Original Article

Relation of Residency Selection Factors to Subsequent Orthopaedic In-training Examination Performance

Authors: Kelly D. Carmichael, MD, James B. Westmoreland, MD, John A. Thomas, MD, Rita M. Patterson, PhD


Objectives: Orthopaedic surgery remains one of the most competitive specialties, with more than a 99% match fill rate in the past several years. An oversupply of qualified applicants leads to intense competition for these residency spots, allowing program directors to be more selective in choosing their future residents. Although many previous studies have documented factors important to program directors in the admission process, less is known about how preselection factors correlate with subsequent performance in a residency program.

Methods: The relation of both demographic and academic factors with subsequent performance on the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE) were studied. These factors include United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) step I scores, Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) status, research publications, age entering residency, marital status, and medical school affiliation.

Results: In this study, the only statistically significant correlations to OITE scores were USMLE step I performance and marital status. Those residents who had previously scored above 220 on the USMLE step I had higher average OITE scores than those scoring below 220. Residents who were married also had higher average OITE scores. A trend with regard to AOA status also was found, with residents scoring slightly higher on the OITE if they were members of AOA.

Conclusions: Few preresidency variables correlate to success during an orthopaedic residency.

Key Points

* Few preresidency variables correlate to success during an orthopaedic residency.

* Age, sex, Alpha Omega Alpha status, research, and medical school affiliation do not correlate with subsequent success on orthopaedic in-training examination scores.

* Having United States Medical Licensing Examination scores above 220 and being married did correlate to higher Orthopaedic In-Training Examination percentile scores.

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