Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
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Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship

Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship

Thank you for your interest in the Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship at IU Health Methodist Hospital. This one-year fellowship, accredited by the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), offers a dynamic experience and exceptional educational curriculum. The Level 1 Trauma Center at IU Health Methodist Hospital has a national reputation for trauma care and is Indiana’s most experienced trauma center. Orthopedic Trauma Fellows are given an unmatched level of engagement that is tailored and focused. 

Program Benefits

Experience and volume. IU Health Methodist Hospital has a national reputation for being one of the busiest and most experience trauma centers in the country, seeing more than 3,600 trauma patients annually. As a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, Fellows are exposed to a diverse case mix. In 2014 and 2015 we saw almost 6,000 cases on the OTA worksheet, including: Femoral shaft, nail: 345; Tibial shaft, nail: 317; Pelvic Ring: 134; Acetabular ORIF: 223

Unmatched, Highly Skilled Faculty. Our faculty includes six fellowship-trained orthopedic traumatologists with diverse backgrounds, having trained at the busiest trauma centers in the country. Dedicated to teaching, our faculty surgeons treat the most complex injuries and train fellows with an emphasis on contemporary, evidence-based techniques. Additionally, all IU Health Methodist Hospital general surgeons are fellowship-trained in Trauma and Critical Care.

Collaboration. All seven Orthopedic Trauma Service faculty members meet every morning to review the previous afternoon/evening/overnight trauma admissions and discuss diagnosis, surgical indications, surgical approach, and anticipated outcomes.  

Emphasis on Fellows. With very limited orthopedic resident participation on the Orthopedic Trauma Service, fellows are given an unmatched level of engagement.

Research and innovation.  As a leader in orthopedic trauma care, we are constantly looking for ways to improve patient outcomes through clinical and scientific research. As a partner with Indiana University School of Medicine, our current research spans a wide spectrum of orthopedic trauma topics from bone regeneration in spaceflight to the use of intramedullary nails versus plate fixation in proximal tibia fractures..

Program Goals

This one-year fellowship offers advanced training in treatment of the multiply injured patient. Emphasis will be placed on evaluation, diagnosis and application of progressive and minimally invasive techniques for treatment of complex injuries. IU Health Methodist Hospital is an American College of Surgeons-verified Level 1 Adult Trauma Center with 802 beds; it receives more than 3,600 trauma patients per year, with blunt trauma making up approximately 90 percent of the admissions.

What to Expect

Fellows will be accountable for multiple education-related responsibilities, including: Indications Conferences, Journal Clubs, Morbidity and Mortality Conferences, Grand Rounds Presentations, and Orthopedic Trauma Continuing Medical Education (CME) Meetings.

On a daily template, Fellows participate in morning X-ray Report and Inpatient Rounding. The Orthopedic Trauma Service faculty meets every morning to review the previous afternoon/evening/overnight trauma admissions and discuss diagnosis, surgical indications, surgical approach, and anticipated outcomes. The advanced practice provider staff then rounds as a team (including physical therapists, discharge planners and nurses) through the intensive care unit (ICU) and inpatient units. The Fellows will then either follow one of the attending staff to the operating room or to the orthopedic physician office.

On a weekly template, Wednesday mornings are reserved for scientific and clinical didactic presentations. In addition, fellows are responsible for content for a weekly Indications Conferences where controversial topics are encouraged to be presented. The Indications Conferences are also the platform available to discuss topics such as the basic science of trauma care management of complex soft-tissue injuries and the business of trauma care as it relates to the cost-effectiveness of a treatment modality versus expected functional outcome. 

On a monthly template, Fellows are responsible for accumulating 3 to 4 articles from peer-reviewed journals for discussion at the monthly Journal Club. Residents, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are encouraged to participate with fellows leading the discussion. Also meeting on a monthly basis is the Morbidity and Mortality/Case Peer Review meeting, which is a review of cases that have dropped out either at the direction of the attending staff or at the request of the hospital-based patient quality team.

On a yearly template, Fellows are required to attend an Orthopedic Trauma CME Meeting. Fellows receive a stipend for registration, travel and hotel for this meeting. In addition, fellows will be required to present at least one of the institution's monthly Trauma Grand Rounds, annual Orthopedic Trauma Symposium or annual Trauma Topics Conference.

There are no off-site locations for this fellowship. Fellows are only responsible for covering IU Health Methodist Hospital; occasionally, there may be a complex case at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health (less than 5 annually). Fellows will be on call one out of every three weekends from home with attending coverage.

Compensation & Benefits

The Orthopedic Trauma Fellow salary is commensurate with the PGY-6 level at the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Surgery.  Additionally, fellows will have access to certain faculty benefits, such as health insurance.

Fellows are also expected to attend an Orthopedic Trauma CME pelvic and acetabular course. Each fellow will have access to a stipend for travel, room and board for those courses (as needed) and any other CME course throughout the year.

Application Process

All interested individuals should apply through the San Francisco Match Program and more information is available via the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. SF Match registration opens in June, and the application deadline is in October. Interviews will be conducted between December and February.

The Orthopedic Trauma Service has an informational session at the annual Orthopaedic Trauma Association conference, with faculty members available for discussion.

Clinical Research & Current Projects

IU Health Methodist Hospital Research Summary:

  • 17 actively enrolling clinical studies
  • 5 studies active but closed to further enrollment
  • 12 studies in development
  • 8 active retrospective studies
  • 11 active basic science studies

Approved research funding: $5.45 million

Pending research funding $3.5 million

  • Six full-time trauma fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons on staff—four are active Principle Investigators on ongoing research studies.
  • Three full-time research coordinators on staff
  • METRC core site. METRC is the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium which was established in 2009 with funding from the Department of Defense. The overall goal of the Consortium is to produce the evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of the wounded warrior and ultimately improve the clinical, functional and quality of life outcomes of both service members and civilians who sustain high-energy trauma to the extremities.
  • Poster presentations: National Neurotrauma Society Symposium, Military Health Symposium, Orthopaedic Trauma Association Meeting
  • Podium presentations: Orthopaedic Research Society, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Orthopaedic Trauma Association, American College of Surgeons, Radiological Society of North America

IU Health Orthopedic Trauma actively enrolling studies:

  • Tibia Fracture Healing Score: A Novel Index to Predict Secondary Surgery to Promote Healing in Tibia Fractures
  • Streamlining Trauma Research Evaluation with Advanced Measurement: STREAM Study A Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC) Add-on Study
  • Correlation Computed Tomography-Based Soft Tissue Characteristics with Clinical Findings in Tibial Plateau and Pilon Fractures
  • Maximizing the Value of Orthopaedic Trauma Care Through Surgeon-Based Cost Analysis Education
  • Liberated Surface Area Predicting Outcomes in Tibial Plateau and Pilon Fractures
  • A Prospective Randomized Trial to Assess Fixation Strategies for Severe Open Tibia Fractures: Modern Ring External Fixator vs. Internal Fixations (FIXIT Study)
  • Supplemental Perioperative Oxygen to Reduce Surgical Site Infection After High Energy Fracture Surgery (OXYGEN Study)
  • Fixation Using Alternative Implants for the Treatment of Hip Fractures (FAITH-2): A Multi-Center 2x2 Randomized Trial Comparing Sliding Hip Screws Versus Cancellous Screws AND Vitamin D versus Placebo on Patient Important Outcomes and Quality of Life in the Treatment of Young Adult (18-60) Femoral Neck Fractures
  • Transtibial Amputation Outcomes Study (TAOS): Comparing Transtibial Amputation with and without a Tibia-fibular Synostosis (Ertl) Procedure
  • REPAIR: Rehabilitation Enhanced by Partial Arterial Inflow Restriction (METRC Study)
  • Predicting Outcomes in Elective Removal of Orthopaedic Hardware
  • Risks of Anemia versus Transfusion in Orthopaedic Trauma Patients
  • Intramedullary Nails versus Plate Fixation Evaluation Study in Proximal Tibia Fractures: A Multicenter Randomized Trial Comparing IM Nails and Plate Fixation (IMPRESS)
  • Local Antibiotic Therapy to Reduce Infection After Operative Treatment of Fractures at High Risk of Infection: A Prospective Multicenter Randomized, Controlled Trial (VANCO)
  • Impact of Surgery on Pain in Lateral Compression Type Pelvic Fractures: A Prospective Trial (Pelvis RCT)
  • The Role of Damage Associated Molecular Patterns in Multiple Organ Dysfunction in Multiply Injured Patients
  • A Multi-center Prospective Observational Study of Nerve Repair and Reconstruction Associated with Major Extremity Trauma (NERVE injury study)

Active basic science studies:

  • Novel Therapy for Bone Regeneration in Large Segmental Defects
  • Investigation of a Novel Hemoadsorption system in Rats with Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Decreasing Systemic Inflammation to Improve Fracture Healing in Polytraumatized Rats
  • The Use of Thrombopoietin with Autologous Minced Muscle Grafts for the Repair of Volumetric Muscle Loss
  • Electroacupuncture Promotes Soft Tissue Repair and Bone Regeneration via Recruitment of Mesenchymal Stem Cells
  • Thrombopoietin: A Novel Regulator of Bone Healing
  • The Effects of Skeletal Stabilization on Systemic Inflammation and Tissue Bioenergetics
  • The Effect of Shock and Traumatic Brain Injury on Circulation Damage Associated Molecular Patterns
  • Treatment of Acute Muscle Damage
  • Measuring Active and Inactive Forms of Adenosine Monophosphate Kinase (AMPKinase) in Parenchymal Tissue Samples
  • Bone Regeneration in Spaceflight
  • The Use of Thrombopoietin With Autologous Minced Muscle Grafts For the Repair of Volumetric Muscle Loss
  • The Effect of Shock and Traumatic Brain Injury on Circulating Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs)
  • Treatment of Acute Muscle Damage
  • The Effect of Skeletal Stabilization on Systemic Inflammation and Tissue Bioenergetics

Why IU Health

Indiana University Health is Indiana’s most comprehensive healthcare system and is comprised of hospitals, physicians and allied services dedicated to providing preeminent care throughout Indiana and beyond. A private, nonprofit organization, IU Health owns, or is affiliated with, more than 20 hospitals and health centers throughout Indiana.

No organization in Indiana is ranked higher or offers more highly ranked physicians than IU Health. With exceptional care, unmatched expertise and continued excellence, our patients and families know that they're making the right choice in selecting IU Health as their premier healthcare system of choice.

Total Admissions: 129,612
Total Outpatient Visits: 2,911,610
Total Physicians: 2,812
Total Team Members: 28,087
Total Staffed Beds: 2,877
Total Grant Research Funding $261,177,587
Total Residents and Fellows 1,155
Total Research Studies 1,484

National Recognition

  • More than 80 percent of Indiana’s Top Doctor’s practice at IU Health.
  • IU Health is the No. 1 hospital system in Indiana and Indianapolis. IU Health has more nationally ranked clinical specialty programs than any other hospital in Indiana, according to the U.S.News & Word Report 2016-2017 edition of America's Best Hospitals
  • Indiana's only healthcare system to be nationally ranked by U.S.News & World Report 19 years in a row.
  • Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Six hospitals designated as Magnet® hospital systems by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, reflecting the highest standards for its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority.

IU Health Methodist Hospital

IU Health Methodist Hospital has a national reputation for being one of the busiest and most experienced trauma centers in the country, seeing more than 3,600 trauma patients annually. Verified since 1992, IU Health Methodist Hospital has 802 beds and is one of three adult Level I Trauma Centers in Indiana. IU Health Methodist Hospital was recognized in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 as the top ranked hospital in the country for quality and safety by University Health Consortium and has been ranked among the top 50 national programs in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" guide for 10 consecutive years.

Operating as a Level 1 Trauma Center allows us to provide an unparalleled depth of clinical expertise and access to:

  • 24/7 in-house: trauma surgeons, backup trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, emergency room physicians, immediate operating room access, anesthesiologists, and radiologists.
  • Plastic surgery, hand surgery and spinal injury care capabilities.
  • A complete team of individuals dedicated only to the operating room, in the hospital at all times.
  • Indiana’s first and most experienced critical care ground and air transport service, LifeLine
  • ‘Cloud’ technology to electronically transfer and receive critical images to trauma staff, thus reducing time to lifesaving treatment.
  • Hybrid suites that allow both open surgeries and noninvasive interventional radiology procedures to take place at the same time.
  • The nation’s largest and most advanced adult neuro-critical care unit for acute brain and spinal injuries.
  • Conventional catheter angiography and sonography available 24 hours a day.
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass and an operating microscope available 24 hours a day.
  • MRI capability 24 hours a day.
  • Rehabilitation consultation services, occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy.
  • Laboratory services available 24 hours a day.
  • A fully supplied blood bank and the capability for coagulation studies, blood gases, and microbiology available 24 hours a day. 


Anthony T. Sorkin, MD, Fellowship Director
Walter Virkus, MD, Director of IU Health Methodist Hospital Orthopedic Trauma Service
Greg Gaski, MD
Laurence Kempton, MD
Todd McKinley, MD
Joseph Beale, MD
Roman Natoli, MD, PhD

Current and past fellows

Current Fellows:

Charles Lieder, DO
Landon Fine, DO

Past Fellows:

Issac Fehrenbacher, MD - Class of 2015

Current position: Director, Orthopedic Trauma Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, Indiana Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Orthopedic Associates of Evansville, Indiana

Matthew Cavallero, MD - Class of 2015

Current position: Orthopedic Surgeon Northshore University Health System, Department of Orthopedic Surgery Chicago, Illinois

Joel Post, DO – Class of 2014

Current position: Orthopedic Oncology and Traumatology, Spectrum Health MedicalGroup, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Robert Wetzel, MD - Class of 2014

Current Position: Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, and Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio

Living in Indianapolis

Indianapolis, the 12th largest U.S. city, is a sophisticated city blending charm and culture with a wonderful balance of business and leisure. Residents of this dynamic city enjoy:

  • Leading educational system and top-ranked universities paired with a diverse population.
  • Vibrant downtown offering arts, theaters, world-class museums, zoo, aquarium, concerts and memorials.
  • Top ranked international airport: "Best Airport in North America" 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
  • Lively nightlife, local wineries, retail, and cuisine with local flavors.
  • Historic neighborhoods with surrounding cultural districts and low cost of living.
  • Being home of the Colts (NFL), Fever (WNBA), Pacers (NBA), Indians (International League), Indianapolis 500 (IndyCar), Indy Eleven (NASL), NCAA and USTA Midwest.
  • Nation's largest half marathon (OneAmerica Mini-Marathon) and winner of the National Biking Award.

Contact Information

Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship
Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital
1801 North Senate Blvd. Ste. 535
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Fellowship Coordinator: Nancy Hanni