Message from the Program Director

Welcome to the University of Saskatchewan Orthopedic Surgery Residency Training Program website!

Our program has had great success in training orthopedic surgery residents to become fully specialized in their field. The program has an extensive academic schedule but also allows significant exposure clinically and surgically for residents throughout their five years of training. The program teaches the CanMEDS roles using the competency-based method and is designed based on the objectives of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Orthopedic Surgery.

Throughout the academic year there are extensive rounds that are pre-set and well-attended. These are mandatory for residents to attend with protected time. All of the subspecialty areas of orthopedic surgery are part of the training program and residents spend rotations in these areas throughout the residency program. Rotations have a favorable resident faculty ratio allowing close interaction with faculty in the clinical and surgical settings. Overall, residents are well trained to be a competent orthopedic surgeon at the time of their completion of the program. Also, there has been a very high success rate in passing the Royal College examinations in Orthopedic Surgery.

Please feel free to contact me or the administrative office if there are any specific questions regarding our program.

David Sauder, MD, FRCSC
Program Director
Division of Orthopedics
University of Saskatchewan

2021 CaRMS Welcome


The Orthopedic Surgery Residency Training Program at the University of Saskatchewan was established in the early 1960s by Dr. Eric Nanson, a general surgeon and Head of the Academic Department of Surgery.

For the first years, the training was done by the private practice orthopedic surgeons practicing in Saskatoon. In 1966, Dr. William Kirkaldy-Willis became the first full-time academic head of orthopedics, being attracted here from Nairobi. In Africa, Dr. K-W was known as the best orthopedic surgeon between Cairo and Johannesburg, and as he would add, the only one. For the first years, he was able to attract many local graduates to undertake training in orthopedic surgery, many of who remained in, and continue to practice in Saskatchewan.

With a decrease in local applicants in the early 1970s Dr. K-W went on recruiting trips to the UK. It was in a hotel in London that Dr. K-W and Dr. John Wedge (a graduate of the programme and a fellow in Oxford at the time) interviewed Dr. Ken Yong-Hing. Little did they know at that time that the three of them would be the core of academic program for the next 30 years. Of those recruited from afar, all remain in practice in Canada, most in Saskatchewan. Dr. K-W had a firm belief that research was the cornerstone to advancing orthopedic knowledge and focused on low back pain, having developed an interest in spine treating TB cases in Africa. All residents were “strongly encouraged” to participate in research.

Dr. Wedge became the academic head/program director in 1981 and was succeeded by Dr. Yong-Hing in 1985. Dr. Geoffrey Johnston became program director in 1992 and was followed by Dr. William Dust in 2000, Dr. King in September 2010, and Dr. Sauder in 2016. In 2002 Dr. Dust took over from Dr. Yong-Hing as academic head. Dr. McKerrell has filled the role of academic head from 2005-2017. Dr. King has been the head of the division since 2017.

Mission and Goals

Our Vision - To create orthopedic surgeons that are prepared for a successful life-long career

Our Mission Statement - We will create competent orthopedic surgeons by systematically teaching, practicing, and assessing all the CanMEDS roles

Program Strengths

We are a smaller sized training program with broad subspecialty experience available in the faculty, a highly dedicated group who devote exceptionally large amounts of time to all aspects of resident training.

  • The clinical volumes and materials are adequate for training with an outstanding Ambulatory Care experience.
  • 7 days per week, OR room available for urgent orthopedic patients—greatly decreasing the amount of evening and night time operating.
  • A comprehensive series of teaching rounds that are mandatory for the residents and always have staff members attending.
  • The great majority of the teaching is located at one site which minimizes the amount of running around the residents have to do.
  • The incorporation of our private practice community based faculty has created an outstanding experience not only in orthopedics but also practice management.
  • Being a smaller program we are very sensitive to the personal aspects of residency training and have more of a collegial relationship with the residents rather than the traditional teacher student relationship.
  • A Surgical Foundations program and committee that is responsive to the needs of the orthopedics training program


The Orthopedic Surgery residency training program at the University of Saskatchewan is a five year program with the first year spent in Surgical Foundations which is now competency based. The second year is partly spent doing off-service rotations. The final three years are spent in Orthopedic Surgery.

The academic year is divided into 13 blocks of 4 weeks. Residents rotate through each of the subspecialty areas of orthopedics: arthroplasty, upper extremity, trauma, sports, spine surgery, foot and ankle, pediatrics, and community rotations.

Residents are primarily evaluated by Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) in the CBD system. Preceptors also complete in-training evaluations for all residents. Residents meet with their academic advisor on a quarterly basis to guide them through their competency based education and also meet with the program director twice a year.

Friday is our academic day. The morning starts with grand rounds from 7:00 - 9:00 am, followed by the weekly academic planning meeting.  Further teaching sessions follow in the morning. The afternoons are set aside for research activities.

Every subspecialty has one day per year that focuses on a topic chosen by the staff and residents. Clinical Exam teaching of the relevant body part happens in the late morning. We are currently creating a robust surgical simulation curriculum. This involves the use of virtual reality, advanced sawbone models, and task trainer.


2 blocks Hip and Knee/Oncology
3 blocks Orthopedic Trauma
2 blocks Spine 
1 block Trauma - ACS
1 block ICU
1 block Medical Selective – GIM
1 block Medical Selective – Emergency 


3 blocks Pediatrics
3 blocks Sports
2 blocks Orthopedic Trauma
1 block Arthroplasty/Oncology
1 block Upper Extremity/Foot and Ankle
1 block Surgical Selective – Plastic Surgery
1 block Night Float


3 blocks Upper Limb
3 blocks Foot and Ankle
3 blocks Orthopedic Trauma
2 blocks Arthroplasty/Oncology
1 block Elective
1 block Night Float


3 blocks Pediatrics
3 blocks Spine
3 blocks Orthopedic Trauma
2 blocks Sports
1 block Community Selective
1 block Night Float


5 blocks Resident directed
4 blocks Transition to practice
2 blocks Orthopedic Trauma
1 block Academic Enrichment and Knowledge Consolidation
1 block Night Float

Subspecialty Based Clinical Teaching Units

  • Arthroplasty plus Orthopedic Oncology (6 blocks)  
    • Dr. William Dust, Dr. Anthony E. King, Dr. Trevor Loback, Dr. Ian Lutz, Dr. Matthew Mastel, Dr. Jeffrey McKerrell
  • Pediatrics (4 blocks) 
    •  Dr. Lauren A. Allen, Dr. Courtney Bull, Dr. J. Alexandra Mortimer, Dr. Katherine Rooks
  • Upper Limb (2 blocks)
    • Dr. David Sauder, Dr. Laura Sims, Dr. Kristi Billard
  • Sports (4 blocks)
    • Dr. R. Cole Beavis,  Dr. Mark Ernst, Dr. David Kim, Dr. Mario Taillon
  • Spine Surgery (3 blocks)
    • Dr. Michael Spiess, Dr. Allan Woo
  • Foot and Ankle (3 blocks)
    • Dr. Lee Kolla, Dr. Paul Kulyk, Dr. Trent Thiessen
  • Trauma (3 blocks)
    • Dr. Tousief Hussain, Dr. Elliott Pally, Dr. Andrew Urmson, Dr. Scott Willms


Each resident has one block of elective time in Year 3 and community selective time in Year 4. Residents can travel out-of-province or abroad for international orthopedics. Residents can also choose to do a research elective.

Trauma Service

The Trauma Service is run by a surgeon dedicated to organizing the trauma system and arranging the daily operating room.   There is a senior and junior resident assigned to the Trauma Team and there are usually medical students and residents from other services.    We run a night float call system where residents are on night call Sunday – Thursday for one block.   This system allows all other residents to avoid post-call days during their rotation.

Academic Sessions

We have an intensive series of formal teaching rounds designated throughout the week.  The time is protected for these rounds and attendance is mandatory.  These teaching rounds cover all aspects of orthopedics. There is always at least one staff in attendance.

Most rounds have a staff surgeon course coordinator who determines the curriculum. Most run on a one or two year cycle that covers the breadth of the relevant area. The exception is Orthopedic Grand Rounds where the choice of topics to be covered is left up to the PGY5 residents so that we may focus on areas in which they feel deficient.

The format may be case based discussions, topic based discussions or didactic lectures. Most of the lectures are prepared by a resident, however, may be given by the staff surgeon.

Compulsory academic sessions occur either at the beginning or at the end of the day. In this way residents are able to attend without having to move around in the middle of the day.


Faculty are assigned to find cases illustrative of the fracture being discussed that week. Residents should carry out the appropriate reading and will be expected to discuss cases as in an oral examination. Topics progress through anatomical locations of the upper and lower limbs.


5:00 - 6:00 PM

Sept - June


The teachers include Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery faculty. Residents are expected to be familiar with the hand/upper extremity or foot and ankle topic to be discussed.


5:00 - 6:00 PM

Sept - June


Relevant objectives and review papers are pre-circulated and the residents should be able to discuss them in detail.

Alternate Tuesdays

7:00 - 8:00 AM

Sept - June


Rounds consist of an initial didactic session prepared by a resident followed by demonstrations on prosected specimens in the Anatomy Lab. Residents are assigned a topic to prepare and discuss. Every resident must review the anatomy before the session.


5:00 - 6:00 PM

April - May


Topics to be covered will be assigned to residents.  Objectives for each topic are provided. Residents should come prepared to discuss the topic.


5:00 - 6:00 PM



11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sept - March

These rounds are combined with the Division of Neurosurgery and are an interesting case based format. The first rounds of the month is topic based and presented by the resident.  The second rounds in the moth is case-based.

1st and 3rd Thursday of the month

7:00 - 8:00 AM

Sept - May


Presentations will be made primarily by the residents with input from staff. The quality of the rounds will be almost entirely dependent upon input from residents. Topics to be discussed are determined by the PGY5 residents on weekly basis.


7:00 - 9:00 AM

Year round


Fridays from 7:00 - 9:00 AM in place of Orthopedic Grand Rounds 6 times per academic year.

4 times a year in lieu of Orthopedic Grand Rounds

Combined Orthopedic-Pathology-Radiology Rounds

Combined Orthopedic-Medicine Rounds


8:30 - 10:00 AM

2-3 times per year


In addition to providing a series of discussion sessions on research methodology, Research Forum provides the time and audience for the resident to discuss research at every stage—from development of the idea and research questions, through methodology, interpretation of results, discussion, conclusion, presentation and publication. Each resident research project has a faculty supervisor. Each resident is guaranteed one half day per week to work on research.

Every other month

10:00 - 11:00 AM

Sept - June


Hosted at a faculty member’s house, the hosting faculty picks a topic and assigns journal articles to residents.  Residents review and present their assigned article. The journal articles are then dissected and analyzed by the residents. Discussion is preceded by supper.

4 times/year
A staff surgeon will be available at each session to discuss various aspects of clinical examination in a more hands-on environment for the following orthopedic topics: hip and knee, spine, elbow and shoulder, hand and wrist, foot and ankle.

6 times/year


10:00 - 11:00 AM


Research topics are discussed that related to all residents.

5 times/year


12:00 - 1:00 PM


All Surgery residency programs participate together on non-medical CanMEDS Roles.   This includes the topics of wellness and indigenous health.

5 times/year


12:00 - 1:00 PM

Other Educational Information

Boot Camp

First year residents are prepared for orthopedic trauma call by participating in multiple orthopedic boot camp experiences. These are session in splint and cast application, basic reduction techniques, proper injection and aspiration techniques, traction application, and halo application. The first grand rounds of the academic year are focused on urgent and common orthopedic pathologies. These sessions are coordinated with the concurrent Surgical Foundations boot camp that runs part time over the first two blocks.

Surgical Simulation

The U of S has a brand new anatomy and surgical simulation facility. The simulation curriculum continues to expand as we incorporate virtual reality and advanced sawbone models.

Evaluations and Examinations

Resident Evaluations

In a small program such as ours, progress is discussed between the preceptor and residents in a more informal, almost continuous manner. The residents are given the opportunity to comment on the structure and function of the program and its rotations.

The Program Director always has an "open door" to encourage residents to visit informally to discuss any concerns they might have or just to chat! A resident has the right to appeal any evaluation.

Competence By Design

The majority of evaluations residents receive are Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs).   The residency rotation map is designed to allows residents to be successful  in progressing through the Royal College’s Competence by Design educational plan.

360° Evaluations

For residents assigned to the trauma service, a 360° evaluation will be completed by the Orthopedic Surgery Nurse Manager will obtain collective evaluations from nurses on the ward as well as physiotherapists and other staff.  These will be submitted to the program admin office and reviewed by the Program Director. 

Surgical Evaluations

Once a block residents will be evaluated performing a surgical procedure using the 0-score.

Faculty Evaluations

Residents have the opportunity to evaluate the orthopedic faculty yearly.  This is done in an anonymous fashion using a CanMEDS based faculty evaluation form. 

Teaching Rounds Evaluations

Once or twice per year at the Resident Program Committee, each of the teaching rounds is evaluated and suggestions made for improvements.  If residents wish to have their views expressed anonymously they may do so through either the Elected or Appointed (Administrative) Resident Representative.  

Resident Examinations

Oral Examinations
  • Quarterly, residents are given an examination using the format and case material comparable to the Royal College Specialty Exam. The residents are given feedback immediately after the examination process in a wind-up session and again in the Program Director's quarterly evaluation meeting.
    In the final six months of training, there is intensive oral exam preparation conducted by the faculty for final year residents in preparation for the Fellowship Examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
    An OSCE will take place on a yearly basis in the fall. This will further serve to evaluate orthopedic clinical skills and the ability to perform CanMEDS roles.

Written Examinations

  • Orthopedic In-Training Examination (OITE)

Each November, all residents participate in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons  web-based Orthopedic In-Training Examination.  The cost of the examination is covered by the residency training program.   

The Orthopedic In-Training Examination serves as an educational aid for residents by promoting study and discussion and by providing residents with a mechanism for comparing their past performance and serve to guide the resident's study in areas of weakness.   The examination provides information to residency program directors concerning the performance of the overall  program relative to other programs.

Surgical Foundations Examination

The Royal College Principles of Surgery Examination is written by residents in their second year of training.  Success in the exam is a prerequisite for eligibility for the Royal College Examination in Orthopedic Surgery.

Resident Research

Research is an important part of the training program. The Orthopedic Director of Research is Dr. Laura Sims.

Research Forum takes place 5 times/year.

Surgical Foundations Residents are strongly encouraged to be involved in a research project. Research can be in the orthopedic field or some other surgical field. Residents will present their projects at whatever stage of completion at the Combined UofS and UofM Orthopedic Resident Research Day.

It is mandatory for residents to be involved in a research project in orthopedics or a related area in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years.  This may be one project that extends over two years.   The project, at whatever stage of completion, will be presented at the combined U of S and U of M Orthopedic Resident Research Day.   It is not mandatory for PGY5 residents to be working on a research project.

Protected Time: While on orthopedic rotations residents will have a protected half day per week for research.  This time should be that which least disrupts the rotation they are on.  In most cases this time will be Friday afternoons.

Research Funding: Residents may access sources of funding for research projects and/or travel related to research through the Department of Surgery or the Division of Orthopedics.

Residency Training Committee and Subcommittee

Residency Program Committee (RPC):
  • RPC serves to oversee every facet of the entire residency education experience and to respond constructively to change, both from within the university milieu, and from without: the Royal College (RCPSC), the Canadian Orthopedic Association (COA), and the Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDoS) as examples.
  • The RPC meets formally every three months and minutes are kept. In addition to the members of the RPC, all other residents and members of faculty are invited and do attend. 
  • The overall program, individual rotations, individual teaching seminars and clinical commitments are discussed. Proposals for improving the program are sought and discussed, and necessary changes made.
  • The RPC meets informally each Friday morning at the Weekly Planning Meeting, where all residents and available attending staff meet to arrange the details of the following weeks' teaching activities. Everyone in attendance, in turn, is invited to raise questions, problems or concerns regarding teaching and the program in general.
  • Criticism is encouraged in a spirit of camaraderie. If a problem is identified and cannot be resolved, an appropriate ad hoc subcommittee is formed to deal with it and bring recommendations to the whole group.


  • Competence Committee consists of five faculty and meet every six months.  They are responsible for promoting residents.  The committee reports to the RPC.
  • Resident Education Committee consists of the program director, two selected members of the RPC and a selected PGY2 and PGY4 resident. The committee meets three times a year and the meeting is minuted.   The committee reports to the RPC.
  • Resident Selection Committee consists of the program director and three or four selected members of the RPC as well as two residents.  The committee reports to the RPC.
  • Research Committee consists of the Research Chair, the Program Director, and several faculty and 1-2 residents. This committee guides and directs research in the program.


Dr. Andrew Urmson
Program Director, Division of Orthopedic Surgery

Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Royal University Hospital
5512 - 103 Hospital Drive, 5th Floor
Saskatoon, SK   S7N 0W8

8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Monday to Friday

Judy Classen
Program Administrator

Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Royal University Hospital
5512 - 103 Hospital Drive, 5th Floor
Saskatoon, SK   S7N 0W8

8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Monday to Friday

Dr. Anthony King
Head, Division of Orthopedic Surgery

Royal University Hospital
103 Hospital Drive, 5th Floor
Saskatoon, SK   S7N 0W8