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Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic Surgery is an exciting, evolving field and offers both clinical, teaching and research opportunities in an extremely diverse patient population. Surgical interventions are an important part of what we do clinically but a significant portion of our time is also dedicated towards office hours and non-operative treatments. An Orthopaedic Surgeon is exposed to a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions and develops significant relationships with patients. The various sub-specialties (which are typically pursued via a one-year fellowship program) include foot & ankle, hand, adult arthroplasty, pediatrics, shoulder, sports, spine, tumor, and trauma. Surgical procedures involve tissues including the integument, vessels, nerves, muscle, tendon, ligaments, cartilage, bone as well as work with various materials including plastics, metals and composites. Active areas of research in Orthopaedic Surgery include education, epidemiology, clinical decision making and outcomes, bioengineering, biomechanics, genetic/molecular/cell/tissue biology of normal/injured/cancerous musculoskeletal tissues. In general, Orthopaedic Surgery appeals mostly to future doctors who wish to use physical and biologic principles, problem-solving skills, and operative techniques in order to have a significant positive impact on a mostly healthy yet broken patient population.

Two Penn Orthopaedic 300 level courses (any two are fine; feel free to discuss choices with Dr Ahn if questions about specific rotations) and two away courses are essentially required. EM, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Musculoskeletal Radiology, Sports Medicine are electives which can be considered if an elective before a primarily surgical ortho month is desired.

School Required Sub-I Category:

EM sub-I is most helpful but all choices (EM, Medicine, Pediatrics) are acceptable

Department Required Courses:

Orthopaedic electives (any two 300 level)

Highly Recommended:

Surgery sub-I
Orthopaedic preceptorship (Peds, Hand, or Tumor)

Helpful (in no particular order):

Surgical ICU
Trauma Infectious Disease
Emergency Medicine
Rehab medicine

To learn more about Penn's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery visit their website at:

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