Expert Care. Personalized Approach.

Chief Residents' Corner




Katie Rosenwasser and
Stu Mackenzie

Administrative Chief Residents


Learn more about the program:

The Residents
The Services
Recent Changes
Fellowships
Conference & Clinics
Vacations & Perks
Social Activities & NYC


OVERVIEW

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University has a legendary history of excellence. Founded on the pioneering work of Drs. Harrison McLaughlin, Russell Hibbs, Frank Stinchfield, Robert Carroll, Charles Neer, and Louis Bigliani, the Department exemplifies the very best in orthopedic education and surgery. Under our current Chairman, Dr. William N. Levine, a world-renowned shoulder surgeon, the historic legacy of the Department continues to thrive.

Dr. Levine served as the Department's Residency Program Director from 2002-2014, now succeeded by Dr. Charles Jobin, a leader in the Sports, Shoulder and Elbow Department. Dr. Levine has helped create an exciting and dynamic program that is fast becoming the gold standard in residencies. Fully committed to resident education, Dr. Jobin has continued Dr. Levine’s efforts to invigorate the Department's educational curriculum by instituting not only a rigorous series of resident-centered, attending-led conferences, but also a series of meaningful resident-organized sessions that span from service conferences, OITE review sessions, cadaver labs, and conferences with alumni to prepare residents for the “real world.” Residents enjoy a robust operative and clinical experience with a variety of outstanding faculty members who represent every orthopedic sub-specialty. Our residents take advantage of 2 months of dedicated research time to cultivate collaboration with our impressive research faculty. A culture of education and excellence permeates the entire Department, and we believe firmly that the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University offers one of the strongest and richest orthopedic surgery training programs in the country.

 


THE RESIDENTS

The residents of our program are diverse in every respect: educational background, previous work experience, age, gender, ethnicity, extracurricular interests and talents. Musical interests and talents range from classical cello and piano to house music and DJ-ing. Our resident athletes include marathon runners, ironman triathletes, Olympic rowers, soccer players, swimmers, volleyball players and professional dancers. With our free time some residents travel the world while others choose to stay close to home to enjoy the greatest city on earth. While of course a strong educational background and work ethic are critical to succeed in orthopedic surgery residency training, equally important is the ability to share a diverse set of experiences and interests with one another.

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THE SERVICES

The Center for Shoulder, Elbow & Sports Medicine, the flagship service of our Department, offers unparalleled exposure to the field as we have the great benefit of working with attending surgeons who are at the forefront of the specialty. Our current attendings build on the foundation of the forefathers of shoulder surgery and continually push the division forward on the cutting edge of advancements. Drs. Levine, Ahmad, Jobin, Popkin and Lynch are wholly dedicated to continuing the great traditions of Columbia.

The Center for Pediatric Orthopedics offers an equally impressive experience for residents. Dr. David Roye, together with an ambitious faculty consisting of Drs. Hyman, Lee, Vitale, Dutkowsky, and Benjamin Roye care for pediatric patients with an astounding diversity of conditions, including spine deformity, limb deformity, hip dysplasia, and trauma in the setting of the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. Dr. Popkin takes care of both pediatric and young adult athletes.

Residents rotate with our world class spine department at The Spine Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen. The spine department offers a multi-disciplinary approach to spine care that stresses both surgical and non-surgical options for conditions from the skull to the sacrum. Our newly created spine hospital brings together comprehensive patient care in all aspects of deformity, degenerative, minimally invasive, and cervical spine patient care. 

The Center for Hip & Knee Replacement has achieved notable regional and national recognition under the leadership of Drs. Macaulay, Geller and Shah, leaders in the field of hip and knee arthroplasty.

The Center for Hand and Microvascular Surgery is one of the nation's oldest such divisions, established by Dr. Robert Carroll in 1949, and under the leadership of Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser is an innovative center for care of both routine and complex problems of the hand and upper extremity.

The Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Service at Columbia provides sub-specialty care for all ailments of the lower leg including complex trauma.

The Orthopedic Oncology sevice exposed residents to a wide variety of bone tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, and metastatic bone disease in both adult and pedidatric populations.

The Columbia University Medical Center is a level II facility, and offers a comprehensive trauma experience with exposure to basic trauma in every anatomic distribution. The Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York, a level I facility, offers experience in caring for children who have sustained high energy or penetrating trauma as well as those with multiple injuries. With two rotations at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, we gain unparalleled experience in adult level I trauma.. Our residents also have the opportunity to operate in an ambulatory surgery center about five miles from our main campus.

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RECENT CHANGES

We recently celebrated our the 150th anniversary of the New York Orthopaedic Hospital, precursor to the current Columbia Orthopedics. We were privileged to welcome back prestigious alumni from across the country and world for an exciting academic and social calendar, as well as a tour through our rich history of orthopedic excellence.

Additionally, our department has experienced significant growth over the past decade with the changes reflecting a commitment to enhancing the educational and operative experience of the residents.

Last year we welcome three of the leading spinal surgeons in the world to our department, Drs. Larry Lenke, Daniel Riew, and Ronald Lehman. Dr. Lenke is regarded as one of the premier spinal deformity surgeons in the world. His practice is devoted exclusively to spinal deformity surgery, with an emphasis on complex reconstructive surgery in children and adults. Dr. Riew is world-renowned for his work in cervical spine surgery and serves as the director of cervical spine surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen. Dr. Lehman specializes in cervical disc arthroplasty, adult and pediatric spinal deformity, and minimally invasive spinal surgery. In addition we welcome Dr. Robert Steffner, a dually trained tumor and trauma surgeon to the faculty joining us after 2 successful years on faculty at UC-Davis. Finally, we welcome the arrival of Dr. Natasha Desai, a nonoperative Sports Medicine specialist to join our Sports faculty.

In the past five years, we have welcomed Dr. J. Turner Vosseller (Foot and Ankle), Dr. Charles Jobin (Shoulder and Elbow), Dr. Charla Fischer (Spine), Dr. Charles Popkin (Pediatric Sports Medicine), Dr. Roshan P. Shah (hip and knee reconstruction), and Dr. T. Sean Lynch (Orthopaedic Sports Medicine).

Since 2009, our senior residents have had the opportunity to design a personalized international orthopedic elective that is funded by the department. The elective aims to enhance resident education by complementing the didactic and operative experiences as well as fostering a spirit of participation and volunteerism in global orthopedics. Prior residents have worked in a diverse array of sites with experiences ranging from orthopedic trauma in Nicaragua and Haiti to complex spine deformity in Vietnam. Our residents have traveled as far as Africa, the Dominican Republic, Bangkok and to underserved areas in China.

Our arthroscopy lab includes four fully functional arthroscopic stations where residents are encouraged to hone their skills on cadavers and arthroscopy models. Many residents also participate in various cadaveric and materials research in our Biomechanics Laboratory under the direction of Thomas Gardner. Residents also spend 2 weeks during the course of their residency learning the basics and also more advanced procedures of microvascular surgery in our microvascular lab under the leadership of Dr. Yelena Akelina.

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FELLOWSHIPS

Our residents continue to secure the best fellowships in the country across all specialties.  

Class of 2017
              Sports – Washington University
              Sports – University of Connecticut
              Hand – New York University
              Spine – Leatherman Spine Institute
              Spine - Columbia University Spine Hospital

Class of 2016
              Sports – Carolinas Medical Center
              Spine – New York University (NYU)
              Spine – Rush University
              Adult Reconstruction – Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
              Hand and Upper Extremity - Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)
              Peds – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Class of 2015
              Sports - Rush University
              Peds - A.I. duPont Hospital for Children
              Spine - New York University
              Spine - Leatherman Spine Institute
              Spine - UCSF
              Trauma - Carolinas Medical Center

Class of 2014
              Sports - Kerlan-Jobe
              Sports - Hospital for Special Surgery/Boston Children's Pediatric Sports Medicine
              Sports - Stanford
              Sports - Massachusetts General Hospital
              Shoulder and Elbow Surgery - Mount Sinai Hospital
              Hand - Tufts Medical Center

Class of 2013
              Sports - Kerlan-Jobe
              Sports - Kerlan-Jobe
              Sports - University of Pittsburgh
              Hip and Knee - Hospital for Special Surgery
              Pediatrics - Boston Children's Hospital
              Hand - University of Utah

Class of 2012
              Hand – University of Michigan
              Sports – Kerlan-Jobe
              Sports – Boston University
              Trauma – Denver University
              Spine – Rush
              Shoulder and Elbow – Thomas Jefferson

Class of 2011
              Spine – NYU
              Foot and Ankle – OrthoCarolina
              Shoulder and Elbow – Wash U
              Hand – Mayo Clinic
              Trauma – HSS; Spine- Thomas Jefferson

Class of 2010
              Sports –Steadman Philippon
              Sports – Hospital for Special Surgery
              Foot and Ankle – Hospital for Special Surgery
              Spine – Wash U
              Spine – Rush University, Chicago
              Spine – The Spine Institute, Santa Monica CA

Class of 2009
              Sports – Kerlan-Jobe
              Spine – Wash U
              Trauma – Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore MD
              Deformity – Sinai Hospital, Baltimore MD; Tumor – Sloane Kettering
              Peds – L.A. Children’s Hospital, Peds Sports – Boston Children’s
              Hip and Knee – Hospital for Special Surgery

Class of 2008
              Sports – Hospital for Special Surgery
              Sports – Kerlan Jobe
              Sports – Lenox Hill; Shoulder and Elbow – Wash U
              Spine – Thomas Jefferson
              Spine – Emory University
              Hand – Duke University

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

We participate in a number of weekly conferences which greatly enhance our learning. We recently redesigned our core curriculum to re-focus our learning with monthly blocks dedicated to a core topic and we added more hands-on learning with improved saw bones, cadaveric and arthroscopic sessions.. During the summer, our curriculum includes a series of anatomy/surgical exposure sessions and throughout the summer and fall we do intensive OITE review. Fracture conference is held every Thursday morning and we have a weekly Grand Rounds consisting of presentations from visiting professors who are leaders in the field as well as our attending staff, residents and fellows. Additionally, weekly service-specific conferences offer the opportunity to discuss preoperative and postoperative cases and review current literature.

 


CLINICS

We have weekly clinics in all major orthopedic subspecialties, including Trauma, Spine, Joints, Hand, Foot & Ankle, Pediatrics, Tumor, Shoulder, and Sports Medicine. Our clinic population generally consists of underserved patients from the surrounding communities for whom access to orthopaedic care is otherwise difficult. The residents have the opportunity to be the primary orthopaedic care provider in the clinic setting, foster relationships with their patients and devise and execute operative plans of care under the supervision of attending surgeons.

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VACATIONS

4 weeks per year. Back to back weeks are not allowed and there are no vacations in June or July.

 


PERKS

Exceptional training alongside a fantastic group of colleagues is among the benefits of our training program. As mentioned, the department offers an incredibly comprehensive training experience, with every major subspecialty represented by an extraordinary faculty fully committed to our education. Additional perks include enrollment in a basic and advanced microsurgery course. This course, developed in our internationally renowned Microsurgery Lab, attracts students from around the world. The department funds travel to meetings to present research, the OTA Comprehensive Fracture course for the junior residents, and a board review course for the senior residents. All PGY-5 residents also attend the AAOS meeting. Additionally, the department provides several important resources such as Hoppenfeld's Surgical Exposures and a comprehensive e-syllabus of highly referenced articles sub-divided into 6 subspecialties. Finally, our Orthopedic Library provides unparalleled access to the printed orthopedic literature, electronic journals and DVD collections. The collection is meticulously maintained by our part time librarian, Anca Meret, who regularly solicits recommendations for new additions to our library.

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SOCIAL ACTIVITIES 

We work hard and play even harder. The academic year kicks off with a summer BBQ and soccer game in Westchester at Dr. Roye’s house. This is an opportunity to meet all the new incoming residents, fellows, research staff, and summer sub-interns. Our annual golf tournament hosted by our Chairman Dr. Levine is a marquis event every August. The department holiday party is held in mid-December and is a fantastic celebration with family and friends. The Columbia annual pre-interview dinner at Ruby Foo’s in Times Square is well known on the orthopedic residency interview trail. Residents and applicants enjoy great food and drink without the watchful eye of the attendings. Every other year, we host the Columbia Alumni Reunion with a stimulating academic program in the spring, followed by an alumni gala. Graduation wraps up the year with an exciting golf tournament and dinner. Numerous informal gatherings occur throughout the year such as the girls-night-out dinner in one of the fabulous downtown NYC restaurants, pickup basketball games in the park, and happy hours in the Upper West Side.

 


NEW YORK CITY

From Washington Heights to the Upper West Side to Chelsea to the West Village, every neighborhood, while unique, has it all - anything and everything you would want to see, hear, or taste. Entertainment abounds in every form, ranging from the family-friendly to the cultural to the hip to the decadent. Several parks are a mere walk, run, or bike ride away, including the Cloisters, Van Cortland Park, Riverside State Park (with tennis, swimming, ice rink, softball, track) and Central Park. The number and variety of restaurants in every neighborhood is astounding - ethnic foods abound. The culturally-inclined may venture to Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center to see the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, or Opera. Alternatively, one can travel to the Village to hear any style of music ranging from world renowned jazz at the Blue Note, to the hottest stars at the Beacon Theater. And of course, there’s Broadway. Late night, the clubs in the Meatpacking district draw those who want to get their dance on. Those seeking quiet reflection with the works of masters can visit the Met, MOMA, Guggenheim, Frick, or Whitney. A favorite for residents with families is always the Natural History Museum. Yankee Stadium can be seen from the hospital and Madison Square Garden is a short subway ride away. City Field, the Meadowlands, and Belmont Track make for an easy excursion from the city. New York City is unique and spectacular and having the chance to be part of it for five years is priceless.

 


SUMMARY

We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to benefit from unparalleled training in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University. Our mentors are leaders in the field, with a deep commitment to our education and success as orthopedic surgeons. The rich balance of clinical, surgical, and academic training is outstanding. The collegial environment and great location make this an unbeatable residency. Our graduates are competent, confident surgeons who inevitably go on to positions of leadership in the orthopedic community, carrying on the tradition of NYOH/Columbia excellence.

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