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The primary aim of this ACGME-approved orthopaedic trauma fellowship training program is the development of surgeons who will become leaders in both academia and orthopaedic trauma clinical care. A major goal of the fellowship is assuring that graduating fellows become informed critical thinkers and decision makers in their treatment of trauma patients. Clinical experience includes extensive exposure to multisystem trauma patients, periarticular fractures, pelvis and acetabular fractures, nonunions and malunions. Additionally, the fellowship is designed to provide the graduate with a foundation in clinical outcomes and basic science research. The Fellowship is one year in duration and based at Carolinas Medical Center, the busiest trauma center in North Carolina.

Variety, Volume and Mentorship: The Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery Fellowship

Fellowship Structure

Fellows participate in a mentoring relationship to each of the orthopaedic trauma faculty and rotate on a monthly basis. During these rotations, the fellow works directly with the faculty member in the management of patients and operative cases. The teaching faculty consists of four fellowship trained orthopaedic traumatologists. Call responsibilities are approximately one night a week. This call is from home and only related to orthopaedic trauma and fracture cases. The fellows are expected to play an active role in resident education and training.


Madhav A. Karunakar, MD
Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Traumatologist
Director, Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship

Baylor College of Medicine, MD, 1993
The University of Cincinnati, Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery, 1998
Carolinas Medical Center Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship, 1999

Stephen H. Sims, MD
Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Traumatologist

Medical University of South Carolina, MD, 1983
Medical College of Virginia Hospital, Residency in General Surgery, 1985
Medical College of Virginia Hospital, Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery, 1989
Martin Allgӧwer Trauma Fellowship, 1995

Joseph R. Hsu, MD
Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Traumatologist

Tulane University School of Medicine, MD, 1998
Tulane University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Residency, 2003
Tulane University Orthopaedic Trauma and Adult Reconstruction Fellowship, 2004

Laurence B. Kempton, MD

Laurence B. Kempton, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Traumatologist

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, MD, 2005
Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Residency, 2010
Carolinas Medical Center Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship, 2011

Kevin Phelps, MD

Kevin Phelps, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Traumatologist

Vanderbilt University, MD
Carolinas Medical Center Orthopaedic Surgery, Residency, 2017
University of Texas, Houston Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship, 2018

Application Process

The Carolinas Medical Center Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship participates in Orthopaedic Trauma Association Fellowship match program. All applicants must apply through the SF Match website. Information concerning this can be found on the Orthopaedic Trauma Association’s website.

ACGME Fellowship Eligibility Requirements: All required clinical education for entry into ACGME-accredited fellowship programs must be completed in an ACGME-accredited residency program or in a RCPSC-accredited or CFPC-accredited residency program located in Canada.

Our Fellowship Program requires fellows to obtain a full North Carolina Medical License.

Please direct questions to our Fellowship Coordinator, Susan Kullstam, at

Operative Case Volume

(numbers listed per year, 3-year (2014-2016) average)

  • Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of the Distal Humerus (24545-24546): 43
  • Operative Management of Pelvic Fractures (27216, 27217,27218): 55
  • Open treatment of Acetabular Fracture (27226, 27227,27228): 95
  • Hip Fractures (27235, 27236; 27244,27245): 236
  • Femoral Shaft Fractures (27506,27507): 206
  • Tibial Non-Unions (27720, 27722, 27724, 27725): 48
  • Pilon Fixation (27826, 27827, 27828): 103
  • Calcaneus Fracture Fixation (28406, 28415, 28420): 36

Carolinas Medical Center

  • Sixth busiest trauma center in US based on American College of Surgeons (ACS) Level 1 Site Review
  • Helicopters: 3
  • Medic (ground transport): busiest EMS agency in North Carolina
  • Flagship of Atrium Health, 874 beds, busiest ER in state
  • Total number of ER Trauma Admissions per year: 5272 (2016)
  • Patients with an ISS Greater than 17 Admitted: 1058 

Requirements for Graduation

The fellows are evaluated twice a year using the ACGME Milestone Evaluation Tool. As well, the fellows are expected to complete a research project and have a manuscript ready for publication by the end of their fellowship year.


The Orthopaedic Clinical Research Department assists the faculty, fellows and residents in their research projects and makes sure that all projects meet the IRB standards.

Orthopaedic Clinical Research Staff consists of: 1 PhD, 2 research coordinators, 1 senior analyst, multiple 1-year research analysts, PRIMUM program manager.

Fellows’ Monthly Conference Schedule

Education, Research and Events

Monday Morbidity and Mortality Conference: Fellows attend monthly departmental M&M the first Monday of each month

Checkout Rounds: Fellows participate in the daily Fracture review conference at 6:30 a.m., Monday to Friday

Orthopaedic Surgery Department Grand Rounds: 6:45 a.m. on Monday mornings

Fracture Conference: Residents and fellows are responsible for case presentations at the Orthopaedic Trauma Fracture Conference on Tuesday mornings. These presentations must include a review of pertinent literature and critique of case technique and operative outcome. Attending lectures are given once a month on general trauma topics.

Practice Management Conference (Part of Resident Conference): 6:45 a.m. on the fifth Thursday of the month: Medical Education Building fifth floor conference room

Fellow Conference: Second and third Thursday: Fellow level complex fracture cases or reconstructive cases are presented and discussed in detail

Friday Trauma Subspecialty Conferences: Fellows attend and actively participate in the didactic sessions of the Orthopaedic Trauma Training Program's resident education sessions on Friday morning. These are case based discussions, literature review and didactics sessions.

Multidisciplinary Trauma Outcomes Conference: Fellows attend monthly multidisciplinary conference with trauma surgery, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, neurosurgery and plastic surgery to discuss morbidity and mortality of multisystem trauma patients.

Research Conference: Fellows, faculty and research staff meet on the first Thursday of the month to discuss new research ideas and on-going studies. Fellows are required to complete one research project (final manuscript) during their fellowship year which will be presented at the Visiting Professor Graduation Ceremony in June.

Cadaveric Anatomy Dissection: Cadaveric lab is located in a large dedicated cadaveric teaching laboratory giving accessibility to C-Arm and implants. Past labs included upper extremity and pelvis. Labs are held twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.


Salary is commensurate with the PGY-6 level.


The Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship program provides $1,900 for travel. The fellows are encouraged to attend the Orthopedic Trauma Association's Annual meeting and one other trauma or fracture related meeting. Five educational travel days.


Ten working days of vacation are allowed.

Learn More

Contact our program coordinator for more information about the Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship program:

Susan Kullstam
Phone: 704-355-8786