Original Article

Association of an Early Interest in Orthopedic Surgery with Match Rate into Orthopedic Surgery

Authors: Andrew Sephien, MD, Ambuj Kumar, MD, Kira Zwygart, MD, Antoneyous R. Mellek, MA, Jeffrey Orr, MD, Charles Nofsinger, MD, Danielle Gulick, PhD


Objectives: Orthopedic surgery residency is considered one of the most competitive specialties in which to match. Studies examining the factors associated with a successful match have neglected whether participation in an orthopedic interest group (OIG) improves the chances of orthopedic residency match. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that participation in the OIG would improve matching into an orthopedic surgery residency.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study between May 2017 and 2019 at one state-funded medical school. All of the applicants in orthopedic surgery from 2004 to 2019 were identified and contacted for OIG membership status. The Office of Student Affairs provided academic performance data (US Medical Licensing Examination scores and third-year clinical clerkship grades), Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Society status, and demographics (race and sex) of applicants.

Results: Between 2004 and 2019, 67 students (56 OIG and 11 non-OIG) applied for orthopedic surgery residency match. The match rate for the OIG was 86% compared with 64% for the non-OIG group, resulting in an adjusted odds ratio (adjusted for academic performance) of 10.23 (95% confidence interval 1.14–92.3, P = 0.038).

Conclusions: OIG membership was associated with a significantly higher rate of orthopedic surgery residency matches. The higher rate of match associated with OIG membership may be the result of opportunities to diversify a residency application. Future studies are needed to further evaluate the potential association between OIG involvement and orthopedic surgery match.

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