hand)

Over the past few years, the diversity and strength of each sub-specialty representation have continued to grow. We’ve added faculty in the following subspecialties over the past four years:
Sports: Harvard Residency, Boston Childrens/MGH Fellowship
Joints: Brown Residency & Fellowship (trauma), Cleveland Clinic Fellowship (joints)
Shoulder: Yale Residency, Jefferson Fellowship
Shoulder: Brown Residency & Fellowship (trauma), Mount Sinai (shoulder)
Joints: UMass Medical School & Residency, New England Baptist Fellowship
Trauma: Columbia Residency & Fellowship, Carolinas Medical Center Fellowship

Overall, our attendings are very accessible and approachable, encouraging us to call or text with any questions or concerns. Most also encourage us to call them by their first names - a reflection of a culture in which we are respected and seen as colleagues.
Didactics / Teaching
Our primary didactic educational experience (CORE) occurs very Friday morning for 3-3.5 hours. These hours are protected time and, other than the on call resident, all residents are excused from clinical duties to attend these conferences. The session usually starts with 30 minutes of our PD checking in with the residents and updating the group on items specific to the residency. During the first three months of the year (July-September), the senior residents host “Ortho 101” for the junior residents. They cover the most commonly seen “on call” consults and management to prepare the youngest residents to succeed on call. During the regular CORE schedule, the lectures range from topic-specific lectures led by faculty to OITE/Orthobullets question review sessions on a two year curriculum. Journal club occurs monthly and is usually hosted at an attending’s home where we share food and discuss the papers in a more casual environment. Outside of CORE, the educational sessions are campus and rotation dependent. At the Level 1 trauma center (University campus), morning fracture rounds occur daily and involve the junior residents presenting the previous day’s consults. This session is attended by 1-4 of the trauma attendings who provide feedback and point out key management points. This campus also holds trauma indications conference weekly and pediatric case presentations weekly. At the Memorial campus, we have a robust indications conference in spine, total joints, and shoulder arthroplasty that is attended by residents on service and by the attendings. We also have monthly “Morbidity and Mortality” conferences and “Grand Rounds,” both which are widely attended by our faculty and medical students. Our Anatomy Course also occurs monthly and includes a morning didactic session led by a PGY4/5 who takes the residents through the anatomy, imaging, approaches and common pitfalls during surgery. The residents and faculty then spend 1-2 hours in the cadaver lab reviewing gross anatomy led by a dissection team who performed that month’s dissection. Also, we have a yearly simulation curriculum for the PGY1 and PGY2 residents that allows for practice in suturing techniques, drilling/sawing techniques, use of the bur, and arthroscopy techniques.
Operating Experience
The volume of and early introduction to operative experience are definitely highlights of this program. Another strength is the small number of fellows in our program - two hand and two sports fellows. Due to the high volume of cases and low number of fellows, residents are rarely pushed out of cases by senior fellows/residents. Senior residents function as fellows on sports and hand. All of our rotations occur at one of the four campuses within a 1.5 mile radius in Worcester. Our rotations are 10 weeks long and include the following:
PGY2: Trauma (two blocks), Hand, Foot and Ankle and Pediatrics
PGY3: Trauma, Pediatrics, Joints, Spine, Sports
PGY4: Trauma (one block), Oncology/Joints, Foot and Ankle, Hand, Sports
PGY5: Trauma (one block), Joints, Shoulder/Elbow, Spine & Pediatrics
As a PGY2/3, you’re on call approximately Q5 at the Level 1 trauma campus and Q4 at the Memorial campus. Call is 24 hours with a post call day. The hand and sports rotations follow a “mentorship model.”
We have multiple attendings in each subspecialty and one orthopedic oncologist. During the PGY-4 Oncology/Joints rotation, the resident spends one day in clinic and two days in the OR, specifically with our orthopedic oncologist.

One of the most exciting additions to our program is the opening of a second ambulatory surgery center in June of 2019. Owned by a private medical group, this center is highly efficient and state of the art. The current goal is to transition to day surgery arthroplasty in this surgery center.
Clinic Experience
For all rotations, each rotation has a balanced OR and clinic time with residents spending 1-2 days per week in clinic. The residents get more clinic time as the PGY2 on pediatrics and PGY4 on the sports and hand services. On these rotations, residents spend 2-3 days in clinic.
Research Opportunities
In the fall of 2010, UMass was awarded a 14 million dollar grant from the NIH to develop a prospective total joint registry. Ten years later, the FORCE-TJR database includes access to patient reported pain and function scores for over 50,000 patients from a national network of more than 230 surgeons practicing in 28 states. Our research output continues to grow with the addition of faculty with interests in global health, quality improvement and health economics.

Over the last three years, numerous abstracts have been accepted and presented at various meetings including AAOS. There is one “research resident” in each incoming intern class who spends a year between their PGY1 and PGY2 years performing research. Our most recent research resident published nine papers, had 15 abstracts accepted and attended three conferences with 24 ongoing projects. All residents are required to complete one project during their five year residency and present this project at the conclusion of their chief year. For those interested in research, the opportunities are available, but for those who prefer to allocate their time into medical education, technology development or other areas, they have ample time to pursue those other areas outside of their clinical duties and training.
The residents and culture of our program are truly what make it unique and special. We emphasize teamwork, tireless hard work and camaraderie. Interns and chief residents arrive at the same time to round on patients and write progress notes. After running the list in the morning, all residents who are not immediately heading to the ORs help tackle the “to do list.” When the on call junior resident is busy with several pending consults, the senior residents never hesitate to help out and see consults to decrease the junior’s burden.

Approximately ? of our residents are married and ? have children. Most live within a 20 minute drive of Worcester. Several have spouses who work in Boston or Rhode Island and are able to live in between locations with their significant other while still allowing for reasonable commutes. We hang out after work often grabbing drinks, hiking, golfing, even playing hockey together. We look for residents who are hard working and gritty, but also enjoy socializing and incorporating their families into the UMass Ortho family.
See "Residents" section
Location / Housing
The city of Worcester food, nightlife and cultural scenes have exploded since 2015. The cost of living is much lower than Boston, yet the food options include everything from BYOB Italian to Ethiopian and Afghan restaurants. Worcester is the home of several sports teams including the AAA Red Sox affiliate team The WooSox, a professional arena football team and a number of college sports teams, providing numerous opportunities for game coverage for those interested in sports medicine. There are seven breweries including Tree House and Wormtown within 45 minutes. Boston is accessible via car or an hour direct train.
One limitation is that pediatric and oncology caseloads are low as many of these cases are treated in Boston and we do not rotate outside of Worcester. Our shoulder and elbow rotation occurs during PGY5, which may be tough for residents considering this specialty. However, there are definitely opportunities to operate with our shoulder/elbow surgeons earlier in one’s training based on our high case volume and surgeon availability.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall, UMass is an excellent training environment for those interested in working hard, operating frequently and learning from well-trained attendings. Our chiefs match into excellent fellowships as well. The matches from the last two years are listed below:

Joints - Cleveland Clinic
Sports - Tahoe Ortho Institute
Hand - UT Southwestern
Joints - UC Davis
Joints - Lenox Hill

Hand - Lahey Clinic
Shoulder/Elbow - Johns Hopkins
Joints - Hospital for Special Surgery
Joints - New England Baptist
Joints - UT Houston

Spine – Texas Back Institute
Joints – The Core Institute
Hand – University of Chicago
Sports – New England Baptist
Joints – Hospital for Special Surgery


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