Arrowhead Orthopaedics – ARMC
Orthopaedic Surgery PA Fellowship (OSPAF)

Mailing Address:
400 N. Pepper Ave.
MOB 205
Colton, CA 92324
Tel: (909) 580-3390 / Fax: (909) 580-6369
Website: https://www.orthosurgerypafellowship.com

Length of Program: 12 months + 4 weeks of pre-residency hands-on training
Class Size: 6-8 per year
Starting Date: Upon completion of credentialing after acceptance.

Contact Information
Heidi Turpen-Folks, MS, PA-C
Fellowship Director

Program Description and History

The Orthopaedic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship (OSPAF) is a joint effort of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s Orthopaedic Care Center and Arrowhead Orthopaedics. OSPAF is an intensive clinical and didactic training experience with an emphasis on orthopaedic emergency and trauma. The fellow will gain competency in evaluation and treatment of trauma patients, orthopaedic office procedures, evaluation and care of the outpatient orthopaedic patient, and in first assisting the surgeon with a wide variety of orthopaedic procedures. In addition to the 250 operative cases performed monthly by the Orthopaedic Care Center, we also have daily outpatient clinics that average 1,200 patient appointments per month.

OSPAF is a full time twelve-month training program that requires an average of 70 hours per week of operative, clinical and emergency room based work. A benefits package including a stipend, health insurance, textbooks, meal allowance, and vacation is provided.

The Orthopaedic faculty consists of fifteen full-time, board certified Orthopaedic Surgeons with sub-specialties in the following areas: hand and upper extremity, pediatrics, spine, lower extremity, total joint replacement, sports medicine, orthopaedic trauma, foot, and ankle. We offer 2 classes per year. Each class is preceded with three to four weeks of supervised hands-on orientation. Applications are accepted and interviews are conducted year-round.



a) Intensive lectures to include anatomy and physiology, history and physical exam of the orthopaedic patient, fracture classification, and essentials of treatment.

b) Weekly grand rounds lecture.

c) Weekly Journal Club.

d) Evaluation and testing:

  1. Oral and written quizzes.
  2. Reading and interpretation of x-rays.
  3. Grand rounds presentations.
  4. Formal written examinations.

e) Final research project

Didactic Courses

Contact Hours

Introduction and Orientation to Orthopaedics
Basic Sciences: Orthopaedics
Orthopaedic Trauma and Emergencies
Spine and Pelvis: Trauma and Office Based Orthopaedics
Upper Extremity Orthopaedics: Trauma and Office Based
Lower Extremity Orthopaedics: Trauma and Office Based
Pediatric Orthopaedics: Trauma and Congenital
Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
Orthopaedic Reconstruction
Orthopaedic OncologyOrthopaedic Trauma Refresher Course



Clinical Rotations


Pediatric Clinic: Fractures & Congenital Anomalies (Mon/Thur)
Upper Extremity and Hand Clinic (Tues)
Trauma and Lower Extremity Clinic (Wed)
Total Joint: Hip and Knee Clinic (Thur)
Spine Clinic (Thur)
Postoperative Clinic (Fri)
Emergency Room Orthopaedics
Orthopaedic Surgery


Note: There are 68 weeks of rotations noted in the above table. This is secondary to an overlap in duties during the Emergency Room Orthopaedics Rotation and the individual clinics.


The PA residents will dedicate 2 1/2 to 3 of the twelve months of their training to surgical first assisting at three local area hospitals: St. Bernadine Medical Center, Redlands Community Hospital, and San Antonio Community Hospital.

The Orthopaedic Care Center at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center has affiliations with Loma Linda University, Western University of Health Sciences, and Touro University to provide clinical rotations to MD and PA students.

Admission Process and Timetable:

At the time an applicant inquires about the Fellowship they are provided with an application, brochure, entry requirements, and contact information for any questions.

All candidates are given an equal opportunity to interview. The applicants are informed in writing and via e-mail of their interview date and time. The interview panel may consist of the program director, medical director, program coordinator, and senior PA Fellow(s).

All applicants who are accepted, named as an alternate, or declined a position are informed in writing. The accepted candidates must then respond in writing accepting their position as an Orthopaedic PA Fellow and complete a background check prior to final acceptance into the program.

Application Components

All applicants must have successfully completed the appropriate training prior to beginning the Fellowship. Prior to beginning the Fellowship the accepted individual must at a minimum:

  1. Present evidence of being legally employable in the State of California
  2. Graduate of an accredited Primary Care Physician Assistant Program
  3. Present evidence of an unrestricted license to practice as an allied health professional in the state of California
  4. Present evidence of current DEA license
    a) Present evidence of certification by CAPA for the Controlled Substance Education Course
  5. Present evidence of certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  6. Present evidence of an unexpired CPR certification, BLS and ACLS
  7. Provide supplemental documentation along with the application:

a) 1 letter of recommendation from the program director or current employing physician
b) 2 letters of recommendation from recent supervising physicians
c) 1 letter of recommendation from a peer
d) Official copy of the National Certifying Examination scores sent directly to the program from NCCPA
e) Official transcript from the primary care PA program
f) Copy of primary care PA program graduation diploma or certificate
g) Curriculum vitae
h) Personal statement – a brief statement of interest and motivation for Orthopaedic Surgery


Application: Year-round

Interviews: Year-round

Notification: One week after interviews

Start Date: Upon completion of credentialing after acceptance

Credential Awarded

Certificate of Completion with up to fifty CME credits authorized through the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) .