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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2011 Feb;19(2):72-80.

Success in orthopaedic training: resident selection and predictors of quality performance.

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  • 1New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY, USA.


Multiple studies have attempted to determine which attributes are predictive of success during residency as well as the optimal method of selecting residents who possess these attributes. Factors that are consistently ranked as being important in the selection of candidates into orthopaedic residency programs include performance during orthopaedic rotation, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society membership, medical school class rank, interview performance, and letters of recommendation. No consensus exists regarding the best predictors of resident success, but trends do exist. High USMLE Step 1 scores have been shown to correlate with high Orthopaedic In-Training Examination scores and improved surgical skill ratings during residency, whereas higher numbers of medical school clinical honors grades have been correlated to higher overall resident performance, higher residency interpersonal skills grading, higher resident knowledge grading, and higher surgical skills evaluations. Successful resident performance can be measured by evaluating psychomotor abilities, cognitive skills, and affective domain.

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