University of Washington

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City
Seattle
State/Province
Washington

Program Information

Residents per class
8
University of Washington Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program

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9.1
 
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8.9  (7)
 
7.9  (7)
 
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(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
8.5
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
7.0
Clinical Experience 
 
8.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
9.0
Lifestyle 
 
7.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
8.0

UW

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
All of the staff I interacted with during my one month rotation were pretty good. They were open to questions and seemed to care about the residency program.
Didactics / Teaching
Overall teaching is good. The weekly fracture conference is very valuable. The R2s are responsible for presenting all the trauma cases and do get pimped quite a bit, but it didn't feel too malignant.
Operating Experience
Comparing this rotation to my other two ortho rotations, I must say, this is where UW is the weakest. I felt that the operative experience was significantly better at other programs. UW has a trauma fellow on each of its three trauma teams. Additionally, there is another trauma fellow who does all the pelvis cases. I felt like the chiefs could operate, but did not operate nearly as much as chiefs at the other programs I rotated at.
Clinic Experience
HMC has extremely busy trauma clinics, but overall not too bad.
Research Opportunities
Outstanding. There are endless opportunities at UW to do research in whatever you want.
Residents
Overall, residents were great to work with. I really enjoyed my team. Residents seemed to get along well with each other. Some of them seem a little burned out.
Lifestyle
Overall the residents seemed pretty happy. Very few residents own houses in Seattle because it is so expensive. R2s work a ton of hours on the trauma service and have a very busy q3 schedule. Also, residents rotate at hospitals all over the city and Seattle can be a difficult city to drive in with traffic.
Location / Housing
Seattle as a city is tough to beat other than the bad traffic. Lots of water and outdoor activities.
Limitations
As I said before, it is fellow heavy, which comes with its downsides. (But comes with its upsides too, and nothing against fellows, I hope to be one someday.)
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall, I learned a lot about ortho on this rotation and really enjoyed it. Med students get to do quite a bit at HMC while on call. For me, the main limitation of this program was poor operative experience due to the fellow heavy environment.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2010
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
8.9
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
8.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
9.0
Lifestyle 
 
8.0
Location 
 
8.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

UW ortho

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
I did my rotation on the shoulder and elbow service, so most of my interaction was with Dr. Matsen and Dr. Warme, both of whom were extremely nice to work with as well as incredibly knowledgeable. They were easily approachable, and involved the residents in pretty much every aspect of the cases.
Didactics / Teaching
These seemed to be extremely valuable. Again, as I was on the shoulder service, there was not a lot of interaction with the trauma folks, but the lectures that I did receive were very useful.
Operating Experience
Again, can only comment on the shoulder service, as the call I took at Harborview was strictly limited to the ER. It is a fellow heavy program, and that comes with all the pluses and minuses therein. I don't think one can say that the operative experience is unaffected, but it's a tradeoff for getting to see the latest and cutting edge surgical techniques and research.
Clinic Experience
Again, I was on the shoulder service, but over at the UW, the clinic was very efficiently run, and the attendings were very involved in resident education. No complaints here.
Research Opportunities
We had a research talk every Monday on the shoulder service, and talking with the residents, there is research going on in every department for the residents to be a part of. There is also ready funding for presenting at meetings and such.
Residents
I interacted with 2 3rd years on the shoulder service, and both were incredibly down to earth. The 2nd years and interns at harbor were also good to work with. I really can't comment on the seniors as I just didn't have the chance to interact with them that much.
Lifestyle
2nd year seems to be the worst, and its downhill (easier) from there. Harborview call is Q3 2nd year. However, trauma call at harborview just about the most fun thing I've ever done.
Location / Housing
Seattle is a great place to live, but it's not cheap. Especially if you want to live close to the hospitals. The amazing culture of Seattle is really something you just have to go and experience to appreciate.
Limitations
As I said before, it is fellow heavy, which comes with its downsides. (But comes with its upsides too, and nothing against fellows, I hope to be one someday.)
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
So first of all, I should say that I rotated there, but just got my rejection for an interview. My boards are step 1 250's, step 2 260's, several publications, etc. So I'm not a stellar applicant, but I kind of thought good enough for an interview. Maybe I suck at people skills, who knows. Also, I'm not the only person who rotated there who got a rejection. So don't think that doing a rotation will get you an interview.<br />
<br />
Overall, it was a good experience to do as a rotation. As a residency, you probably can't go wrong if you want a school with a strong trauma and research base.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
August, 2010
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(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
9.6
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
8.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

University of Washington, Orthopaedic Surgery Resi

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
From top to bottom, UW provides residents exposure to well experienced/published surgeons who are all approachable, excellent teachers and distinguished in their respective fields. Just to name a few, there is Dr. Routt (pelvis guru), Dr. Benirschke (he developed the Zimmer periarticular plate), Dr. Hanel (wizard when it comes to hand surgery), etc... Almost all of the attendings teach at AO courses, scope courses, and its easy to come across many of the published material from the attendings in JBJS, JOT (eg, Dr. Nork, Dr. Hansen, Dr. Leopold)<br />
<br />
Currently the chair position is TBD but the interim Chair, Dr. Chapman is an endowed chair for Synthes spine and very well respected in the the spine community. The past chair, Dr. Matsen, wrote the book, "The Shoulder." <br />
<br />
The ancillary staff at Harborview, UW, VA, Childrens are amazing. For example, there are NP's at Harborview to help the intern out with floor work. At Childrens, there is a hospitalist to take all the pain medications and tylenol calls while you concentrate on taking care of ortho consults.
Didactics / Teaching
Monday morning conference occurs from 7-10 am, these are dictated on a 2 year rotating curriculum that focus on anatomy, clinical presentation & exam, OITE q's, and are usually followed with either a dry sawbone or wet anatomy lab. <br />
<br />
Grand rounds occur once a month every Wed, these are usually televised on UW TV. <br />
<br />
Each service is different in terms of the teaching sessions, for instance, at Harborview there is fracture conference every Mon afternoon, every Fri there is chapter review of Skeletal Trauma that alternates with hand dissection.
Operating Experience
Each rotation offers different experiences. <br />
<br />
Harborview Trauma, it depends, but there usually is a a fellow & attending in one OR and the chief and attending in the other. The junior gets to chose between and the experience varies depending on the complexity of the case from holding hook for really complex cases such as acetab fx, to drilling & placing screws, reaming and placing nails, suturing etc. Its not common for the junior to operate skin to skin but it does happen for junior level cases such as an isolated lateral malleolus fracture.<br />
<br />
VA experience is awesome, the junior does all amputations from toes, rays, BKA, TFA and occasionally assists in TKA & THA. The upper levels operate with a ton of autonomy and operate on total shoulders, TKA/THA/TAA, DHS, etc...<br />
<br />
F&A you work with Dr. Bernirske, Hansen, Sangeorzan. <br />
<br />
UW you get total joints, sports, shoulder with Matsen etc...<br />
<br />
Peds is peds.<br />
<br />
VM you operate with community physicians and operate on a ton of joints.<br />
<br />
Tumor operative experience is a potpourri of everything since Chappie Conrad basically does everything from large amputations to THA.
Clinic Experience
The gem for this program is the trauma experience at Harborview that is seriously second to none. Its a level 1 trauma center that covers Washington, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, & northern Oregon.<br />
<br />
It gets pretty busy during the summertime and your consults range in the mid to high 20's but during winter the consults dwindle to plateau fracture<br />
5. L open 5th PIPJ fracture-dislocation<br />
6. L2 vertebral body fracture with retropulsion & neuro deficits<br />
7. C1 fx and C2 Type II dens fx, T4 & T8 vertebral body compression fx<br />
8. R both bone forearm fx<br />
9. T1 inferior facet fx, T3 spinous process fx, R coracoid fx<br />
10. L mangled foot from lawnmower accident<br />
11. L lateral malleolus fracture<br />
12. R supracondylar femur fx<br />
13. R midshaft humerus fx, R both both bone forearm fx, open L hand with MC fx, L distal 1/3 femur fx, R comminuted mid-diaphyseal femur fx, R both bone forearm fx<br />
14. L open pilon fx<br />
15. R posterior wall post column acetab fx and L IT proximal femur fx with reverse obliquity pattern<br />
16. C1 & C2 fx, R scapula fx with extension into glenoid<br />
17. C1 fx
Research Opportunities
The opportunities are tremendous. Having a wealth of resources in attendings you will find something that interests you. To graduate you need to have at least one "publishable" project.
Residents
We spend a lot of time outside the hospital such as BBQs, skiing/boarding, having a beer, etc...<br />
<br />
All of us are different and come from various backgrounds but share one common thread, we all work hard.
Lifestyle
Even during the busiest year of your residency, your 2nd year, you still have time to do things outside such as ski/board since Mt.Baker, Crystal and Stevens are a short 2 hour drive away. There are plenty of trails to go hiking. If your not into the outdoors, there are a ton of restaurants, the nightlife is sweet, you can find live music any day of the week from punk/alternative at the croc to jazzy blues at paragon.
Location / Housing
Housing is not cheap but affordable, about 1/2 of my class own homes. <br />
<br />
The good thing about Seattle are the numerous small neighborhoods and each has its own flavor. For instance, there is Capital Hill which is a flavor of metro/hipster, Queene Anne is young professionals, Greenlake/Wallingford is for young families, etc...<br />
<br />
Seattle it rains quite a bit, but the summer here is amazing! When it rains it drizzles and there are bouts of sunshine to break up the gloomy days.
Limitations
The sports is not the strong suit for this program but it is improving. We've added one of our recent grads as staff and he is bringing in more sports exp into our program.<br />
<br />
The operative exp at Harborview depends on the complexity of the case, but for other services such as hand your operative exp is excellent.<br />
<br />
Its a large program but its nice because we all know each other and most of us spend time outside the hospital together.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I never rotated here as a medical student but wish I had, it would have been a great experience.<br />
<br />
For future rotators, if you decide to come here for a sub-I, it will probably be the hardest you will work while in medical school but you will come out having done distal femoral traction pins, splints, reductions, knee injections, etc... You will also see things some people never see while in residency.<br />
<br />
We do NOT interview all rotators. <br />
<br />
We only interview those that do a spectacular job and will make excellent residents. Again, we do NOT interview all rotators.<br />
<br />
We attract the best of the best and if you rotate here its your chance to show us why you are creme de la creme.<br />
<br />
For interviewees, when you come here check out the local area, get to know the residents and you'll find that we are all normal people who you can easily have a nice conversation with and hang out.<br />
<br />
Residency training here will prepare you for any fellowship, you might not have the same case load as some community programs but you will come out of this program "fearless" in terms of your operative skill and orthopedic surgery knowledge.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2009-2014
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
8.5
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
10.0
Operating Experience 
 
6.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
8.0
Lifestyle 
 
8.0
Location 
 
8.0
Overall Experience 
 
8.0

UW ortho

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Wonderful faculty. Impressive on paper as well as in person. I didn't have a chance to meet the chairman personally, but people seemed to have a very high regard for them.
Didactics / Teaching
Top notch. We received an stats lesson that taught me more in 30 minutes than 3 months of EBM in med school. The grand rounds are televised with guest speakers from around the nation.
Operating Experience
One of the mantras that you'll hear over and over from the residents here is that 'no matter where you go, you'll come out all right'. Translation: the residents don't operate here. This was my experience as well. For comparison, I rotated at a community program after this, and the PGY-2's there were doing more in the OR than the chief residents at UW. The residents that I worked with were always double scrubbed behind the fellow. They kept saying that as the 5th year chief at harborview, you get to run the OR without a fellow. So I figure that puts you about 2 years behind other programs where the 3's are running the OR.
Clinic Experience
Wonderful. A good combination of both simple and extremely complex pathology. If harborview ER is included in clinic, then wonderful doesn't even begin to describe it. You see trauma there that you won't see anywhere else on a nightly basis.
Research Opportunities
There is no shortage of excellent research being done in pretty much all departments.
Residents
A mix. Most were chill. I met a couple of residents that thought they were more important than they were, but you'll probably find that anywhere.
Lifestyle
Q3 at harborview 2nd year, and you never sleep on call. Other than that, it seems to be alright, with the 3rd-4th-5th years easing off on call.
Location / Housing
Seattle. It's not cheap, and the traffic is horrible. Living close the the university is next to impossible. But it's Seattle, which is awesome.
Limitations
The GME office is difficult to work with, often will not return emails or calls, and is a major hindrance to getting paperwork approved for the multiple hospitals. <br />
Didactics are lacking, but the learning opportunities are there. You would become an excellent surgeon in this program, but may have trouble finding time to get solid OITE prep.<br />
The lifestyle is very tough, the hours worked are brutal and family life might suffer.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I have no doubt that going to UW would look great on paper, and certainly serve you well if you wanted to be the chairman of a department someday. You'll just be about 2 years behind your peers as far as operative experience. Personally, being adept in the OR is more important than being at a big name institution, so I'll be going elsewhere.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
Fall, 2010
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Staff Surgeons 
 
10.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
9.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
9.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
10.0

UW ortho

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Jens Chapman is the interim chairman and we are currently undergoing a chair search. We have interviewed several candidates and a new chair will be selected in the near future. I can tell you that all of the candidates including Dr. Chapman have been very impressive and will only add to this program. <br />
<br />
Our faculty is a huge strength of this program. We have some of the most respected surgeons representing every subspecialty of orthopaedics. Not only are they technically gifted, but they are amazing teachers and role models. Dr. Matsen, our former chairman, is the prime example of someone who is dedicated to teaching and providing excellent patient care. Attendings here are very approachable, friendly, and appreciate the hard work that we do. I can tell you it makes a huge difference learning how to operate from people that care about your education and are good at what they do. <br />
<br />
The best part of this program is that the faculty is very responsive to resident needs. We have monthly meetings with the chair/PD to voice our concerns and because of this we've enacted many positive changes even in the past few years.
Didactics / Teaching
We have Monday morning conference every week and grand rounds on Wednesday once a month. Each site also has their own academic conferences about once a week. We have been developing a two year rotating curriculum to make sure that every topic is covered in depth. Our new ISIS lab is a full service surgical skills facility where we can do dissections and sawbones labs.<br />
Again, having experienced faculty sharing their knowledge is a great advantage of being here.
Operating Experience
Always a big concern for prospective residents since we are an academic program with fellows. However, I can honestly say that this has never been an issue for me. As a junior, the fellows are a great resource and can take you through cases. As a senior, there is enough volume so that you don't overlap (i.e. two rooms with a fellow in one and you in the other). The expectation here is that residents should be doing any case a general orthopedist would do. Additionally we have plenty of rotations without fellows including sports, joints, VA, and Virginia Mason to name a few. As I near the end of my training I feel very comfortable in the operating room and cant believe how much I've learned.
Clinic Experience
You will see lots of bread and butter ortho, but also the complex cases that get referred to tertiary care. Our catchment area includes five states! (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho). Believe me, you will see things here that you wont see anywhere else. Not to mention Harborview is basically the only level 1 trauma for all these states.
Research Opportunities
This will likely be the next big push. We have a very productive research faculty and are currently trying to get residents more involved in basic science research. We have one dedicated research rotation in the third year. There are also plenty of clinical research opportunities if you are interested.
Residents
In my opinion the best part of the program (clearly I am biased). But seriously we have an amazing group of people that are hard workers, fun to be around, socialize outside of work, like to play outdoors, and will be there anytime you need them.
Lifestyle
Pretty much all home call except for your 4.5 months as an R2 at Harborview. Harborview ER can be busy as the R2, but you learn a tremendous amount about fracture care and efficiency. Its funny because I didn't even realize that Harborview was known for trauma when I matched (didn't rotate here) but its probably one of the best hospitals Ive ever worked at, and definitely a gem of this program. We are strictly adherent to the 80 hour work week, and outside of the R2 year I don't think its ever even close to being an issue. Ive had an amazing time exploring Seattle and the rest of the pacific northwest.
Location / Housing
Seattle is amazing. There are so many great neighborhoods. The food, entertainment, culture, outdoors activities, and people are top notch.
Limitations
some people say that our sports is weak....if you were to twist my arm and make me pick something then i guess i would agree. However, in the last few years we've made some great changes including: a week long arthroscopy course which we do as R3's and again as R4's, a new sports trained attending (former UW grad) at the VA who is an awesome teacher, and a newer shoulder surgeon who has about %50 arthroscopic practice. Matching for fellowships is also not a problem as 4 of my classmates will be doing sports next year.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
This is a ridiculously long review, but I just want people to know how much I've enjoyed my time here. You will find that there is no best program, just one that works for you. UW is a great option and I feel very lucky to have trained here.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2006-2011
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