Why the Military? Why SAUSHEC?

Benefits of a Military/SAUSHEC residency:

  • Level 1 trauma center (only one in the DoD) gives you exposure to breadth of orthopaedic trauma and prepares you for deployed experience.

  • Has the greatest patient volume and acuity of care of hospitals in the DoD (Fig. 1).

  • Graduated autonomy in operating room based on demonstrated surgical skills and clinical knowledge.

  • Access to the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) and Institute of Surgical Research (ISR) for lab based or clinically applied research and grants.

  • Access to simulation scope located in resident work area.

  • Resident offices located next to program director's office fostering easy and direct communication with PD.

  • Opportunities to accompany staff on medical mission trips to Honduras, El Salvador and more.

  • Participate in speciality military medical courses not offered at civilian hospitals such as the Combat Extremity Surgery Course and the Emergency War Surgery Course.

  • Mentoring network for career guidance through individual staff attendings, the alumni association and contacts throughout the DoD.

  • Active duty pay with full military benefits for dental, health and law as well as time in residency counts toward retirement

  • Close knit, family-oriented community of residents and staff attendings.

  • Many activities to do in and around San Antonio

    • Delicious restaurants​

    • Miles of running and biking trails

    • Wine tasting

    • Boating on Canyon Lake

    • Museums and Art galleries 

    • Golfing

    • Within driving distance of Austin and Corpus Cristi

    • Riverwalk and Pearl

Why choose SAMMC?

SAMMC is the only residency in the DOD that is home to multiple subspecialists for each 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 and to avoid issues with outside or away rotations.  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 better than any other military site 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 better prepared and confident as a SAMMC graduate than your peers from other Army GME programs.  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.


A final consideration to a military residency is the financial incentive of being active duty for 5 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.

Figure 1. Case Mix Index (Acuity) vs. Average Daily Patients (Volume)


Funding provided by the San Antonio Military Medical Center Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Alumni Association.



110 West Road, Suite 227 

Towson, MD 21204

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon