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Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme


About the Programme

As Singapore grapples with the challenges of an ageing population, orthopaedics is set to become a more important specialty as demand for specialists who deal with degenerative conditions continues to rise. 

With more people leading an active lifestyle and taking up sporting activities, there will also be an increase in demand for orthopaedic surgeons who are able to deal with the sport injuries.

A six-year structured programme, the SingHealth Residency Orthopaedic Surgery Programme is set to equip you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of an orthopaedic surgeon upon the completion of your training. We are looking for Residents who are committed and willing to take up the challenge to be the next generation of Orthopaedic surgeons. You should be an adaptable team player and be open to new ideas to push the frontiers of Orthopaedics. 

Our Subspecialty Areas:

  • Spine Service
  • Foot and Ankle Service
  • Adult Reconstruction (AR) Service
  • Sports Science
  • Musculoskeletal Tumour Service
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Service
  • Hand Surgery Service
  • Paediatric Orthopaedics Service

Why Choose Orthopaedic Surgery?

Depth and Breadth of Orthopaedic Clinical Material

As the leading and largest healthcare cluster in Singapore, SingHealth sees a comprehensive range of patient cases. The variety and complexity of the case-mix provides you with wide exposure to clinical cases, and allows you to gain different perspectives as you cultivate your mindset and hone your skills as an orthopaedic surgeon.

State-of-the-art Orthopaedic Diagnostic Centre

As an Orthopaedic Resident at SingHealth, you can look forward to working at a specialised Orthopaedic Diagnostic Centre (ODC) - the only one of its kind in Singapore. The Centre was set up to track and benchmark clinical outcomes for orthopaedic procedures against internationally published data from leading orthopaedic centres in the world and has contributed to research that has led to numerous peer-reviewed publications.

Renowned Orthopaedic Faculty and Dedicated Mentors

Our Faculty team of senior surgeons are regionally and internationally recognised in the field of Orthopaedics. Passionate about raising the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons, they have published and lectured extensively, demonstrating a high commitment to medical and academic excellence.

Supportive and Dynamic Learning Environment

SingHealth offers an educational and supportive environment to help you deal with a wide range of Orthopaedic conditions, including musculoskeletal trauma, congenital disorders, sports injuries or degenerative diseases. As a Resident, you can look forward to competency-based, structured assessments and regular supervision and feedback by mentors to help you develop as a well-rounded orthopaedic surgeon capable of dealing with the multitude of problems that afflict the musculoskeletal system.

Your Career Prospects & Development

Bright career prospects await orthopaedic Residents. Choose from a variety of career tracks to choose from, including Clinicians, Clinician Scientists, Clinical Educators and Clinician Administrators. Following Residency completion, you will be an Associate Consultant and can look forward to subspecialty training via the Health Manpower Development Programme (HMDP) or hospital-sponsored programmes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am interested in Orthopaedic Surgery but heard that it is difficult to enter the residency programme. What are the criteria to be shortlisted and selected? 

The SingHealth Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme is competitive and only the top few are selected each year. The key areas and criteria that each candidate is measured against are broadly: 

a) Qualifications and service: in addition to a recognized basic MBBS degree, candidates are encouraged to have passed the MRCS exams, as this is the basic entry into a journey of surgical training. Further, it would be of benefit if candidates have worked in Orthopaedic Departments in the SingHealth cluster of hospitals, as it would permit senior staff of each department to know the candidates better. Working in these departments would also enable candidates to affirm their interest in Orthopaedic surgery and to know what they are getting into! A surgical specialty is a life-long commitment!  

b) Research and presentations: The ability to perform research in the relevant Orthopaedic fields is not only a benchmark of the candidates’ academic ability, but it also reflects the candidates’ interest and commitment to Orthopaedics. Conducting, completing, and presenting research projects can be challenging and thus the programme values candidates who have completed projects under Orthopaedic mentors, and presented these projects at local or overseas conferences. 

c) A sense of service and duty: The programme looks at candidates’ contributions and service to the nation and community. These extra-curricular activities are often overlooked, but they reflect the candidates’ sense of duty, and altruism in service to others. The Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme cherishes residents who can work as a team and are willing to step forward to serve when the need arises. 

Based on these three areas of consideration, selected candidates would be shortlisted for interviews. 

2. What can I do to improve my chances?

Candidates are encouraged to be engaged with SingHealth Orthopaedic Departments early, or as soon as they decide to apply for Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme. This entails doing MOPEX rotations in SingHealth Orthopaedic departments to get to know the practice and staff better, and to work with mentors and conduct relevant research. 

3. I have done Orthopaedic Surgery during my MO rotations and am keen to apply for residency but I am worried that I may not be surgically gifted. Should I still apply? 

Candidates are encouraged to do MOPEX postings, during which they will be exposed to the surgical environment and will be given opportunity to assist in surgeries. This will help candidates decide if they are inclined to the surgical field. We do not expect candidates to be surgical experts, we have six years to train candidates to be one! But we do want to see in candidates the humility to want to learn, the attitude and drive to train, and a willingness to work hard. The field of Orthopaedic Surgery practice has changed, and surgeons are expected to balance surgical aptitude with education, research and innovation. We welcome candidates with such a variety of skills. 

4. What else goes into the selection process for intake into SingHealth Orthopedic Surgery Residency?

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews, which is an opportunity for the Selection Committee to get to know candidates better. In addition to the pre-interview criteria, the interview itself, candidates are also assessed on their ability to collaborate with their peers as a team. 

5. How many will be eligible and invited for the interview? 

The number of applicants invited for interview is dependent on the potential size of residency intake and is subjected to MOHH approval. 

6. I am a female MO and keen to apply for Orthopaedic Residency. I may start a family in the next few years. Would it be more difficult for female MOs to go through the programme? Are female residents permitted to take maternity leave?

Orthopaedic Surgery is recognised as traditionally a male-dominated surgical specialty. However, this is changing and there are more female candidates applying. Gender is not a barrier. Female residents are permitted to take maternity leave though this may affect their training duration and eligibility date to sit for the exit exams.