Supporting Resident Research

Why we promote resident research

As part of our mission, the Department of Orthopaedics strives to make lives better through excellence in education and research within the field of musculoskeletal diseases. Research remains a strong component of educating the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons at UTHSCSA. It is our belief that orthopaedic surgery is a lifelong learning experience. By engaging in research our residents learn the process of generating new knowledge and developing strategies of improving patient care. For this reason, active participation in research during residency will train our program graduates to become better clinicians and better surgeons.

Summary of our strategy for promoting resident research

The Department of Orthopaedics has implemented various strategies for promoting resident research. The very first step in this process has been to create awareness among faculty, residents, and students that excellence in research and excellence in patient care are strongly connected. In addition, we have created an environment that allows orthopaedic surgeons in training to successfully conduct research projects. We are providing numerous resources for our residents that will allow their research to thrive. An important resource is dedicated time. Since the beginning of the academic year 2017/2018, our second-year residents have a dedicated research rotation that will allow them to focus on the development of a research project that they will continue to pursue throughout their residency. Another important resource is mentorship. It has been the experience that resident research project frequently fail due to lack of mentorship. At UT Health San Antonio orthopaedic residents are paired up with a faculty research mentor as they develop their research project early on in residency. Finally, we support our residents with appropriate logistics including laboratory space for basic science projects, access to statistical support and research coordinators, as well as financial support for research expenses and traveling to scientific meetings.

Facilities available for resident research

Appropriate facilities are available for residents as they conduct their research. These facilities include a state of the art orthopaedic laboratory allowing for successful conduct of basic science projects. For clinical research projects residents have access to office space, meeting rooms, a dedicated orthopaedic library, all of which are equipped with modern technology and computer access. Through these facilities, residents have easy access to online libraries and clinical databases.

Financing resident research/How you can support resident research

Funding for resident research is currently provided through departmental resources, industry funding, and foundation grants. The Vice Chair of Research, Dr. Boris Zelle, also works with residents to identify sources of funding, such as foundation grants. In addition, a resident research and education fund has been established in memoriam of John W. Gardemal, class of 1995. For further information on how you can support resident research with a tax-deductible donation to the Gardemal fund, please contact Dr. Boris Zelle, Vice Chair of Research, at 210-743-4104 or by e-mail at

Research is key to advancing the knowledge and practice of orthopaedic medicine, and it is an integral part of our residency program. Resident research is conducted in close association with faculty mentors and with the support of outstanding research faculty and staff.