Resident Timeline & Graduation Requirements

Specific Requirements

Each resident is required to complete at least 1 published research project during his or her residency. The research project should be one of his or her design, and developed in consultation with departmental faculty and research mentors (MD, PhD). In order to successfully complete the residency in orthopaedics, the resident must complete and present their study at a national or local meeting. A full manuscript must be submitted to a peer reviewed journal for publication. Fulfillment of the research requirement is required before completion of the resident’s application for the part one examination of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Research that has been previously presented or published in any venue will not fulfill these research requirements.

Residents are encouraged to complete two projects during their residency. Topics for orthopaedic research may include: basic or engineering science projects, clinically relevant questions in orthopaedics, orthopaedic education and outcomes and “value” in orthopaedics. Approval for any proposed research projects must be obtained by the Resident Research Committee.

Residents are required to provide a written report of research progress twice a year to the Resident Research Committee.

Limited funding is available for research projects through the department and various other sources at MCW. Residents are encouraged to apply for competitive grants to get experience with grant writing. If residents anticipate that funding may be necessary they should initiate the research process at an early date to allow for potential delays in obtaining funding.

Research is an important part of the training process. Advancement of the resident to the next year in training, graduation from the program, and eligibility for Part I of the ABOS examination is based in part on meeting the annual residency research requirements. Department funding for any conferences, textbooks and other department assistances will be withheld pending completion of research requirements.


Mandatory Timelines

Every resident will adhere to the following timeline for their research projects:

  • PGY-1 and by the end of September PGY-2 year – Select a faculty research mentor and identify a research topic.
  • PGY-2 year; end February – Complete the literature review, develop a narrative critical summary of the literature review, and enter citations into a reference manager program that will be used as the project continues. Develop a formal hypothesis(es) to be tested. Work with faculty and research mentors to evaluate the critical literature review and to develop the hypothesis(es)
  • PGY-2 year; end June – Research protocol (methods) should be fully developed and data collection should begin.
  • PGY-2, PGY-3 year – Data collection should be completed including any interim statistical evaluations. The data analysis strategy should be established and data analysis begun.
  • PGY-4 year – Start writing journal manuscript. Complete an Abstract or Short Paper and submit to a local, regional or national meeting for review as a podium or poster by the end of the PGY-4 year. Complete journal manuscript by end of PGY-4 year.
  • PGY-5 year – Submit journal manuscript for critical review and publication at the beginning of the year. This will involve selection of the appropriate journal; properly formatting the manuscript, figures, tables, attachments and bibliography for submission; responding to reviewer comments/recommendations when received; and, resubmission and re-review as needed to obtain journal acceptance. Complete an oral presentation of the work and submit a written manuscript for competition/evaluation at Orthopaedic Research Day.