Resident Life

What is great about this program?
SAMMC affords residents a unique exposure to complex pathology without interference from fellows. It is the only residency in the DOD that is home to multiple subspecialists for every major orthopaedic discipline. The operative and clinical experience is unparalleled at any DOD site. The robust faculty affords an ability to continue excellent education despite faculty deployments. The Level 1 Trauma Center provides the foundation for your career as a military surgeon regardless of setting and the education received will prepare you for deployment, general practice and fellowship. The research opportunities are unmatched and residents participate in ground breaking multi-center protocols. Your faculty are the influential leaders in both the military and national orthopaedics. Working with and learning from them fosters a professional relationship that can be beneficial to your future career goals within the military. You are immediately plugged into a mentoring network by simply being in your residency program.

For Air Force applicants, you are given a unique opportunity in that you have some choice in a civilian versus military Orthopedic Surgery residency. The majority of applicants will end up in civilian residencies as there is only one active duty Air Force residency program with only three positions available. So, why choose military if the majority of your colleagues are in civilian residencies? One significant reason is that you begin your training in an environment similar to the one that becomes your first practice as an active duty Orthopedic Surgeon in the Air Force. When you graduate from your residency and report to your first base, your staff and colleagues expect you to fulfill the role as both an orthopedic surgeon and an Air Force officer. Training in a military residency teaches you not only the hierarchy in your military medical practice, but it also prepares you to assume the leadership positions that will be expected of you from the start. The nuts and bolts of diagnosis and treatment is the same in both civilian and military environments; however, a military residency affords you the chance to learn both the medicine of Orthopedics, as well as the efficiency of medical practice within a military setting.

Army residents will not find a more diverse, complete education at any other site. You will be well-prepared and confident for deployment and garrison medicine as a SAMMC graduate. Your training here will set you on the path for military and orthopaedic leadership, competitively prepare you for fellowship, and provide the background needed for eventual civilian practice in any setting.

Why military orthopaedics?
Many of us choose military orthopaedics because we have enthusiasm for treating musculoskeletal disorders, especially geared towards improving mobility while treating pain and disability, to keep our population active and ward off comorbidities associated with immobility. We feel a commitment to the active duty, retiree and dependent community for many different reasons–our prior service obligations, a long line of family history in the military, or our desire to play a small part in caring for America’s greatest war heroes. We were all drawn to training in the military setting for the opportunities in not only medicine and orthopaedics, but also the leadership responsibilities that we have as an officer and service member during our time in service. We are challenged to provide excellent Orthopaedic care and hone our own clinical and surgical skills, while also fulfilling our leadership duties in the military. We have a unique opportunity to do that daily alongside a group of like-minded co-residents who have become our family.

A final consideration to a military residency is the financial incentive of being active duty for five years. In a military residency, you are paid as an active duty Captain (or potentially Major depending on your associated degrees, previous experience, etc.) which is significantly more than your civilian counterparts. While a higher salary should not be a sole determinant in your decision, it is a significant financial benefit. Furthermore, if you are considering a career in military medicine, your time in residency also counts towards your retirement.

What is good about this city?
There are so many reasons to love San Antonio from the year-round warm weather and sunshine to the rich colonial heritage and endless variety of taco trucks.

San Antonio is trademarked Military City USA for great reason. It is home to four major military installations (Randolph AFB, Lackland AFB, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis), which combined under Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) in 2005. San Antonio is without a doubt Texas’s most patriotic city and the largest hub of active duty members, retirees, veterans and civilian employees in the country.

Specifically to fit the lifestyle of residency, the housing is affordable and close to an easy to navigate international airport with nearby other major cities including Austin, Houston and Dallas.

What to do while visiting our city?
In addition to being home to the Alamo, San Antonio has a beautiful downtown area known as “The Pearl.” This area has a wonderful zone called the Riverwalk with many shops, restaurants and local entertainment. The local food scene has developed extensively in the past few years and San Antonio is known for excellent TexMex cuisine. The Witte Museum and San Antonio Museum of Art are great spots to hit, especially on hot days. Six Flags Fiesta is located in the northern part of the city for those thrill seekers.

If you are interested in the outdoors, McAllister and Olmos parks are located nearby. Government Canyon Natural Area is located just outside the city with access to more rugged hiking trails. Natural Bridge Caverns gives tours of stunning caves, provides zip-line activities, and has a massive outdoor maze. Many enjoy taking a short trip to New Braunfels for tubing excursions and Galveston is a bit over an hour away with access to Gulf Coast beaches.

Texas Wine country is only a 45 minute drive north in the small town of Frederickburg. Texas Hill Country is home to over 100 wineries and vineyards and a frequent weekend trip for the residents.

Austin is about one hour north of San Antonio and hosts a lively music and arts scene. As the state capitol, it hosts a variety of state history alongside new, up-and-coming businesses.

San Antonio is a very affordable city and many residents have been able to purchase their own homes in their first year without any issues. The gas prices and general cost of living is excellent with the access to amenities in this city. We encourage you to explore the city while you are here and discover things even long-term residents have yet to find!

Checkout the following link for the top attractions to check out in San Antonio—