Are Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Applicants Making an Impact? A Bibliometric Evaluation of Applicants


Orthopaedic surgery is one of the most competitive surgical specialties in the United States. No investigation has focused on the impact of research productivity and reputation on matching in this applicant pool. A retrospective investigation evaluating publications was conducted on residency applicants to the department of orthopaedic surgery of a single institution in 2019. Predictors of successful matching in orthopaedic surgery were analyzed. Of 519 candidates, 314 (60.5%) reported publications on their applications at the time of submission. The mean impact factor of reported publications was 3.6 (95% CI 0–11.8) and did not differ between candidates who did (3.4 [95% confidence interval [CI] 0–12.2]) and did not (3.4 [95%CI 0–8.0]) match, (p = 0.90). An applicant’s participation in research, number of publications, publications in higher impact journals, or misrepresentation of their publications had no effect on successful orthopaedic residency match. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 30(3):150–155, 2021)

Key words: orthopaedic surgery, research involvement, medical education, successful match, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

Martin Collier, MD, MC, USN and Cory Janney, MD, MC, USN