Trauma Fellowship

Trauma Fellowship Guidelines


The fellowship is designed to provide a complete experience in the management of orthopedic trauma.  At the completion of the fellowship, the participants should be competent to treat orthopaedic trauma in either a private practice trauma center or academic setting.  Fellowship goals include:  1) development of clinical expertise in the diagnosis and management of  complex and multi-system orthopedic trauma, 2) refinement of clinical skills in such a way that new problems can be addressed based upon pathophysiologic and patient-oriented information allowing an appropriate treatment plan to be initiated in patient care, 3) attainment of technical and surgical expertise in complex orthopedic trauma, to all orthopaedic body parts, and 4) to gain exposure to research including clinical reviews, clinical outcome studies, and basic science research.

These goals are obtained through the following educational methods:  1) clinical preceptorship, 2) didactic lectures, 3) Socratic conferences, and 4) formal research experience.  The clinical preceptorship includes experience in the offices of the attendings as well as a fellow-directed clinic,  and operating room coverage.  New patients are followed from diagnosis through the selection of treatment plan, pre-operative planning, operative intervention, and post-operative management.  Outpatient clinic time allows the fellow to observe directly the recovery process and to observe long-term results following surgical procedures.  The didactic portion of the education process includes lectures by the faculty during a weekly trauma conference, weekly resident core conference, a weekly fellow specific lecture series and guest lectureships.  The Socratic conferences include pre-operative conferences, case presentations at Trauma Conference, one-on-one discussions and interchanges during rounds, and direct evaluation of patients in the office.


Care Responsibility:  The fellows assist and contribute to inpatient care by 1) performing a complete orthopaedic exam as indicated on patients admitted through the emergency room when on call or patients admitted from the outpatient or private offices in which the fellows participate in their surgical management, 2) serve as a source of experience and knowledge to the resident staff, 3) evaluate consults and aid the resident and attending staff with patient care.  The presence of the fellows will augment, not supplant, resident responsibility.  The clinical care of in-patients is the primary responsibility of the attending and resident staff.

The inpatient orthopedic trauma service is comprised of three attendings, a chief resident (PGY-5),  a PGY-4 resident, and one or two PGY-1 residents from General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, or anesthesia.  The fellow provides information regarding patient care, and advises the resident staff and the trauma team as a whole.  Team administration is directed by the chief resident who utilizes the fellows as a clinical resource.  Final decisions regarding patient care are at the attending level.


The fellow's call is selected by the fellow with assistance from the trauma service coordinator.  The fellow should notify the coordinator at least 4 weeks ahead of individual need in changes to the schedule.  The final schedule is submitted to the administrative scheduler, by the 1st of the month (the month prior to the official call schedule).  The fellow will be responsible for 4 weekday call nights and for one weekend call night per month. The fellow is always on call with orthopedic faculty. A majority of these call nights are taken with faculty on the orthopedic trauma service.

Emergency Room Coverage

Emergency room consultations are handled by the residents on call.  The fellow on call is notified of orthopaedic trauma via the orthopedic attending on call.  Fellow involvement is triaged by the on call physician taking onto account the potential educational value of the case in question. Currently, all emergency room patients are reviewed by the attending staff before final dispositions.  The fellow has the opportunity to evaluate complex orthopaedic trauma problems in the emergency room and to formulate a treatment plan with an attending. In addition to the formal emergency room consultation (written by the resident) the fellows are expected to document their involvement.  Supervision will be provided by the attending staff.  Trauma fellows do not admit patients to hospital or independently staff OR cases. 

Travel/Away Dates:

All away dates are approved by the chief of trauma.  Once approved, the administrative assistant will communicate as appropriate. The fellow will be given three weeks of vacation. In addition, ten professional days may be utilized for meetings and job interviews.  No vacation may be taken during the final week of fellowship. The fellow is expected to attend the annual OTA (orthopedic trauma meeting) meeting, the OTA fellows course as well as the annual southeastern fracture symposium.


It is the fellow's responsibility to answer and resolve pages in a timely manner.

Outpatient Clinics (Resident/Fellow Continuity Clinics):

The Trauma fellow will have 1 half day of clinic per week (see typical week below). This clinic time will allow for long term follow-up and for evaluation and work-up of referred malunion and non-union cases. The half day will be as part of the orthopedic trauma clinic on Friday mornings. This clinic consists of an attending, fellow, senior resident and a PA and serves as the main follow-up for multi-trauma patients and referred trauma. This clinic allows the fellow the opportunity to follow multitrauma patients in the immediate post-operative period and to guide the rehabilitation process. The second half day will be with faculty on the orthopedic trauma service.

Operating Room:

The trauma fellow will be assigned to the orthopedic trauma room (fracture room) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. He/she may also spend time in the operating room with faculty not on the trauma service should the fellow wish to gain more specific experience a specific area. All operative procedures in Wake Forest Baptist Health are supervised directly by an attending who is physically present in the operating theater.



Daily Orthopaedic Rounds 6:00 AM (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)








Trauma Conference 6:00-7:30am

Core Trauma Conference






Grand Rounds


Operating Room


Fellow Specific Lecture




Trauma Clinic

Operating Room

Operating Room



Operating Room



Operating Room


Operating Room


Research/Academic Time

Note:  Research hours to be determined related to projects in which fellow is assigned.


The fellowship is committed to critical evaluation and continued improvement. As such a 360 degree program evaluation will take place quarterly. In this process fellows will evaluate the fellowship, all faculty and house staff via an online, semi-confidential (to all but program director) computer generated survey.

In a similar manner all faculty and house staff will evaluate the fellow. The program director will have bi-annual meetings with the fellow to discuss the results of these evaluations. In addition the fellow will complete a final evaluation of the fellowship and individual faculty prior to graduation. These evaluations will be a necessary part of successful program completion.

The faculty involved in fellow education will meet in a bi-annual fashion to discuss the results of the program evaluation and make adjustments and changes as necessary.


Formal training in orthopaedic trauma is an integral component of the current orthopaedic training program.  The weekly trauma conference takes place on Monday mornings. It involves the presentation of the cases from the previous week's trauma schedule. Discussion focuses on pre-operative workup, indications, critique of post-operative x-rays and discussion of rehabilitation and expected outcomes.  In addition to the existing weekly trauma conference schedule, the trauma fellow participates in department wide grand rounds conference on Wednesday mornings. 

In addition the trauma fellow meets each morning at 5:45 am to discuss and triage the trauma from the previous evenings call team. Present at this meeting are the on call senior from the previous night, the orthopedic trauma attending who is staffing the trauma room that day, the fellow, research staff and our orthopedic trauma nurse coordinator. At this conference decision making regarding prioritization of cases for the day and indications will be emphasized.

There is also a didactic lecture series for the orthopedic house staff. Topics cover the essentials of orthopedic trauma. The fellow will be expected to attend these conference times and to present 2-3 topics per year to the residents. Lastly there is a weekly fellow specific lecture given by an attending. This takes place on Friday mornings prior to orthopedic trauma clinic. This lecture is geared directly to the trauma fellow and involves higher level and more complex topics with emphasis on complex decision making.

Teaching Staff - Fellowship

1.  Eben Carroll - Assistant Professor - Medical Director of Trauma, Fellowship Director - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Areas of Interest: pelvic and acetabular fractures, fractures in the elderly, malunion and nonunion, clinical outcome studies.

2.  Anna Miller, MD, Assistant Professor, Associate Medical Director of Trauma- Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Areas of Interest: pelvic and acetabular fractures, foot and ankle trauma, basic science research, clinical outcome studies.

3. Jason Halvorson, MD, Assistant Professor- Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Areas of Interest: Foot and ankle trauma, malunion and nonunion, clinical outcome studies.

4.  Robert Teasdall - Professor - Assistant Fellowship Director - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Areas of Interest: foot and ankle trauma, clinical outcome studies.

5.  Beth P. Smith, PhD - Professor - Research - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Areas of interest: basic science research, clinical research including outcome studies.

Research - Fellowship:

The trauma fellow will be encouraged to develop and pursue independent projects and/or may participate in other on-going research.  Support includes time, space, computer/statistical aid, equipment, supplies, trained orthopaedic technicians to facilitate projects, with the support of Drs Beth and Tom Smith and the faculty.  Fellows may be expected to engage actively in, 1) anatomic dissections, 2) clinical research or  basic science research. The fellowship will require one completed manuscript ready for submission prior to graduation.

Quick Reference

Trauma Fellowship, Orthopaedic Surgery
Karen Donovan
Program Coordinator

Telephone 336-716-9657
FAX 336-716-6286

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1070
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Last Updated: 04-27-2015
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