Welcome to the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

Thank you for your interest in the Yale Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program! The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine is a program that is rich in tradition, history and accomplishments. As a department, we have benefitted from remarkable stability under the leadership of only 3 Department Chairmen in the last 50 years, including our current Interim Chair, Dr. Theodore Blaine. We have produced a diverse group of alumni who practice all over the world and many are leaders in their respective disciplines. Our program has the honor of having trained the first African-American woman in orthopaedic surgery, and diversity remains an important part of our character. Approximately 30% of our residents and a similar percentage of our full-time faculty are women. We also have the distinction of having trained the only orthopaedist in the US Senate. At one point in the last several years, more of the country’s orthopaedic surgery department chairs were from Yale, more than from any other program. The Yale Orthopaedic Association works diligently to maintain strong ties between these graduates and our program.

Since our inception, our educational mission has been one of our most important endeavors. It is our goal to produce outstanding surgeons who have the ability to provide the highest level of care to their patients and become leaders in our profession. We seek independent and ambitious trainees who will play a very active role in their education. Our residents benefit from the instruction of our talented faculty, who represent a truly committed group of incredible physicians and role models. We are fortunate that every discipline of orthopaedic surgery is well-represented within our department. Our residents spend nearly all of their training time at Yale-New Haven Hospital or the near-by VA Medical Center located in West Haven, Connecticut. They also participate in a comprehensive two-year curriculum cycle that serves as the foundation of our didactic education. In addition, we offer a variety of educational initiatives, which include service-specific conferences, journal clubs, lecture series, anatomy courses and surgical-skills opportunities. Lastly, we encourage curiosity and critical thinking by providing the time and opportunity to become involved with any of the department’s research opportunities or those elsewhere in our University environment. Our curriculum includes three 10-week rotations dedicated to research. Some residents use this time to develop projects to present at national meetings. Others have used this time to provide healthcare to underserved communities overseas. We are proud to produce graduates who are capable of continuing their training at the country’s top fellowships or beginning a practice in general orthopaedics.

We believe that there are several unique attributes of our program that make this a particularly special place to train. We embrace an educational-model that is reflective of the medical school: a self-directed approach that emphasizes personal responsibility and professionalism and is combined with a cognitive apprenticeship approach by the faculty. Our Chief Residents are effectively junior faculty (with faculty appointments in the Yale School of Medicine) and are entrusted with a significant role in the management of the residency program. We have intentionally maintained no more than a few fellows within the department so that the primary focus remains on resident education. Also, we foster a warm, collegial environment and are fortunate to have a rich diversity amongst our residents and faculty. Our book club is a highly anticipated monthly event held at our Chair’s home, which affords us the opportunity to explore good food, fine wines, and interesting discussions about books outside of medicine. We also enjoy the academic and recreational resources that one would expect from a world-class university in a lively New England city.

This is a particularly exciting time for Yale Orthopaedic Surgery. We have added a new program in Shoulder and Elbow surgery. Our faculty has tripled in size in recent years, including new recruitments in the areas of Trauma, Pediatrics, and Foot and Ankle surgery. Their energy and enthusiasm has only added to the outstanding quality of patient-care and resident education that we provide. Also, we have recently begun the development of the Yale Musculoskeletal Institute, a multidisciplinary center that will work to revolutionize orthopaedic care as it is delivered today in southern New England.

Thank you again for your interest in our program. We hope that you will consider Yale Orthopaedic Surgery for your training. We invite you to learn more about our program and culture, and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions

Warm regards,

Theodore A. Blaine, M.D.
Interim Chairman

Brian G. Smith, M.D.
Program Director


Theodore A. Blaine, M.D., Interim Chair

Brian G. Smith, M.D., Residency Program Director