Residency Program

We train residents to be able to be anything they want to be in the field of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Residents who train with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine gain the skills to work in any kind of professional setting from an academic medical center or a community hospital to private practice or working alongside world-class athletes.

USC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

The Orthopaedic Residency Program is a fully accredited, five-year training program that meets all requirements of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. We have the third-largest residency program in the United States in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the world.

The residency program provides graduate training in all aspects of orthopaedic surgery. Our philosophy is that residents should not only be excellent technical surgeons but also thoroughly understand the pathophysiology of musculoskeletal disease in order to critically assess current and new technologies and adapt them to their practice. Residents are required to complete at least one research project during the residency. A resident research year is also available for one resident each year.

Resident education is supported by a strong didactic program that includes a comprehensive core curriculum, monthly grand rounds, a monthly journal club, a monthly evidence-based conference and weekly subspecialty conferences.

The Core Curriculum has been fine-tuned over the past two decades and was the basis for the development of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ acclaimed and widely used Comprehensive Orthopaedic Review, which was originally edited by Jay R. Lieberman, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The Core Curriculum runs on a two-year cycle and combines both the pathophysiology and basic science of musculoskeletal disease and its clinical application. Core curriculum lectures are provided by the orthopaedic faculty or other faculty members within the medical school or other medical schools in the surrounding Los Angeles area; no lectures are given by residents. Voluntary faculty, usually alumni of the program, are also actively engaged in resident teaching.


All residency positions are filled through the National Residency Matching Program, and our department participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Our requirements for application include:

  • Completed ERAS application
  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Scores from Part I are required.  If Part I score is Pass/Fail, then Part II score is required from the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX), or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX)
  • Dean’s letter
  • Three narrative letters of recommendation completed by physicians, with at least one letter from an orthopaedic surgeon

NOTE:  A maximum of four letters of recommendation will be accepted, inclusive of the Dean’s letter.  Narrative letters must be submitted with the American Orthopaedic Association Standardized Letter of Recommendation Form as a singular document.

Application Deadline:
Tuesday, September 27, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. ET (6:00 a.m. PT)

Foreign medical students should apply through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

For further information and application materials, please contact your home institution’s dean’s office.


Juliann Kwak Lee, MD
Program Director
Reza Omid, MD
Associate Program Director
Luke Nicholson, MD
Associate Program Director

Need help applying?

Sylvia Suarez

Academic Program Administrator
Phone: (323) 409-7210

Schedule Overview

Residents rotate through five medical centers acquiring surgical skills in areas such as general surgery, trauma, sports medicine, reconstruction and surgery of the hand, spine, foot and ankle.
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Requirements and Rotations

Within the master schedule of rotations, each hospital develops its own internal call schedules, which determine weekly working hours. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery complies with the basic program guidelines established by the USC Office of Graduate Medical Education.
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Benefits and Salary

Residents’ salaries are negotiated annually. In addition to at least one 24-hour period each week, every resident receives a one-month paid vacation, three days of educational leave and 12 days of sick leave annually. The department also hosts various events for residents throughout their training.
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