Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

Our program is a dynamic five-year curriculum that includes twelve months of combined orthopaedic/general surgery education and four years of direct orthopaedic education. In addition to our staff we offer complex integration with the community where there is a wealth of superbly trained surgeons eager to teach. During the PGY-3 year of training residents are afforded the privilege to rotate with the prestigious Dr. James Andrews at AREI, as an adjunct to your sports education with Dr. Pearsall covering division IA athletics at the University of South Alabama. The University’s athletic program consists of seventeen USA Jaguars men’s and women’s teams that compete in the Sun Belt Conference. In addition, there is opportunity for research and outreach around the globe to enhance your training.

Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). During the five year program of residency training at the University of South Alabama, residents study the prevention of musculoskeletal diseases, disorders, and injuries and their treatment by medical, surgical and physical methods.

The University of South Alabama Department of Orthopaedic Surgery residency training program is one of the finest in the nation. We accept three (PGY-1) residents each year and applications are only accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). All faculty members fully review and evaluate every application. Candidate selection is based on letters of recommendation, publications and presentations, grades, board scores, and extracurricular activities. Upon final review of the applications, the invitation for a personal interview is extended to approximately thirty young men and women from across the U.S. Our program fully participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). For details and complete information on how to apply to the University of South Alabama, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program, please contact your medical school.

Again, thank you for your interest in our program and best wishes for a bright and successful future in orthopaedic surgery.


▼   Affiliations

As a resident in the University of South Alabama Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, you will reap the benefits of private programs as you have the option to rotate with a variety of nearby orthopaedic groups.  We feel that this is one of the highlights of our program as you will be exposed to both the academic and private practice aspects of orthopaedic surgery. 

Two of the local groups that we spend the most time with are the Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic and The Orthopaedic Group.  Both of these groups operate at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, which is located next door to USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.  Many of the surgeons in these groups have close ties with our program as several are alumni.  They are more than eager to have residents rotate on their services, and they frequently attend our weekly Grand Rounds and monthly Journal Club meetings.

During the third year, residents are given two months to participate in either a local private sports rotation or rotate with Dr. James Andrews at The Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida.  Both yield fantastic exposure to current and upcoming advances in the field of sports medicine. 

During the fourth year, the University Joint and Reconstruction senior resident is given an extra one to two days per week of operative time with private attending physicians.  This rotation yields four operative days per week of academic and private reconstruction cases.  This gives our residents a chance to participate and become familiar with many of the different approaches, techniques, and implants for hip and knee surgery. 

The chief year provides a private spine rotation for four months and a private pediatric rotation for two months. Operative yield is high on both rotations.  Another two months are designated as elective months, where you will have the freedom to operate in your field of interest. 

▼   Unique Program Features


PGY 2-3 take primary call while PGY 4-5 provide back up call. Call averages out to be 5-6 weekdays a month and 1 out of 3 weekends as a junior resident.  As chief call, weekend call averages out to 1 out of 6 weekends. We cover several hospitals while on call; therefore, home call starts as a PGY-2.

Mileage Reimbursement

Orthopaedic residents are eligible for mileage reimbursement for travel while on call.


Four weeks of vacation per year are divided as one week of vacation per quarter. While on vacation, the resident is also off call the weekend before and after.


A moving stipend of $2.00 a mile (up to $1200) is provided to each resident who has to relocate.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Our department employs a CRNP to help take care of administrative tasks and help with placing patients and any needs they have once they are discharged from the hospital. This allows a true early operating experience – even as an intern.


Each resident will attend one course per year that is sponsored by the department in addition to a board review course as a PGY-5.  If a resident has research that is accepted for presentation, the department will cover cost of the trip including travel, housing, and a daily per diem for food.

Fitness Center

Access to the University of South Alabama Recreational Facility is provided to residents for $10 per month.

Sports Medicine

The orthopaedic residents here at the University of South Alabama have the ability to be on the sidelines to cover USA football and USA basketball games – division 1 sports in the Sun Belt Conference.

A two month elective rotation at The Andrews Institute as a PGY-3.

A two month elective rotation as a PGY-5

Community Physicians

All residents are given the opportunity to operate with community orthopedic surgeons on a monthly basis.


The department has an arthroscopic simulator in the Orthopaedic Resident Library.

Surgical Skills Lab

The Department of Orthopaedic Sergery has access to cadavers for dissection, open approaches, and arthroscopic training on an as-needed basis.

Scrubs and White Coats

At the beginning of the PGY-1 year, interns get three white coats and three pairs of scrubs.  At the beginning of each academic year, each resident gets a new white coat OR a new pair of scrubs.  The department offers free laundry service for cleaning of white coats.

Journal Subscription

The department provides each resident with a subscription to Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the AAOS Yellow Journal.


Free parking adjacent to hospital entrance next to Emergency Room and Operating Room.

▼   Applying to our Program

For those interested in the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program at the University of South Alabama, applications must be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) no later than October 1st of each academic year.  Each applicant must have the following documents on file no later than the stated deadline:

ERAS Application -- October 1st
Personal Statement -- October 1st
Medical school transcript -- October 15th
MSPE -- October 15th
USMLE Transcript -- October 15th
Letters of Recommendation -- October 15th

The decision to offer an applicant an interview is completed by mid-October.  Each applicant will receive an email giving the status of their application:  invited for an interview, placed on the wait list, or a notice of rejection.  Applicants on the wait list will be contacted a second time to offer them an interview slot that has opened or to notify them that the interview process has ended.  For the 2017 Match, the University of South Alabama Department of Orthopaedic Surgery received over 450 applications for it's three PGY-1 residency slots. 

Interviews are typically held the first three Friday's of December. 


  1. All applicants participating in the couples Match must list their partner's name and specialty on their application.
  2. Any applicant not having taken both Step 2CK and Step 2CS by December 1st should send an email indicating the scheduled test dates for both exams.
  3. Any applicant who has not passed Step 2CK by the time the rank list is due will not be ranked.
  4. Each applicant should submit four LoRs.  We do not require a department chair or program director letter, nor do we require that the letters should all be from the surgical field.
  5. The University of South Alabama Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will not be accepting applications from students who are enrolled in or have graduated from foreign medical schools beginning with the 2016 Match.
▼   Contact Information

Program Director: Richard Marks, M.D.
Program Coordinator:
Rhonda Smith

Mailing address:
USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
ATTN: Rhonda B. Smith, GME Program Coordinator
1601 Center St, #N-3160
Mobile, AL 36604

Email: RhondaSmith@health.southalabama.edu 
(251) 665-8251
(251) 665-8265