Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship

Thank you very much for your interest in a fellowship with the Division of Orthopaedic Trauma at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. We are making great strides towards developing a unique orthopaedic trauma fellowship. We accept two fellows per year and provide them with one day per week for academic and/or research pursuits. We have five orthopaedic trauma faculty members dedicated to the fellowship program.



William Obremskey, MD, MPH, MMHC
Fellowship Director, Division of Orthopaedic Trauma
Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center


The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is a collection of several hospitals and clinics, as well as the schools of medicine and nursing. Its reputation for excellence in each of these areas has made Vanderbilt a major patient referral center for the Mid-South.

Vanderbilt University Hospital is a 700+ bed hospital, which lies in the heart of the VUMC complex.

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is located within Medical Center East, which is directly adjacent to the Vanderbilt Hospital. This facility houses a clinical research area for Orthopaedic Trauma, administrative offices, clinics, rehabilitation services and educational areas.

The Medical Center is well served by a very strong General Surgery Trauma Unit under the direction of John Morris, MD, FACS. There are 4500 trauma admissions per year, with over 2000 helicopter flights per year. There are currently 5 helicopters, which provide transportation from hospital to hospital as well as from accident scene to Vanderbilt. 82% of trauma admissions are from blunt trauma, and the annual growth of trauma admissions is 6% per year.

The operating room support for Orthopaedic Trauma is unparalleled. We have two or three dedicated operating rooms seven days a week 7:30 am until 9:00 pm for dedicated Orthopaedic Trauma procedures. This allows us to perform only emergent or urgent cases between the hours of 11:00 pm and 7:00 am.

Clinical Volume:
The Division of Orthopaedic Trauma performs approximately 2400 cases annually, and is growing at 10% per year. Often, these “cases” consist of multiple fracture fixations. The number of operative interventions per year includes 221 femoral shaft intramedullary nailings, 275 operative fixations of acetabular fractures, and the plethora of injuries that go along with such cases.

Inpatient Care: 
Trauma fellows evaluate patients on whom they have operated  on a daily basis helping to direct their plan and daily care with the remainder of the orthopaedic trauma team. Orthopaedic trauma fellows perform initial evaluations of new patients admitted overnight, evaluate their x-rays, clinical exam, and develop an operative plan for these patients. Orthopaedic trauma fellows then work in a mentorship-like relationship with an orthopaedic trauma faculty in the operating room. Fellows are given graduated independence on complex trauma cases and independence on routine trauma cases as their experience warrants. A Trauma faculty member is always assigned as a resource and responsibility for each patient and is readily available when patient is in the OR.

Emergency Department: 
Trauma fellows occasionally evaluate new consults in the emergency department prior to transfer to the operating room and/or trauma unit.  Primary responsibility for new admissions is by an orthopaedic resident.

Trauma fellows spend one day per week in the clinic alongside an attending.  They also may have patients that they are primarily responsible for in clinic with the attending where they can use the attending as a resource  Trauma fellow clinics usually include 10 to 15 patients over the course of the day.

Trauma fellows are expected to teach junior residents through basic orthopaedic cases.  They will also be asked to make two presentations of one hour each to the orthopaedic residents on a trauma topic of their choice.

The Division of Orthopaedic Trauma has a PhD and three research assistants. We have eight prospective studies involving patients.  Vanderbilt faculty are also the PI on two of nine Department of Defense studies that have received $70 million to perform multicenter projects through a Trauma Consortium (METRC).  Orthopaedic trauma fellows are encouraged to participate in retrospective evaluations or work on projects with the short-term outcome to be completed and ready for publication by the end of their year.

We would be delighted to have you visit us here at Vanderbilt if you so desire. We know you will have many opportunities, but feel we have a very special opportunity here. We would also encourage you to visit our Department’s clinical web site at http://www.VanderbiltOrthopaedics.com so that you can get an overview of our services.