The Internet is a common source of information for orthopaedic residents applying for sports medicine fellowships, with the web sites of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the San Francisco Match serving as central databases. We sought to evaluate the web sites for accredited orthopaedic sports medicine fellowships with regard to content and accessibility.Methods:
We reviewed the existing web sites of the ninety-five accredited orthopaedic sports medicine fellowships included in the AOSSM and San Francisco Match databases from February to March 2012. A Google search was performed to determine the overall accessibility of program web sites and to supplement information obtained from the AOSSM and San Francisco Match web sites. The study sample consisted of the eighty-seven programs whose web sites connected to information about the fellowship. Each web site was evaluated for its informational value.Results:
Of the ninety-five programs, fifty-one (54%) had links listed in the AOSSM database. Three (3%) of all accredited programs had web sites that were linked directly to information about the fellowship. Eighty-eight (93%) had links listed in the San Francisco Match database; however, only five (5%) had links that connected directly to information about the fellowship. Of the eighty-seven programs analyzed in our study, all eighty-seven web sites (100%) provided a description of the program and seventy-six web sites (87%) included information about the application process. Twenty-one web sites (24%) included a list of current fellows. Fifty-six web sites (64%) described the didactic instruction, seventy (80%) described team coverage responsibilities, forty-seven (54%) included a description of cases routinely performed by fellows, forty-one (47%) described the role of the fellow in seeing patients in the office, eleven (13%) included call responsibilities, and seventeen (20%) described a rotation schedule. Two Google searches identified direct links for 67% to 71% of all accredited programs.Conclusions:
Most accredited orthopaedic sports medicine fellowships lack easily accessible or complete web sites in the AOSSM or San Francisco Match databases.Clinical Relevance:
Improvement in the accessibility and quality of information on orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship web sites would facilitate the ability of applicants to obtain useful information.