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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016 Aug 3;98(15):e64. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.15.00962.

A 5-Year Update on the Uneven Distribution of Women in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Training Programs in the United States.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota



This study was undertaken to update our report from academic years 2004-2005 through 2008-2009, to include 5 additional years of the Association of American Medical Colleges GME Track data. This study will test the hypothesis that, when compared with the data from 2004-2005 through 2008-2009, there were no substantial changes from 2009-2010 through 2013-2014 in the distribution of orthopaedic surgery residency programs that train female residents and have been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).


Data for all ACGME-accredited orthopaedic surgery residency training programs in the United States were analyzed for 2009-2010 through 2013-2014, in the same manner as our previous report analyzed data for 2004-2005 through 2008-2009. Programs were classified as having 0, 1, 2, or >2 women in training (i.e., for postgraduate year [PGY]-1 through PGY-5) for each of the 5 academic years. Programs were also analyzed for the percentage of female residents in training and were classified as being above the national average (>20%), similar to the national average (between 10% and 20%), or below the national average (<10%) for each of the 5 academic years.


During the time period of 2004 to 2009, the mean percentage of female trainees in U.S. orthopaedic surgery residency programs was 11.6%, and during the time period of 2009 to 2014, this mean percentage increased to 12.6%. Residency programs in the United States do not train women at an equal rate. In the 5 years examined (2009 to 2014), 30 programs had no female trainees and 49 programs had >20% women enrolled in at least 1 of the 5 years, 8 programs had no female trainees enrolled in any of the 5 years, and 9 programs had >20% women enrolled in each of the 5 years.


Female medical students continue to pursue orthopaedic surgery as a career at rates lagging behind all other surgical specialties. Not all residency programs train women at equal rates. The period of 2009-2010 through 2013-2014 showed a greater percentage of programs (68%) training ≥2 women than the period of 2004-2005 through 2008-2009 (61%). Obstacles to attracting women to orthopaedic surgery should continue to be identified and to be addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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