Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 471, Issue 2, pp 672–679

How Should Unmatched Orthopaedic Surgery Applicants Proceed?

  • Nirav H. Amin
  • Andre M. Jakoi
  • Douglas L. Cerynik
  • Neil S. Kumar
  • Norman Johanson
Clinical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11999-012-2471-8

Cite this article as:
Amin, N.H., Jakoi, A.M., Cerynik, D.L. et al. Clin Orthop Relat Res (2013) 471: 672. doi:10.1007/s11999-012-2471-8

Abstract

Background

Obtaining an orthopaedic surgery residency is competitive. Advisors must understand what factors may help unmatched candidates reapply successfully.

Questions/purposes

We determined (1) the attitude of leaders of orthopaedic surgery residency programs toward interviewing unmatched students; (2) whether a surgical internship or a research year is preferred in considering reapplicants; (3) the importance of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores, recommendations, and Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership; and (4) whether academic and nonacademic programs evaluate reapplicants differently.

Methods

We sent an anonymous 19-question survey to 151 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited orthopaedic surgery residency programs in five waves, 1 week apart (December 5, 2009–January 5, 2010). Investigators were blinded to the respondents’ identities.

Results

Ninety-one of the 151 programs (60%) responded. Sixty-eight of the 91 programs (75%) stated they rarely accept unmatched applicants. Sixty-eight programs (75%) agreed an unmatched applicant should do a surgery internship for 1 year. Of the 36 programs that recommended a research year, 32 were academic programs. Academic programs were more likely than nonacademic programs to view as important new recommendations (85% versus 67%), minimum scores of 220 on Step I (67% versus 49%) and Step II (64% versus 36%), and AOA membership (85% versus 67%).

Conclusions

By completing a surgical internship, unmatched students may increase their chances of matching. Students considering academic programs should ensure their academic record meets certain benchmarks and may consider a research year but risk limiting their acceptance to academic programs.

Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirav H. Amin
    • 1
  • Andre M. Jakoi
    • 1
  • Douglas L. Cerynik
    • 1
  • Neil S. Kumar
    • 1
  • Norman Johanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA