Wake Forest University School of Medicine's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation provides state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal problems, educating the next orthopaedic and podiatric surgeons and researching complex and advanced treatment options. With over 30 locations, 90 faculty, 2 residencies and 8 fellowships we are broad in exposure and breadth. Wake Forest University School of Medicine is part of the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist system which is the only level one pediatric and adult trauma center in the region.

Our subspecialty surgeons and providers give compassionate, high-quality medical care to patients. Interdepartmental consultation across 10 subspecialties and a strong commitment to research and teaching keep the department at the forefront of new developments in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with orthopedic and rehabilitation problems.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Wake Forest University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation is to be the musculoskeletal provider of choice. This is accomplished by growing selected market share to drive direct margin to support clinical, education and research missions.

Our Vision

The Mission of the Wake Forest University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation is to create a space where all belong, work as one team to make great things happen, we earn trust in all we do, we innovate to better the now and create the future, we drive for excellence – always.

Why Wake Forest?

The School of Medicine is the academic core of Atrium Health, which is the regions only Level One pediatric and adult trauma center. We serve patients from western North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina with a strong national subspecialty reputation.

Our faculty take great pride in serving as teachers, mentors and advisors to our residents and fellows, ensuring they become competent, independent surgeons, researchers and providers. Our partnership with WFU in a state-of-the-art biomechanics laboratory is the elite training destination for high level pitchers with science and medicine transforming baseball. Research output includes over 300 pitchers with completed biomechanic evaluations by the academic team.

Our gait lab partnership with WSSU uses state-of-the-art technology and research to investigate rehabilitation approaches.
We also have a first of its kind relationship with the VA System in Salisbury and Kernersville, North Carolina and have both orthopaedic faculty and residents always on site.

Our surgeons and providers are extensively trained and perform more than 20,000 surgeries annually across 11 distinct sections:

  • Pediatrics
  • Adult Reconstruction
  • Spine
  • Trauma
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Sports Medicine
  • Hand and Upper Extremity
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Podiatry
  • Fracture Prevention
  • Oncology

Department History

The first Orthopaedic Chair of the Department was Robert A. Moore, M.D. who served until 1953. He was followed by H. Francis Forsyth, M.D. until 1965; John T. Hayes, M.D. until 1970; Anthony G. Gristina, M.D. 1987. George Rovere, M.D. until 1988. Gary Poehling, M.D. until 2007. L. Andrew Koman, M.D. led the Department from 2007 until 2023. On April 1, 2023, Cynthia Emory, M.D., M.B.A. was appointed as the first female Orthopaedic Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Wake Forest University.

Department Training

The orthopaedic surgical residency training program in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation was established in 1946. Initial accreditation as a three-year program was granted in May of 1969 with approval to train four residents at each level. In May of 1972, the length of the program was changed to four years and the complement of residents changed to three at each level. In February of 1982, the designation was changed to a five-year, categorical program (including the internship) with the resident complement remaining at three residents per level of training until July 2004 when it was increased once again to four and in July 2008 to five.

The podiatric surgical residency started in 2016 taking three students for three years with rotations at multiple sites.

The department currently has 8 fellowships in the following orthopaedic subspecialties:

  1. Adult reconstruction
  2. Trauma
  3. Hand and Upper Extremity
  4. Sports Medicine
  5. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – Spine
  6. Athletic Training
  7. Orthopaedic APPs
  8. Physician Scientist
We look forwarding to sharing more about our Department and Program in both via email or in person!