Rotation Planning Tips

Each medical student's goals and rotation schedule will vary. In order to assist those students wishing to pursue an orthopaedic surgery residency, we have compiled the following suggestions for planning rotation schedules:

  • Doing a general surgery rotation before your orthopaedic rotations may be beneficial to gain surgical skills and experience in advance of the orthopaedic subspecialty experience.
  • Your orthopaedic surgery rotation through the University of Minnesota should be a 6-week rotation. Additional surgical subspecialty rotations, 2- or 4-week, are optional.
  • Plan for orthopaedic surgery electives and away rotations to be completed prior to finalizing the residency application.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation early enough to allow your letter writers time to complete and submit letters with your application.
  • Our department suggests doing at least one (preferably two) away rotation(s) in addition to your rotation through the University of Minnesota. The goal of an away rotation is to increase your familiarity with another program at which you would consider completing an orthopaedic surgery residency. See the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS).
  • As many other residency programs are requiring Step II to be completed in order for your application to be considered, we now suggest completing Step II prior to finalizing your application.


Please email Ortho-Ed (orthopaedic surgery medical student coordinator) or Alicia Harrison, MD (Assistant Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Director).