Research

Research is an integral component of the orthopaedic residency program. During the five years of internship/residency, each resident is expected to complete two research projects — one basic science and one clinical. The clinical project should preferably be a prospective (vs. retrospective) study of an issue encountered during the course of clinical or surgical procedures, rehabilitation regime, diagnostic procedure, etc., and is approved by Dr. Wilhelm Zuelzer. This completed project is to be presented at Residents’ Day at the end of PGY4.

The basic science project is performed in the orthopaedic research laboratory and can be focused on the biomechanical, molecular or biochemical aspects of a particular question. The goal of the basic science project is to expose the residents to the fundamentals of basic science research and provide training for the completion of one basic science project. By the end of PGY3, each resident is expected to have completed their basic science research project. To accomplish this achievement, the department has allotted weekly time during the PGY2 year and concentrated time during the PGY3 year. Completion of a project takes the residents from the concept stage to hypothesis and design stages through implementation/experimentation and data analysis stages with final culmination in archival publication.

Topics for the basic science research projects stem from the faculty in the orthopaedic research laboratory. In select cases, ideas generated by residents, in consult with researching faculty outside of the laboratory, will be considered. The project is approved to be undertaken by Drs. Jennifer Wayne, William Jiranek, and Wilhelm Zuelzer prior to beginning the rotation as PGY2.

Final culmination of each basic science project involves public dissemination of the findings through all of the following avenues: presentation of the project hypothesis, design and methods at the lab’s research conference (PGY 2, PGY3); presentation of the findings at the annual Residents’ Day (PGY 3); presentation of the findings at a national meeting (including submission to); and submission of the findings in manuscript form to a peer-reviewed archival journal. To present at Residents’ Day, a completed manuscript must have been submitted to the faculty involved in the research project.

Failure to complete the manuscript prior to Residents’ Day in PGY 3 precludes the resident’s participation in the Best Paper Competition for which there is a monetary award, certificate and prestige. Continued failure to complete the manuscript can result in a letter of concern being placed in the resident’s file.

To see more details about the basic science research of the musculoskeletal system in the laboratory, visit the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory Web site at www.people.vcu.edu/~jwayne/vcuorl.htm.