About Us

About Us

This five-year, postgraduate training program is fully accredited by the ACGME. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers three first-year positions to senior medical students via the NRMP process.

Our residents benefit from training that is based on an integral framework of patient care, education and research. They are supervised by an outstanding clinical faculty that is committed to education and fellowship-trained in all orthopaedic subspecialties.


Level 1 Trauma:
As a Level I Trauma Center, regional tertiary referral center and community hospital, Akron General Medical Center offers residents the opportunity to work with patients from the entire spectrum of musculoskeletal diseases and trauma. Residents will participate in all aspects of patient care, under faculty supervision at different levels of responsibility.

Akron Children's Hospital:
Our pediatric orthopaedic surgery experience totals 7 months at Akron Children’s Hospital – providing a virtual follow-ship experience in pediatric orthopaedics including Level 1 pediatric trauma. This hospital is located within walking distance of our campus.

Daily Didactic lectures:
A rotating didactic schedule occurs daily 7 - 8 a.m. Topics rotate through all subspecialties, fracture, basic science, oncology, journal club, indications and evidenced based review conferences.

Anatomy/surgical skills training:
Anatomy presentations include surgical approaches, gross anatomy and access to an arthroscopic surgery simulator.  Residents will also have the opportunity to attend hands-on conferences throughout the year.  Surgical skills lab training utilizing fresh frozen cadaver specimens occur throughout the academic year.

Senior Talks Day:
Each June, clinical activities are suspended for a half-day. Residents and attendings convene off campus for a half-day program of senior resident presentations.

Annual Meetings:
All residents (PGY-2 – PGY-5) attend two out-of-town conferences per year.

  • PGY - 1: ATLS
  • PGY - 2: AO/ ASIF Fracture Course Strategies and AAOS/ OTA Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Course
  • PGY - 3: AANA Arthroscopy Course and Current Concepts in Joint Replacement Course
  • PGY- 4: AAOS Annual Meeting and an approved elective meeting
  • PGY - 5: An approved elective meeting and a Board Review Course

** For the foreseeable future, all meetings will be virtual due to COVID-19**

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A Culture of Teaching

“The Orthopaedic Surgical Residency Program at Akron General Medical Center is designed to provide five years of training in all aspects of orthopaedic surgery so that upon completion, the graduating resident is a superbly trained orthopaedic surgeon capable of providing general orthopaedic surgical care. Capabilities include clinical practice, participation in any of the orthopaedic specialties, completion of fellowship training and success in an academic or teaching environment.

Graduates of our program have a 96% pass rate on the ABOS certifying board exams. Akron General Orthopaedic residents have scored, as a group, above the 90th percentile, with an average of 96%, for the past nine years on the annual OITE in-training exam by AAOS.

Our orthopaedic graduates have been accepted into prestigious fellowships in all specialties across the country.

We recruit bright, enthusiastic senior students who have demonstrated a history of academic achievement, work ethic, volunteerism and a strong moral character.”

Gregory A. Vrabec, MD, FRCS, FAOA

Gregory A. Vrabec, MD, FRCS, FAOA
Program Director, Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program
Specialty: Adult Reconstruction/Orthopaedic Trauma

Thomas R. Thompson, MD

Thomas R. Thompson, MD
Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Specialty: Joint Replacement Surgery

Nicholas DiNicola, MD

Nicholas DiNicola, MD
Associate Program Director
Specialty: Trauma

Denise Milkovich
Program Coordinator, Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program
Cleveland Clinic Akron General
[email protected]

Clinical Rotations

Clinical Rotations

PGY – 1

  • 4 weeks Vascular Surgery
  • 4 weeks Plastic Surgery
  • 4 weeks Surgical ICU
  • 4 weeks Trauma Surgery
  • 4 weeks Neurological Surgery
  • 20 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Adult
  • 4 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Pediatric
  • 4 weeks Hand Surgery

PGY – 2

  • 32 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Adult
  • 8 weeks Hand Surgery
  • 8 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Pediatric

PGY – 3

  • 28 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Adult
  • 8 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Pediatric
  • 4 weeks Research
  • 8 weeks Ortho/Sports Medicine

PGY – 4

  • 36 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Adult
  • 6 weeks Hand Surgery
  • 6 weeks Research

PGY – 5

  • 8 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery
  • 8 weeks Orthopaedic Surgery – Pediatric
  • 16 weeks Administrative Chief
  • 16 weeks Clinical Chief

View a sample Didactics & Skills Conference schedule.
Teaching Faculty Application


Application Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Orthopaedic residency program at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. We hope that we've provided you with the information you need to choose the right residency program. If additional information is required, do not hesitate to contact us. Cleveland Clinic Akron General is able to offer an exceptional medical education experience because of our knowledgeable and hard-working staff. Cleveland Clinic Akron General is now ranked as the No. 1 hospital in the Akron Metropolitan Area, according to U.S. News & World Report. Akron General is also listed as the No. 7 hospital in Ohio for 2021-22, according to the annual ranking of Best Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report. We maintain a standard of excellence that promises nothing but the best care for our patients and therefore, nothing but the best education for our medical students and residents.

Life in Akron has so much to offer! Learn more about Greater Akron.

  • Residency applications and the additional items below must be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service
  • Application Deadline: September 29, 2021
  • Interview Dates: Wednesdays starting November 10, 2021 - January 26, 2022
  • Expected Program Length: 5 years

Application consists of:

  • Medical School Academic Transcript
  • MSPE Letter
  • Three letters of recommendation (from orthopaedic surgery and general surgery faculty only.)
  • Personal statement

Interviews are by invitation only and will be held virtually for the 2020 recruitment season.

The invitations are sent via email in mid-October. If you have been selected, we will contact you using the information you have provided through ERAS.

For more information on the application process, please contact:

Denise Milkovich
Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Interested in rotating?

Akron General Medical Center uses VSAS, the Visiting Student Application Service to process visiting student applications. To apply for an orthopaedic surgery rotation, please complete and send a VSAS application with your preferred dates.

Current Residents

Current Residents

PGY – 1

headshot of Sanda Tyler
Tyler Sanda, MD

  • Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: The University of Akron
  • Medical School: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with his family and friends, taking my dog for hikes, cooking, golfing and soccer

headshot of Shafer Cole
Cole Shafer, MD

  • Hometown: Amboy, Indiana
  • Undergraduate: DePauw University
  • Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Interest/Hobbies: Avid fan of all Indiana sports, enjoy participating in a variety of intramural sports and farming

headshot of Calton Tyler
Tyler Calton, MD

  • Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Undergraduate: Ohio Northern University
  • Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Boxing and mixed martial arts, woodworking, weightlifting, fishing and golfing

PGY – 2

Martina Stojanovska, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Martina Stojanovska, MD

  • Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio 
  • Undergraduate: Duke University
  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with her husband and two kitties Simba and Nala, hiking, going to the gym, swing/salsa dancing, watching Duke basketball, baking and crocheting

Alexander Hron, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Alexander Hron, MD

  • Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Undergraduate: University of Minnesota
  • Medical School: University of North Dakota
  • Interests/Hobbies: Working on cars, fishing, hiking, camping, being in the outdoors and spending time with my wife and dogs

Zacharia Mirhaidari, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Zacharia Mirhaidari, MD

  • Hometown: Dover, Ohio 
  • Undergraduate: Kent State University
  • Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Interests/Hobbies: Exploring local restaurants and breweries, kayaking/fishing, spending time with friends and family and watching movies

PGY – 3

Daniel Enright, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Daniel Enright, MD

  • Hometown: Ottawa, Illinois 
  • Undergraduate: University of Illinois
  • Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with his wife and dog, Hank, as well as golfing, hiking and running

J. Collin Krebs, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
J. Collin Krebs, MD

  • Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio 
  • Undergraduate: The Ohio State University
  • Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Working out, snow skiing, wake surfing, grilling out, golf and Cleveland Browns football

Patrick Tate, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Patrick Tate, MD

  • Hometown: Toledo, Ohio 
  • Undergraduate: Bowling Green State University
  • Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Hanging out with family, cryptocurrency, cooking and Michigan football

PGY – 4

Nicholas Kolodychuk, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Nicholas Kolodychuk, MD

  • Hometown: Bellingham, Washington 
  • Undergraduate: University of Alberta
  • Medical School: University of Queensland School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Outdoor activities, golfing, hockey, hiking and reading

Christopher Pinkowski, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Christopher Pinkowski, MD

  • Hometown: Tarzana, California 
  • Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame
  • Medical School: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with his Husky, going to the gym, baking and beer

Jeffrey Watts, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Jeffrey Watts, MD

  • Hometown: Vincennes, Indiana
  • Undergraduate: Indiana University
  • Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Grilling, movies, Kansas City Chiefs, Indiana Hoosiers basketball, bourbon and working out

PGY – 5

Keegan Conry, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Keegan Conry, MD

  • Hometown: Lodi, Ohio 
  • Undergraduate: Case Western University
  • Medical School: Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with his family, lifting weights, running, homebrewing, vinification, woodworking and gardening

Cory Knecht, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Cory Knecht, MD

  • Hometown: Greenville, Ohio 
  • Undergraduate: Miami University
  • Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Archery, fishing and hunting, as well as fantasy baseball and watching Ohio State football

Michael Makowski, MD | Orthopaedic Surgery Residency | Cleveland Clinic
Michael Makowski, MD

  • Hometown: Royal Oak, Michigan 
  • Undergraduate: University of Detroit Mercy
  • Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with his wife and miniature black labradoodle, as well as exercising, playing sports, traveling, bourbon, craft beer and wine


2021 Graduates

  • Patrick Kane, MD — Sports Fellowship, Lexington, KY
  • Robert Erlichman, MD — Adult Reconstruction Fellowship, Columbus, OH
  • Travis Jones, MD — Trauma Fellowship, Columbus, OH

2020 Graduates

  • Nuvpreet Bhandal, MD — Sports Medicine, New York, NY
  • Carol Fouad, MD — Hand, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Akron, OH
  • Samuel Hammonds, MD — Sports Medicine, Central Carolina Hospital, Sanford, NC

2019 Graduates

  • Jared Pate, MD — Hip and Knee Reconstruction Fellowship, Broomfield, CO
  • Brad Smith, MD — Sports Medicine, New York, NY
  • Robert (Gunnar) Tysklind, MD — Pediatric Sports, Boston, MA

2018 Graduates

  • Ryan Combs, MD — Adult Reconstruction, Summa Health, Akron, OH
  • Will Albiero, MD — Sports Medicine, Appleton, WI
  • Jamie Engle, MD — Trauma, Philadelphia, PA

2017 Graduates

  • Blake Daney, MD — Sports Medicine, Kettering, OH
  • Ryan Godinsky, MD — Spine, Summa Health, Akron, OH
  • Timothy Marks, MD — Orthopaedic Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Akron, OH
Research & Innovations

Research & Innovations

Research is an important aspect of Orthopaedic training. All residents are required to complete, present at national meetings and submit an abstract for publication while in the program. Time, funding, space and faculty support is provided. The department has a Senior Research Scientist to enhance the department's efforts in biomechanical research. Research projects are presented at the Annual Akron Combined Orthopaedic Surgery Research Day and AGMC's Scientific Session. Presentations at other local, regional and national meetings are fully supported and encouraged. Orthopaedic surgery research at Akron General focuses on improving surgical treatment and patient outcomes in Orthopaedics.

Orthopaedic Journal Club
Residents, attending physicians, our senior research scientist all participate in a monthly Journal Club. The group reviews current and classic articles usually from the JBJS emphasizing scientific design, analysis methods and results.

For more information about resident research in Orthopaedic Surgery, please contact:

Gregory Vrabec, MD
Program Director

Steven Lippitt, MD
Resident Research Director

John Elias, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
[email protected]

Joseph N. Gabra, D.Eng
Research Faculty
[email protected]