Underrepresented Minority Applicants Are Competitive for Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs, but Enter Residency at Lower Rates.
J Am Acad Orthop Surg
INTRODUCTION:Orthopaedic surgery residency programs have the lowest representation of ethnic/racial minorities compared with other specialties. This study compared orthopaedic residency enrollment rates and academic metrics of applicants and matriculated residents by race/ethnicity. METHODS:Data on applicants from US medical schools for orthopaedic residency and residents were analyzed from 2005 to 2014 and compared between race/ethnic groups (White, Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Other). RESULTS:Minority applicants comprised 29% of applicants and 25% of enrolled candidates. Sixty-one percent of minority applicants were accepted into an orthopaedic residency versus 73% of White applicants (P < 0.0001). White and Asian applicants and residents had higher USMLE Step 1. White applicants and matriculated candidates had higher Step 2 Clinical Knowledge scores and higher odds of Alpha Omega Alpha membership compared with Black, Hispanic, and Other groups. Publication counts were similar in all applicant groups, although Hispanic residents had significantly more publications. Black applicants had more volunteer experiences. CONCLUSIONS:In orthopaedic surgery residency, minority applicants enrolled at a lower rate than White and Asian applicants. The emphasis on USMLE test scores and Alpha Omega Alpha membership may contribute to the lower enrollment rate of minority applicants. Other factors such as conscious or unconscious bias, which may contribute, were not evaluated in this study.
Faculty; SOM Student
School of Medicine
Neurosurgery; Orthopedic Surgery