AAOS launches Resident Orthopaedic Core Knowledge Program to standardize and enhance learning curriculum

CHICAGO (March 22, 2022)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) today announced the debut of the AAOS Resident Orthopaedic Core Knowledge Program (ROCK), a first-of-its-kind, residency curriculum. The knowledge-based program provides in-depth resources utilizing the latest technology, research, and educational materials to empower the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons. The ROCK program was designed to provide residents with a consistent baseline of core foundational knowledge aligned to meet their individual needs, while providing residency program directors with the flexibility to incorporate content at the depth, breadth, and timing necessary to achieve their program’s specific goals.

“For decades, orthopaedic residents and residency program directors have wanted a structured and comprehensive curriculum to unify resident education across orthopaedic surgical residency programs,” said AAOS Education Council Chair and Co-Director of the ROCK Paul Tornetta III, MD, FAAOS. “The AAOS has devoted resources and energy to ensure the ROCK fills this void and provides a dynamic and engaging curriculum that standardizes the baseline knowledge for orthopaedic resident training.  The curriculum spans all sub-specialty areas.  Its content helps build a strong foundation toward becoming a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, as it follows the blueprint of the AAOS Orthopaedic In-Training Examination® (OITE®) and aligns with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Part 1 Board Certification Exam.”

Supported by AAOS’s mission to serve the orthopaedic profession to provide the highest quality musculoskeletal care, the ROCK is one of the most comprehensive and customizable learning platforms available to U.S. residency programs. The ROCK utilizes a technology platform to deliver a seamless and modern user experience with content that evolves as protocols change and discoveries are made.

ROCK programming consists of:

  • 488 total chapters
  • 500+ authors
  • 90 section editors; 22 subspecialty editors
  • 1,000+ full-text journal articles
  • 1,000+ full-text chapters
  • 500 videos
  • 3,000+ exam chapters

“The ROCK also helps residency program directors, department chairs, and faculty be more efficient with how they educate and deliver the best results for their residents,” added AAOS ROCK program Co-Director Carol Morris, MD, MS, FAAOS. “It delivers the ability to monitor individual resident engagement and progress in real time with objective data. This information allows the directors to either identify and support struggling residents early in the process––redirecting them toward success, or further empower those who are excelling.”


The ROCK customizes coverage and pace to learners’ needs, styles, and schedules. The program is also organized to optimize learner outcomes by strengthening the residents’ understanding to instill confidence and maximize success. It includes targeted remediation resources to assist with individual learner challenges and support them through remediation with additional study materials and tailored learning paths.

After a successful pilot program in 2021, the ROCK launched with full enrollment during the AAOS 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago. All U.S-based, ACGME-accredited programs are automatically enrolled in ROCK allowing them to explore the full scope of the curriculum content. The new curriculum launches with the Basic Science and Spine sections, with subsequent subspecialties scheduled to be released throughout 2022.

To learn more about ROCK, visit aaos.org/rock. A risk-free orientation and trial for residency directors is available through June 30, 2023.

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About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments, and related musculoskeletal health care issues, and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

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For more information, contact:

Deanna Killackey 847-384-4035 630-815-5195 killackey@aaos.org
Lauren P. Riley 847-384-4031 708-227-1773 pearson@aaos.org