Department of Orthopaedics
Via Christi Health
929 N. St. Francis
Wichita, KS 67214
The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Orthopaedic Residency Program is fully accredited and has been in continuous operation for more than 50 years. Resident training takes place at a variety of hospitals, clinics and surgery centers, providing residents with an education that prepares them for any career path they choose.
Orthopaedic surgery is one of the busiest residency programs under the auspices of WCGME (Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education), with an average daily census in Wichita hospitals of 90 patients. As the largest city in the state of Kansas, Wichita is a major referral center for the entire state as well as portions of adjoining states. Orthopaedic emergency room coverage is provided 24 hours per day. The growing trend toward one-day surgery is reflected in the number of patients admitted to the one-day surgery units. Residents staff clinics at three Wichita hospitals, where 7,000 patients are seen yearly.
Residents rotate through the subspecialties of Orthopaedics throughout their education, with early exposure to many areas allowing them to develop a wide breadth of knowledge and skills while exploring potential fellowship and career paths. Orthopaedic trauma services at two level-one trauma centers provide comprehensive care to patients with a full spectrum of injuries and fractures. As the foundation of Orthopaedics, fracture care is an essential part of the education of our residents, who learn a wide variety of surgical techniques including intramedullary fixation, rigid internal fixation, and external fixation, in addition to nonoperative management.
The sports medicine service affords experience in the evaluation and treatment of a variety of patients and conditions. Operative time on the rotation primarily develops arthroscopy skills, though many advanced reconstructive procedures are also performed, including multiple ligament reconstruction and shoulder arthroplasty. The rotation also provides exposure to athletes of all levels, providing coverage and care for high school, collegiate, and professional teams. On the hand and upper extremity service, our residents learn to treat a wide variety of traumatic, acquired, and congenital disorders of the hand, elbow, and shoulder.
Residents rotate through the adult reconstructive service during their third year, learning the principles of joint arthroplasty and applying it to both primary and revision cases. During the fourth year, residents spend six months in St. Louis at Shriner's Hospital for Children. The department provides accommodation, and this rotation provides a unique pediatric Orthopaedic education unlike any other. Pediatric Orthopaedics is also expanding in Wichita, and exposure to the field is prominent throughout trauma rotations and time spent on call, as well as during elective rotations. Time on the foot and ankle as well as spine services round out key components of Orthopaedic surgery education. The Veterans Administration Hospital in Wichita provides our residents with the opportunity to provide general Orthopaedic care to our nation's veterans. Common procedures range from joint arthroplasty and arthroscopy to fracture care.
Fifth-year residents serve as Chief Resident at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and Wesley Medical Center. During this time, residents are given significant responsibility for evaluating, managing, and operating on a variety of Orthopaedic problems as they begin to make the transition from resident to independent practitioner. The Chief Resident also serves as manager for the Orthopaedic clinics in the respective hospitals and as a consultant to the younger residents. Time is also available during fifth year for elective rotations chosen individually by each resident to enhance their education as they approach fellowship or clinical practice.
Clinical research is conducted by many of our faculty physicians on all of the above services, and residents are encouraged to participate. Each resident must complete a substantial clinical or laboratory research project suitable for publication. Case reports are also prepared by many residents as they encounter unique or challenging presentations throughout their education. Quality improvement projects are integrated into our education curriculum, providing residents the opportunity to develop administrative and problem-solving skills and improve the clinical system within which we work. Residents are encouraged to present their work at national, regional, and local meetings with funding often provided through our program. Research staff and faculty assist residents in data collection, literature searches, and reporting of research activities.
Medical student education also takes place in conjunction with the University of Kansas School of Medicine students, along with many visiting students who rotate with our department. Residents quickly learn that teaching others is not only one of the most rewarding parts of the program, but also a great way to supplement one's own education.