Trauma Fellowship

Program Overview

Our Philosophy

This fellowship is designed to prepare an orthopedic surgeon for a career at a level I trauma center, either university or community based. The focus of the faculty is on the teaching of how to think about, plan for, and execute the care of an injured patient. The emphasis is on the understanding of the basic concepts (physiologic, anatomic, biomechanical) underlying what we as surgeons do in the operating room. We believe it is the understanding of these concepts that will allow the future traumatologist to adapt to new clinical sceneriosTrau and new technologies as they present themselves.

Overview of the Institution/Division

The Hershey Medical Center is the tertiary referral center for both adult and pediatric Level I trauma in the south–central region of Pennsylvania. An extensive referral network for complex pelvis and acetabular fractures as well as complex periarticular fractures and nonunions has been established over the last 15 years extending through the entire central corridor of Pennsylvania. Trauma exists as a separate division within the department of orthopedics. Only one fellow will be accepted per year- yielding a very rich experience in all areas of orthopedic trauma including; pelvis and acetabulum/ difficult periarticular and long bone fractures/ upper extremity and foot/ankle fractures. In addition, the fellow will be exposed to complex nonunions, bone loss, and infections incorporating the use of Ilizarov and Spatial Frames techniques. The division employs a Nurse Practitioner in the outpatient setting, as well as a Nurse Practitioner and PA devoted to patient care on the inpatient floors.

Trauma Faculty

J. Spence Reid, MD – Fellowship Director
Baltimore Shock Trauma – 1992-93
OTA Member
AO teaching faculty/Ilizarov/TSF teaching faculty
METRC studies PI

Carol Copeland, MD
Baltimore Shock Trauma – 1990-91
OTA Member
AO teaching faculty - Winner Howard Rosen award

Henry A. Boateng, MD
Harvard Combined Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship – 2008-09
OTA Member

Matthew Garner, MD
Harborview – University of Washington, Seattle – 2015-16

Adjunct Faculty

April Armstrong, MD
Shoulder/elbow surgery

The Fellowship

  • One fellow/year
  • ACGME accredited
  • 4-5 nights call/month with attending back-up 

Meetings provided

  • OTA meeting, SAFE Course
  • AO pelvis/acetabulum
  • Ilizarov/TSF course
  • OTA fellows course


Applicants for the Trauma Fellowship must be board-eligible in Orthopaedic Surgery and have completed an accredited residency in Orthopaedic Surgery.

If you are interested in applying for the Trauma Fellowship at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, please apply through the OTA website.

Additional questions and inquiries may be made by writing to:

Residency/Fellowship Program Coordinator
Mrs. Janice Woodley
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, EC089
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
30 Hope Drive
P.O. Box 859
Hershey, PA 17033

There is a three hour teaching conference for the entire trauma division every Monday at 3 p.m. All preoperative and post-operative cases for the week are presented and discussed in depth. The final hour is devoted to a didactic discussion on a trauma topic on a rotating schedule. There is a one-hour conference on Tuesday morning with Dr. Boateng in which classic trauma articles on a given topic are discussed. A trauma journal club is held monthly in the evening following the Monday conference. There is a monthly orthopedic M&M conference which incorporates trauma cases. The fellow will be responsible for presenting a grand rounds conference on a topic of their choosing as well as taking responsibility for the resident review on trauma topics for the OITE exam. Every 6 weeks there is a sawbones lab – run by Dr. Copeland for the entire orthopedic resident group – spanning all the typical topics covered in the AO basic course.

An extensive and well-funded orthopedic basic science laboratory is housed on the same floor as the trauma division. Biomechanical studies can be designed and executed with the aid of a faculty biomechanical engineer (Gregory Lewis, Ph.D.). The fellow is expected to either initiate, or become involved with, a clinical or basic science research project and produce a paper of publishable quality upon completion. Protected time for the fellow to pursue this research is provided. The Division of Orthopedic Trauma employs two full-time research coordinators to facilitate the initiation and execution of clinical studies via IRB preparation and database management. Department funding for project initiation is available through the OIG (orthopedic initiation grant). Current projects include the genomics of atypical bisphosphonate fractures, the modulation of trauma related disuse osteopenia, the biomechanics of locking screw constructs, and cognitive simulation in fracture repair. Penn State/Hershey is a core center for the METRC studies (Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium) which is a department of defense funded multicenter research effort coordinated through the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. We are currently enrolling patients in: FIXIT, TAOS, PovIV, and VANCO, PAIN.

Fellow Case Volume (averaged last five years):
Pelvis: 35-40
Acetabulum: 35-45
Calcaneus: 22-25
Talus: 20-25
Tibial Plateau: 35-45
Pilon: 25-30
Complex UE: 22-27
Ilizarov/TSF: 25-30
Nonunions: 22-30 (overlaps with Ilizarov/TSF)    

Current Fellow

Edward Sirlin, MD –


Chris Sanford, MD
University of Toledo Medical Center – Toledo, Ohio


John Tidwell, MD –        
University of California/San Francisco – Fresno, California


Rachel Sotsky, MD –        

Elite Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine – Riverdale, NJ


Cyrus Caroom, MD –        
Texas Tech University Medical Center – Lubbock, Texas


Samuel McArthur, MD –    
St. Vincent Regional Medical Center – Santa Fe, NM


Michelle Bramer, MD –        
West Virginia University Medical Center – Morgantown, WV


John Delgado, MD –        
UMDMJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center – New Brunswick, NJ