Surveys have suggested one of the most important determinants of orthopaedic resident selection is completion of an orthopaedic clerkship at the program director’s institution. The purpose of this study was to further elucidate the significance of visiting externships on the resident selection process. We retrospectively reviewed data for all medical students applying for orthopaedic surgery residency from six medical schools between 2006 and 2008, for a total of 143 applicants. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to compare students who matched successfully versus those who did not in terms of number of away rotations, United States Medical Licensing Examination® scores, class rank, and other objective factors. Of the 143 medical students, 19 did not match in orthopaedics (13.3%), whereas the remaining 124 matched. On multiple logistic regression analysis, whether a student did more than one home rotation, how many away rotations a student performed, and United States Medical Licensing Examination® Step 1 score were factors in the odds of match success. Orthopaedic surgery is one of the most competitive specialties in medicine; the away rotation remains an important factor in match success.
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