Training Content

The training modules within the curriculum are:
  • Prep Camp/Surgical Boot Camp
  • Basic Fractures
  • Emergency Orthopaedics
  • Basic Arthroplasty
  • Basic Sports
  • Basic Pediatrics
  • Spine
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Hand and Upper Extremity
  • MSK Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Advanced Trauma
  • Advanced Arthroplasty
  • Advanced Sports
  • Advanced Pediatrics
  • Research (integrated throughout the clinical training years)

Residents spend the first month of PGY1 in the Surgical Prep/Boot Camp, which is an intensive surgical skills course held at the Surgical Skills Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital. Under the direction of faculty, fellows and senior residents, residents practice skills such as prepping and draping, soft tissue handling, instrument identification, suturing, bone drilling and sawing, basic AO principles and casting. Time is also spent at the Anatomy building practicing basic orthopaedic surgical approaches. This course allows residents to quickly achieve competency in these technical skills, which enhances their early experience in the operating room. 

The remaining PGY1 year is spent largely at a single base hospital, where residents work through their early stage modules.  In subsequent years, residents will rotate through the other base hospitals to achieve competence in the other subspecialties.  Because of the rapid acquisition of technical competency, residents are able to undertake basic procedures such as hip fracture fixation and primary hip and knee arthroplasty in the first year of training. 

Each resident is required to conduct a research project throughout their residency training years and submit a manuscript of publishable quality by November 30 of their last year in the program, and to present this project at Research Day in the autumn of their last year. The manuscript and presentation must be a new project or continuation of their research day project. 

For residents who wish to pursue a graduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.), support can be obtained from the Department of Surgery’s Surgeon-Scientist Program. Residents take time out of their clinical training to complete their graduate studies and return to it once their studies have been successfully completed.

All University of Toronto Residents entering PGY1 will be required to complete the web-based PGCorEd core competency modules as part of their residency program certification. These modules provide the foundation for the intrinsic CanMEDS Roles for the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Programs. Completion of these modules will be required before the end of the PGY2 year. Failure to complete the modules will delay processing of Final In-Training Evaluation Reports (FITERs) and may constitute professional misconduct. 

Research

As mentioned, residents may participate in the Surgeon-Scientist Program, which will lead to a graduate degree. Although not required, this program is strongly suggested to those who wish to pursue an academic career.

As mentioned, all residents are required to conduct a research project throughout their residency training years and submit a manuscript of publishable quality by November 30 of their PGY5 year, and to present this project at Research Day in the autumn of their final year of training. The manuscript and presentation must be a new project or continuation of their research day project.

Seminars

There is centralized teaching held the first and last Fridays of each month from 0900 – 1200 hrs, which all residents must attend. The teaching consists of a 2.5 year curriculum. There is also a separate Surgical Foundations didactic and technical skills curriculum, which takes place in the Surgical Skills Centre for all PGY1 surgical residents. Attendance at these sessions is mandatory and all residents are excused from clinical duties for these sessions.  In addition, each hospital runs its own academic program, which enriches the central program. The University of Toronto is privileged to have a very frequent program of visiting professors and fellows, which also adds to the academic program. The curriculum has been redesigned to meet the CanMEDS objectives.

Training Sites

There are presently seven core orthopedic hospital divisions through which trainees rotate. There are also various community sites around the Greater Toronto Area. The hospital divisions comprise the University Division of Orthopedic Surgery. The divisions and their faculty strengths are listed below.

The Hospital for Sick Children

Pediatric orthopedics, regional trauma centre, sports medicine

Mount Sinai Hospital

Lower extremity reconstructive surgery, oncology, sports medicine

St. Michael’s Hospital

Upper and lower extremity reconstructive surgery, trauma, spine, sports medicine

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Trauma, upper and lower extremity reconstructive surgery, spine, sports medicine

University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital

Upper and lower extremity reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, spine

Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital)

Community orthopedics, trauma, lower extremity reconstructive surgery, sports medicine

Women’s College Hospital

Sports medicine

All hospitals are equipped with computers which allow internet access and many hospitals have subscriptions to electronic journals. All residents are required to have a University of Toronto e-mail address, and will have electronic access to all major orthopaedic journals through the University of Toronto library. A resident-led review course takes place prior to the Orthopaedic In-Training Exam (OITE) each fall. There is a senior-junior resident mentor program for all new residents entering the program.

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