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Research Track

UC San Diego prides itself on research, as well as clinical excellence. Most of the clinical training programs here 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 PGY1 year dedicated to conducting research within the lab. 

The research year may consist of clinical, translational, or basic research. The resident has input into planning as well as performing projects for the research year. The lab year emphasizes critical analysis of the literature, research techniques, statistical tools, and regulatory requirements. The outcome of this year is resident-driven contributions to the Orthopaedic literature, which should serve as a spring-board for a career as a clinician-scientist.



* During PGY1 year, residents complete 6 months of ortho rotations; and 6 months of non-orthopaedic rotations.
** Each rotation is a 10-11 week block:

– During PGY3 year; residents complete two split rotations; Adult Sports / Pediatric Sports, and Oncology / Foot and Ankle
– During PGY4 year, residents complete one split rotation; Oncology / Foot and Ankle
– During PGY5 year, residents complete one split rotation; 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 the 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.