UCLA Orthopaedic Residency Program
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UCLA 2022 Graduate Medical Education Summary

The UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is committed to training tomorrow’s leaders. We aim to support individuals in their pursuit of excellence in all aspects of academic medicine – technical skills, patient care, research, healthcare delivery and medical education. While the core of our residency is anchored in a holistic approach, each trainee’s experience is tailored to their specific interests and goals. We encourage inclusivity and a faculty and community of high reliability, empathy, tolerance and advocacy to support both our learners and the community that we serve.

Our goal is to provide our residents with a broad and diversified clinical and academic experience suited to individuals eager to become either academic orthopaedic surgeons or clinical leaders in the community. We strive to prepare our orthopaedic residents to be competent and comfortable in a general orthopaedic practice, while simultaneously providing a platform for the best possible subsequent fellowship training opportunities, when desired.

The UCLA and Luskin Orthopaedic Institute for Children’s Orthopaedic Residency Program is a fully-accredited, integrated five-year training program, meeting all of the requirements of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Along with our affiliated sites, we provide a comprehensive, multi-subspecialty experience. The program includes a balance of clinical experience in adult reconstructive surgery, pediatric orthopaedics, trauma, surgery of the hand, sports medicine, metabolic bone disease, spinal reconstruction, foot and ankle surgery, shoulder and elbow surgery, and orthopaedic oncology, with continued integrated studies in basic science and research. The R1 year provides a diversified surgical training, fulfilling all ACGME requirements for this year.

The outpatient orthopaedic clinics provide a diverse and abundant clinical experience, incorporating academic medicine, private practices and community-based programs. Each rotation and division has a faculty director/division educational lead, who guides the resident clinical and didactic learning. Our program is designed to provide graduated responsibility, allowing each resident to perform clinically and surgically according to their ability, including the responsibility of managing and educating less-experienced residents and medical students.

The home base of the program is the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center and Orthopaedic Institute, which has 266 beds, 40 of which are devoted to orthopaedics. The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has 454 hospital beds; 26 of these are designated for orthopaedics/plastic. In 1998, UCLA entered a Strategic Alliance with the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Institute for Children, which brought with it a rich tradition in pediatric orthopaedics, education and research. This alliance has led to the creation of our large, dedicated, and state-of-the-art orthopaedic research facility (the J. Vernon Luck, Sr., MD/Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center at UCLA). The department has more than thirty clinical faculty and over twenty dedicated research faculty, with a large cadre of voluntary clinical faculty that contribute to the education of our trainees.

A comprehensive core lecture series is completed yearly. Faculty-lead lectures and resident-lead case presentations are given each Wednesday morning, during dedicated, protected educational

time. Each hospital and sub-specialty also provide an additional 1-2 hours of protected didactics weekly. Core lectures are reinforced with monthly grand rounds, monthly quality assurance conferences, as well as dedicated Orthopaedic In-Training Examination review, bi-monthly trauma intake conferences, monthly journal clubs, a yearly hands-on anatomy course and weekly musculoskeletal research seminars.

All residents have the opportunity to participate in clinical and/or laboratory investigations during their residency program. All residents are required to present their research during graduation as well as prepare at least one manuscript worthy of publication in a refereed journal.

Within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, there are bioengineers, molecular biologists, geneticists, specialists in tissue engineering, stem cell biologists, a kinesiologist, and computer experts to instruct and assist the residents in the preparation and analysis of their research projects. Two residents from the second-year class elect to devote an additional year between their second and third year of clinical training for intensive basic science and clinical research. This allows our outstanding residents the unique opportunity of preparing themselves for an eventual career as a clinician-scientist. These research experiences have been highly productive, resulting in multiple peer review publications and federal funding.

Applicant Information


Program Staff 

Program Director: Rachel Thompson, MD

Associate Program Directors: Alexandra Stavrakis, MD & Andy Jensen, MD

Director of Education: Rebecca Reyes, C-TAGME

How to Apply >