How Should Unmatched Orthopaedic Surgery Applicants Proceed?
- 293 Downloads
Obtaining an orthopaedic surgery residency is competitive. Advisors must understand what factors may help unmatched candidates reapply successfully.
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.
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.
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%).
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.
KeywordsResidency Program Program Leader Uniform Resource Locator United States Medical License Examination United States Medical License Examination Step
We thank the participants in this survey for their time and input. We thank Research on Research in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center for their assistance with survey administration and statistical analysis.
- 1.American Medical Association. Program Selection Criteria. 2009. Available at: https://freida.ama-assn.org/Freida/user/viewProgramSearch.do. Accessed August 7, 2009.
- 2.Bernstein AD, Jazrawi LM, Elbeshbeshy B, Della Valle CJ, Zuckerman JD. An analysis of orthopaedic residency selection criteria. Bull Hosp Jt Dis. 2002–2003;61:49–57.Google Scholar
- 4.Crawford CH III, Nyland J, Roberts CS, Johnson JR. Relationship among United States Medical Licensing Step I, orthopedic in-training, subjective clinical performance evaluations, and American Board of Orthopedic Surgery examination scores: a 12-year review of an orthopedic surgery residency program. J Surg Educ. 2010;67:71–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.National Resident Matching Program. Results and data 2012 main residency matchSM. Washington, DC: National Resident Matching Program. Available at: http://www.nrmp.org/data/resultsanddata2012.pdf. Accessed May 24, 2012.