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Research Track

UC San Diego prides itself on research as well as clinical excellence. Embodying the institution's history of innovation, our department's clinical training programs reflect an emphasis on research. 

The research track resident will follow the same clinical training schedule as residents completing the five-year clinical track, but will spend one year after their PGY 2 dedicated to conducting clinical, translational or basic research in our laboratory space. 

The resident has input into planning as well as performing projects for their research year. Critical analysis of research literature, research techniques, statistical tools and regulatory requirements are emphasized. By the end of their research year, residents are expected to make meaningful contributions to the field of orthopedic literature, serving as a springboard for a career as a clinician-scientist.



* During PGY 1, residents complete 6 months of orthopedic rotations and 6 months of non-orthopedic rotations.
** During PGY 2-5, rotations occur in 10-11 week blocks.

– During PGY 3, residents complete two split rotations in Adult Sports / Pediatric Sports and Oncology / Foot and Ankle.
– During PGY 4, residents complete one split rotation in Oncology / Foot and Ankle. 
– During PGY 5, residents complete one split rotation in Oncology / Sports Medicine.


Compare with Clinical Track Schedule

Research Facilities


Altman Clinical and Translational Institute (ACTRI)

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has laboratory space predominately at the Altman Clinical and Translational Institute (ACTRI) located adjacent to Jacobs Medical Center.  Sophisticated tools and techniques are available in these labs for bioengineering, physiology, biochemical, hard and soft tissue morphology, tissue culture and bioengineering.

Core laboratories within our department include anatomical and histological preparation areas, light, confocal and electron microscopy, radiography, human and animal surgery, biochemistry, physiology, cell culture, proteomics, genomics and metabolomics. Current research areas are funded by the NIH, DoD, VA, NSF, and a number of industry and foundation grants.