Arrowhead Orthopaedics – ARMC
Orthopedic Surgery PA Fellowship Program

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 + 3 weeks of pre-residency hands-on training
Class Size: 4-6 per year
Starting Date: 1st Monday of October and April

Contact Information
Heidi R. Turpen-Folks, PA-C
OSPAF Program Director

Program Description and History

The Orthopaedic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship Program (OSPAF) is a joint effort of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Arrowhead Orthopaedics. The OSPAF program is an intensive clinical and didactic training experience with an emphasis in 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 Department, we also have daily outpatient clinics that average 1,200 patient appointments per month.

The OSPAF program 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. The program offers a certificate of completion with up to fifty CME credits authorized through the AAPA. In addition, a benefits package including a stipend, health insurance, textbooks, meal allowance, and vacation is provided.

The Orthopaedic staff consists of twelve 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. The fall class starts in October and the spring class starts in April of each year. Each class is preceded with three weeks of supervised hands-on orientation. Applications are accepted year-round with interviews being held in January and June.



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 reading assignments prior to scheduled lectures.

d) Evaluation and testing:

  1. Oral and written quizzes.
  2. Reading and interpretation of x-rays.
  3. Chart reviews.
  4. Grand rounds style presentations.
  5. 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: The residency program is 12 months in duration with an additional 3 weeks of
pre-residency training. 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 two local area hospitals: Saint Bernadine’s Medical Center and Redlands Community Hospital.

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

Admission Process and Timetable:

At the time an applicant inquires about the residency he/she is 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 resident(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 Resident 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 residency. Prior to beginning the residency program the accepted individual must at a minimum:

  1. Present evidence that she/he is 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 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 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 January and June
Notification One week after interviews in December & June
Pre-Residency Training Last three weeks of Sept & March
Start Date First Monday of October & April


Selection Criteria

Appointments will be based on the ability of the individual to perform the tasks required for that position.  All potential residents must possess the minimal physical and cognitive requirements (with reasonable accommodations if needed) for this residency program.  These include but are not limited to:

1) Mental, emotional and social attributes to be a successful orthopaedic PA.  Communication skills to elicit all components of the medical history in a timely manner and then transmit these findings in a quick and effective manner as necessary.  Effective communication with patients to provide and clarify information, reduce apprehension, and provide counseling.

2) Vision – ability to see out of both eyes with adequate acuity for the fine techniques involved in surgery.  Must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance or close at hand.  Sufficient visual and auditory perception and the mental capacity to assimilate large volumes of detailed and complex information presented in formal lectures and individual procedural demonstrations.  Ability to interpret all imaging modalities.

3) Team effort – must possess the ability to work well with colleagues, medical personnel and auxiliary personnel as well as have a good rapport with the patients and families.

4) Dexterity – must be adept in fine movements of both hands with the ability to perform microsurgical techniques.  Must have sufficient posture control, neuromuscluar control, and eye-hand coordination to use effectively any tools for completion of a physical examination or surgical procedure.

5) Stamina – must possess the ability to sit or stand for long periods of time with maximum concentration on the procedure at hand.  Must be able to learn to respond with precise, efficient, and appropriate action in emergency situations.

6) Behavioral attributes – candidates must possess the emotional health necessary for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgement, and the prompt completion of responsibilities.  Candidates must be able to learn and demonstrate the ability to recognize limitations in their knowledge and skills and to seek appropriate assistance with their limitations.

7) Physical and Mental Requirements – Candidates must be able to perform the following activities, with or without the use of accommodation: seeing (both eyes), hearing, manual tasks (one and two hands), fine motor skills, sitting, standing, walking, lifting, reaching, concentrating, interaction with others under stressful situations, writing, reading, maintaining consciousness, thinking, and learning.

Credential Awarded

Certificate of Completion accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc (ARC-PA).  In September of 2009, the AO Orthopaedic Surgery PA Residency Program received the distinguished honor of becoming the FIRST Orthopaedic P.A. Residency Program to be accredited by the ARC-PA.