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Medical Student Education

A photo of the medical campus at sunset

SSM Health/Saint Louis University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Medical Student Education

Medical students have a wide variety of options to familiarize themselves with orthopaedics through the St. Louis University School of Medicine. Their first introduction is through the SLU's Orthopaedic Surgery Student Interest Group. The Orthopaedic Interest Group coordinates multiple meetings throughout the year, including Sawbones labs, cast and splint labs, subspecialty lectures, match panel discussions and more. The Orthopaedic Surgery Interest Group leaders work closely with the faculty and residents to ensure medical students have thorough exposure to orthopaedics throughout their education. 

Medical Student Home Rotations

Saint Louis University medical students have numerous options for orthopaedic surgery rotations. Their first opportunities are during Career Exploration elective rotations that occur during non-clinical and clinical years. The Career Exploration electives allow students to join many orthopaedic subspecialties for a weeklong experience. This allows medical students to explore the day-to-day workings of an orthopaedic surgeon in many settings. During the core clinical clerkships, the medical students have an opportunity to incorporate orthopaedic surgery into their surgery clerkship, where they can rotate on pediatric orthopaedics, orthopaedic trauma, or adult total joint reconstruction.

Once medical students have reached the latter half of their clinical years, they may rotate through a variety of other subspecialties for a monthlong experience. These specialties include adult orthopaedic spine surgery, adult total joint reconstruction, sports medicine and pediatric orthopaedics. Lastly, those who are highly interested in orthopaedics may participate in a one-month sub-internship in Orthopaedic Trauma. During these rotations, medical students can distinguish themselves and help build the foundation for a longstanding career in orthopaedic surgery. 

A trauma bay in SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital

Visiting Medical Student Rotations

Visiting medical students are welcome to rotate in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. All visiting student applications and away-rotation requests must go through the VSLO, which is administrated directly by the School of Medicine. Our goal for visiting students is to increase their knowledge and hands-on training and their familiarity with the Saint Louis University Department of Orthopaedics and its faculty, staff and residents. Visiting students will rotate on two weeks of orthopaedic trauma and two weeks of an additional subspecialty (pediatric orthopaedics, adult total joint reconstruction, or adult orthopaedic spine surgery). They will also be permitted to take occasional call during the week and weekend, which is always a one-on-one experience with a junior or senior resident and faculty. Visiting students must attend Monday evening and Wednesday morning residency educational conferences.

We hope that a month with us will be filled with orthopaedic education and insight into the SSM Health/SLU Orthopaedic Surgery Residency.

Orthopaedic Surgery Specialty Advisor

As part of the commitment to medical education, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has been intimately involved in arranging regular meetings with medical students who are actively interested in orthopaedic surgery as a career. Medical students are guided during away-rotation applications and selection, residency program selection, letters of recommendation, personal statements, signaling and USMLE score guidance. A generalized mentorship model is applied to guide and assist medical students toward a career in orthopaedic surgery.