Background: The Association of American Medical Colleges publishes residency match data and reports through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) every year. The purpose of this study was to analyze trends in orthopaedic surgery residency matching data and characteristics of successful applicants to counsel medical students with regard to their chances of matching.
Methods: The annual reports of the NRMP were searched annually from 2006 to 2014 to determine the number of orthopaedic surgery residency positions available, the number of applicants, and the match rate among applicants. Comparisons were performed between matched applicants and unmatched applicants with regard to the number of contiguous ranks and distinct specialties, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores, number of research experiences and research products (abstracts, presentations, posters, publications), and proportion of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society members and students at a top-40, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded medical school.
Results: The number of orthopaedic surgery positions available and number of applicants increased at a mean rate of 9 positions and 65 applicants per year (p = 0.11). The mean number of contiguous ranks for U.S. senior medical students was 11.5 for those who matched and 5.5 for those who did not match (p < 0.0001). The USMLE scores for applicants who matched were significantly greater than for those who did not match in each category: Step-1 scores for U.S. seniors (p < 0.001) and independent applicants (p = 0.039), and Step-2 scores for U.S. seniors (p < 0.01) and independent applicants (p = 0.026). The mean number of research products was significantly greater for matched U.S. seniors compared with unmatched U.S. seniors (p = 0.035). A significantly higher proportion of matched U.S. seniors compared with unmatched U.S. seniors were AOA members and students at a top-40, NIH-funded medical school (both p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Successful applicants in the Match for orthopaedic surgery residency have higher USMLE Step-1 and 2 scores, number of research experiences and research products, and contiguous ranks. A higher proportion of successful applicants are AOA members and students at a top-40, NIH-funded medical school.
Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado
Disclosure: There was no external funding for this study. The Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest forms are provided with the online version of the article.
- Copyright © 2017 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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