Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Iowa Orthop J. 2011;31:238-43.

Predictive measures of a resident's performance on written Orthopaedic Board scores.

Author information

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL 62794-9679, USA.



Residency programs are continually attempting to predict the performance of both current and potential residents. Previous studies have supported the use of USMLE Steps 1 and 2 as predictors of Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE) and eventual American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery success, while others show no significant correlation. A strong performance on OITE examinations does correlate with strong residency performance, and some believe OITE scores are good predictors of future written board success. The current study was designed to examine potential differences in resident assessment measures and their predictive value for written boards.


A retrospective review of resident performance data was performed for the past 10 years. Personalized information was removed by the residency coordinator. USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2, Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (from first to fifth years of training), and written orthopaedic specialty board scores were collected. Subsequently, the residents were separated into two groups, those scoring above the 35(th) percentile on written boards and those scoring below. Data were analyzed using correlation and regression analyses to compare and contrast the scores across all tests.


A significant difference was seen between the groups in regard to USMLE scores for both Step 1 and 2. Also, a significant difference was found between OITE scores for both the second and fifth years. Positive correlations were found for USMLE Step 1, Step 2, OITE 2 and OITE 5 when compared to performance on written boards. One resident initially failed written boards, but passed on the second attempt This resident consistently scored in the 20(th) and 30(th) percentiles on the in-training examinations.


USMLE Step 1 and 2 scores along with OITE scores are helpful in gauging an orthopaedic resident's performance on written boards. Lower USMLE scores along with consistently low OITE scores likely identify residents at risk of failing their written boards. Close monitoring of the annual OITE scores is recommended and may be useful to identify struggling residents. Future work involving multiple institutions is warranted and would ensure applicability of our findings to other orthopedic residency programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center