The faculty and staff of the UC Davis orthopaedic surgery residency training program are committed to training practicing orthopaedic surgeons with the broadest experience possible.

The department offers a five-year program. One of the five categorical positions is a six-year option that allows for a dedicated year of research following the PG-2 clinical year (click here to learn more about this research opportunity). The department hopes the research experience will produce community-based surgeons and academicians who will remain discriminating scientists and who will review the literature and new developments with a critical and scientifically objective eye.

Residents rotate at three-month intervals on subspecialty services that function as small practice groups under the leadership of the chief resident (who has full responsibility for patient care), with close supervision of and teaching by attending staff. Delegation of patient care responsibilities to residents is not directly tied to the year in training. Rather, faculty delegate to the resident as quickly as his or her capabilities merit. Faculty provide attending consultation 24 hours a day and on all operative cases.

The department's educational philosophy is to give the resident first priority in the diagnostic/therapeutic decision-making process and performance of surgery, but to have an attending surgeon always available to ensure a superlative level of patient care and to maximize the resident's learning experience. One hundred percent of the department's residents have become board-certified orthopaedic surgeons.

Resident training takes place at the UC Davis Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Northern California and Kaiser Permanente Hospital South. Residents have three months of rotation at each of the PGY-2 and PGY5 levels at Shriners Hospitals, where they participate actively in the management of difficult cases involving children with orthopaedic disorders, deformities or diseases. All Shriners faculty have academic appointments with the UC Davis Health, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Weekly didactic case presentations and a resident library enrich the educational experience. The three-month rotation at Kaiser South at the PGY-4 level is very popular as it provides extensive adult and general orthopaedics exposure.

If you have any questions as to whether or not your medical school curriculum meets the requirements for licensure in the State of California, please contact the Medical Board of California directly at (916) 263-2382. In addition, all residents at the PGY-3 level and above must have a valid California medical license.

Important Notice for applicants who graduated after May 1998:  For Medical Board licensure, the State of California currently requires that applicants who graduated after May 1998 have taken a four-week family practice curriculum requirement prior to graduation from medical school (Assembly Bill 3497, September 1994).  Applicants must provide evidence that they have met this requirement before the department will extend an invitation for interview.

About the Program

Take a look at our Residency Brochure (PDF).  All PGY-1 positions are under the direction of orthopaedic surgery and consists of thirteen (13) 28 day blocks 

  • Internship typically consists of three months of orthopaedic surgery; six months of surgical specialties, including trauma surgery, plastic or burn surgery, vascular surgery and one month of physical medicine and neurosurgery
  • One block (20 working days) is pre-assigned vacation during the PGY-1 year

  • Residents are allowed 20 vacation days and 4 education days per year

  • Twelve days of sick leave benefit for all residents

Available Positions

  • Five-year internship positions (four per year)
  • Six-year research track internship position (one per year)

Applying to the Program

The Orthopaedic Surgery Program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).  The application is online.  Every medical school in the country is connected to ERAS. 

Contained within the ERAS Application for US graduates should be: 

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation (will accept four [4] Letters of Recommendation)
  • USMLE, Step 1
  • Medical School Transcripts
  • MSPE/Dean’s Letter
  • CV
  • One Page Personal Statement

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Maggie Allen, Education Programs Coordinator, at 916-734-4025 email
The Department grants interviews by invitation only.  All interviews will be conducted in January.
2020 interviews are scheduled for January 13th and 21st.

For All Applicants: Licensing Eligibility in California 

Effective January 1, 2020 -- All applicants, regardless of whether the medical school attended was/ is domestic or international, will be required to meet the following requirements: 

  1. A Postgraduate Training License (PTL) will be required for all residents participating in an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program in California to practice medicine as part of their training program. 
  2. A PTL must be obtained within 180 days after enrollment in the program and will be required to be renewed. 
    1. The profile of a holder of a PTL will be displayed on the Board's website for public view. 


  1. Complete 36 months of postgraduate training accredited by either the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACFME), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or College of Family Physicians of Canada. 
  2. Will need to complete 24 consecutive months of training in the same program in order to be eligible for a physician's and surgeon's license. 

How to Contact Us 

If you have any questions, please e-mail us at or call at (916) 734-2807

Information for International Medical School Graduates

International Medical School Graduates (IMGs) will need to have a Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) with their application.  If this letter is not contained in the application, the application will not be considered  complete.  The applicant will not be considered for an interview.  To receive this letter, you must apply to the Medical Board of California for a packet.  We only accept J1 Visas and you must have a current ECFMG Certificate when applying. 

Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815

Contained within the ERAS Application for International Medical School Graduates should be: 

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation (LoRs)
  • USMLE , Step 1
  • Medical School Transcripts
  • MSPE/Dean’s Letter
  • CV
  • One Page Personal Statement
  • PTAL (Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter)
  • Copy of Valid ECFMG Certificate
  • Legal right to remain and work in the US (J1 Visa or Permanent Resident Status)


Are you accepting PGY-1 applications for 2019-2020?

When are interviews?
Monday, January 13, 2020 and Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

Do you accept applications from foreign medical graduates?
Yes. Learn more about the UC Davis IMG requirements.

Do you provide visa sponsorship?
Yes, J-1 clinical housestaff. H-1B visa are not sponsored.

What is the medical license requirement?
Must be eligible for a California Medical License. Learn more about the California Medical Board requirements.

Are applicants with military funding (e.g., salary support) eligible?

Do you offer an Acting Internship/Elective opportunity?
Yes. Learn more about the visiting medical student acting internship.

Is there a medical school graduation cutoff date?