The University of Hawaii Program operates in a community hospital system in which patients are admitted and treated by private surgical attending physicians. The Program Director is responsible for Program management, and delegates educational and administrative responsibilities to the Director of Orthopaedic Education or Institutional Site Coordinator at each participating hospital. The training of orthopaedic residents takes place primarily at five affiliated Honolulu hospitals: The Queen's Medical Center (Primary Training Site), Tripler Army Medical Center, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Straub Clinic and Hospital, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Residents assigned to clinical subspecialty rotations may accompany members of the teaching faculty to other facilities, including Kuakini Medical Center and Pali Momi Medical Center. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation rotation takes place at the University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center. The Orthopaedic Residency Program seeks to prepare residents to become orthopaedic surgeons of the highest caliber by providing a rich educational experience in a variety of clinical settings. The three main program components: curriculum; research; and patient care are structured to offer the knowledge, skills, attitudes/behaviors, and clinical judgment needed for the practice of orthopaedic surgery.
A two year internship at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu was initiated in the 1920's to provide graduates of medical schools with broad training for practice in Honolulu and rural areas of the Hawaiian Islands. Many of the physicians who came from the continental United States to take this internship remained in Hawaii.
The Orthopaedic Residency Program at the University of Hawaii was initiated in 1970. The first orthopaedic resident graduated from the Program in 1973. At that time, the training Program was three years in length and graduated one resident per year. The Program expanded to a four year program in the early 1980's, graduating two residents per year. In 1987, the Program added a one year research fellowship in orthopaedics. Effective July, 2000 the Program converted to a five year program to include the PGY-1 year.
The first Chairman/Program Director of the residency training program was Dr. Ivar J. Larsen. He was succeeded by Dr. Lawrence H. Gordon, who was followed followed by Dr. James R. Doyle. Dr. Allen B. Richardson was Chairman/Program Director from August 1995 to August 2003. Dr. Robert E. Atkinson assumed the position of Interim Program Director in September 2003 and was appointed as Division Chief and Program Director in April 2005.