Resident Life

What is great about this program?
Madigan is the perfect balance of the intimacy of a small program with the amenities and benefits of a larger program. The staff are all top notch educators who are eager to teach and are greatly invested in developing residents into excellent orthopaedic surgeons. There are 12 staff surgeons to 15 residents, and with the number of residents on outside rotations at any given time it often means there are more staff than residents. This makes for an unparalleled early operative experience. The staff come from a diverse background and have endless knowledge to contribute.

As a small program of 3 residents per year, the residents spend a lot of time with each other. However this program has a strong camaraderie between all residents in the program. The residents are just as eager to teach junior-to-senior or peer-to-peer as they are to hang out for a Saturday BBQ. It is a really tight knit group of residents who all get along really well.

Rotating at Harborview is another huge strength of the program. We spend close to half of our time rotating with University of Washington faculty, and have the opportunity to learn from the writers of textbooks who are experts in the field of traumatology. While at Madigan, we get the opportunity to do more in depth operative planning and truly learn from each case. With both experiences we get the benefit of training at a world-class academic institution while also getting the operating skills and early exposure at Madigan.

When asking the residents why they chose Madigan, numerous responded that the quality and competence of the residents ahead of them really impacted their decision. By chief year, residents are confidently executing most cases largely independently. Madigan graduates are highly regarded both by military orthopaedics and by fellowship programs when applying for fellowship.

Why military orthopaedics?
Military orthopaedics is an incredible way to serve your country while doing the job you love. It is an honor to care for service members who have injured themselves in the care of our nation. As the musculoskeletal experts for the US Army we help meet the Army mission of readiness working with soldiers from many units. Here at Madigan we see numerus members of the 1st Special Forces group who are elite level athletes. Helping soldier’s return to active duty and performance at a high level is an especially rewarding part of our mission. We also have a robust dependent and retiree population and treat musculoskeletal conditions across all ages and demographics. Additionally, we are less restricted by the limits of private insurance and are able to see and treat patients expeditiously. The Department of Defense also affords us cutting edge technologies to supplement our practice, such as the Mako robot which we use in our high-volume same-day arthroplasty program.

What is good about this city?
Tacoma is a small city nestled in the Pacific Northwest. It is a unique part of the country, where you are less than two hours away from the beach, hiking, skiing, and amazing seafood. The summers in Washington are unparalleled while the winters are rainy but not freezing cold.

Tacoma has all of the offerings of a bigger city – craft breweries, craft coffee, museums, a minor league baseball team, great restaurants, and nightlife – without the fuss of going to Seattle. Seattle, however, is only a short drive away. Within 45 minutes to an hour on a Saturday afternoon you can be in Pike’s Place eating clam chowder, or watching a Mariner’s game.

What to do while visiting our city?
If you have an afternoon off, we recommend taking the time to explore Tacoma. You could go to a farmer’s market in the summer or the Ruston Public Market. Ruston way is a great place to go for a stroll along the water, check out the shark exhibit at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, or have dinner on the Tacoma waterfront.

If you have a longer period of time off, like a weekend, we recommend taking advantage of the nature Tacoma has to offer. Local options include stand-up paddle boarding in Gig Harbor or going to American Lake for a beach day. The real beach is about an hour and a half away in Westport or at Ruby Beach where you can rent surfboards (and wetsuits) and play in the waves. If you’re up for a challenge and some physical activity we recommend finding a new hike to try. Some of our favorite hikes by region include:

  • Olympics: Mt Rose, Mt Ellinor, Mt Storm King,
  • Rainier National Park: Paradise Trail, Tolmie Peak
  • Snoqualmie National Forest: Mailbox Peak, Rattlesnake Ridge