Orthopaedic Surgery Physician Scientist Training Program Overview and Expectations

Orthopaedic surgery physician scientists spend two years in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories gaining valuable experience for future research, and building confidence to act as independent principal investigators.

As a physician scientist in our program, you’ll design and execute experiments, generate preliminary data, write research proposals and grants, develop skills in obtaining research funding and publish high-quality research manuscripts.

We encourage presentation of research findings at national and international conferences. Annual meetings attended on a regular basis include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Orthopaedic Research Society, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, North Carolina Orthopaedic Association, Southern Orthopaedic Association and Eastern Orthopaedic Association.

You’ll be mentored by experienced basic science researchers and clinical collaborators. You won’t have call obligations; however, you’ll participate in the core educational curriculum of the five-year residency including educational conferences, orthopaedic grand rounds and subspecialty journal clubs. Physician scientists may serve as medical student facilitators and mentor postdoctoral fellows, medical students and visiting international medical students, as well as collaborate with fellow residents in research projects.

Physician scientists at our institution have contributed to many peer-reviewed articles to orthopaedic journals. Since the beginning of the Graduate School collaboration in 2006, physician scientists have successfully obtained PhD degrees in Neuroscience, Molecular Medicine, and Translational Science.

Program Expectations and Goals

Physician scientists are expected to follow the Wake Forest Baptist Health code of conduct, policies and procedures.

Goals of the program include six core competencies:

  • Foster an understanding of society care
  • Develop scientific knowledge
  • Practice research-based learning and improvement
  • Improve interpersonal and communication skills
  • Enhance professionalism
  • Understand systems-based research process and development

These are modeled after the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competencies.

Progress is evaluated through quarterly assessment meetings.

Relationship to Five-Year Residency

The Physician Scientist Training Program is a two-year postdoctoral experience distinct from Wake Forest School of Medicine's five-year Orthopaedic Residency Program. If you wish to pursue your residency training at the School of Medicine, you must complete the standard process which includes, in part, an Electronic Residency Application Service residency application, registration for the match, and adherence to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) guidelines.

Although the Physician Scientist Training Program and the residency are not linked, they are synergistic, and application to the residency is encouraged and supported. The selection committee factors successful completion of the Physician Scientist Training Program significantly.