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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Feb;471(2):672-9. doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2471-8. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

How should unmatched orthopaedic surgery applicants proceed?

Author information

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.

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.

PMID:
22826011
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3549177
Free PMC Article

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