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Acad Med. 2009 Oct;84(10 Suppl):S21-4. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b37fd2.

Relationship between performance on part I of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Certifying Examination and Scores on USMLE Steps 1 and 2.

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National Board of Medical Examiners, 3750 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



This study investigated the strength of the relationship between performance on Part I of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Certifying Examination and scores on United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2.


USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 scores on first attempt were matched with ABOS Part I results for U.S./Canadian graduates taking Part I for the first time between 2002 and 2006. Linear and logistic regression analyses investigated the relationship between ABOS Part I performance and scores on USMLE Step 1 and 2.


Step 1 and Step 2 individually each explained 29% of the variation in Part I scores; using both scores increased this percentage to 34%. Results of logistic regression analyses showed a similar, moderately strong relationship with Part I pass/fail outcomes: Examinees with low scores on Steps 1 and 2 were at substantially greater risk for failing Part I.


There is continuing empirical support for use of Step 1 and Step 2 scores in selection of residents to interview for orthopedics residency positions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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