Ortho Sports Medicine San Diego Medical Center - Curriculum

Goals and Objectives

Our primary educational goal is for each fellow to achieve independence and competence in the advanced care of the injured athlete. All interactions between fellows and staff are designed around this educational objective.

Clinical Experiences and Rotations

During the first month, fellows follow staff closely in clinic and in the operating rooms. Fellows are observed in these settings to assess initial skill level and to develop a plan for the first quarter of their training. During this time, fellows begin developing a panel of patients, some of whom will need surgery. Fellows are mentored  in clinic and surgery during this period to help them assimilate all basic principles and techniques for knee and shoulder surgery.

Throughout the second quarter, fellows begin learning advanced techniques for arthroscopic and open knee and shoulder reconstruction. Opportunities will arise for management of elbow and ankle pathology in athletes; each such case will be treated with appropriate staff supervision.

In the third quarter fellows develop greater autonomy in operative and clinical care. During this time, fellows will perform reconstructive surgery with supervising faculty in an adjacent room, available for consultation on an as-needed basis.

The fourth quarter is devoted to fine-tuning the fellows’ skills and working electively with non-faculty staff in preparation for the transition to practice beyond graduation.

Fellows are provided assistance by Physician Assistants/ Nurse Practitioners, nurses, and office staffing equivalent to that of staff physicians. Extensive library support through full library staff, 24 hour library access and on-line resources. Collaboration with research facilities at UC San Diego and local cadaver lab facilities provided by DJ Ortho and Smith Nephew.

Unique Aspects to the Program:

  • Fellows develop a panel of patients, representing a broad spectrum of sports related conditions, for whom they are responsible throughout the fellowship year.  The non-rotation based, year-long structure of the program provides continuity of clinical care and learning from training room and initial clinic evaluation, to surgical indication and treatment, through postop rehabilitation and ultimate return to function.
  • No night or weekend call.
  • Team care at the high school and college level is provided in the training room and on the field in conjunction with fellowship staff physicians.
  • In addition to the core curriculum, fellows may choose on an elective basis to work with fellowship-trained subspecialists in total joint replacement, foot and ankle, pediatrics, hand and trauma.


  • Monday OR
  • Tuesday OR
  • Wednesday OR, or Clinic
  • Thursday 6am core sports teaching conference, 7am Radiology rounds/case presentations, Clinic
  • Friday Clinic or surgery, Research
  • Quarterly wet lab surgical demonstrations
  • Friday evening team coverage (high school football)
  • Fall football season: Saturday training room, college football team coverage

Teaching program

  • Weekly Sports Medicine curriculum and Musculoskeletal Imaging Weekly surgical indications conference
  • Sports Medicine Journal Club monthly
  • Offsite collaborative CME programs including a quarterly Southern California collaborative lecture/lab series, an annual articular cartilage repair workshop, and the annual Sports Medicine Fellows’ Symposium
  • Quarterly wet lab surgical demonstrations

Research opportunities

Fellows spend one to three half-days per week doing research, reading or preparing scholarly work for publication and/or presentation.  Each fellow participates in discussions and preparation of written reviews of manuscripts and grant proposals with staff members. Each fellow is expected to complete a research project or to participate in the preparation of a scholarly paper, according to his or her interest and abilities.

Serving the Community

Under the supervision of fellowship staff, the fellows participate in the care and the evaluation of athletic injuries on the field, in the training room, and in clinic. The fellows and faculty serve as liaisons in accepting Kaiser Permanente Health Plan members referred from all athletic programs in the San Diego area.