A Cross-Sectional Evaluation of the Successful Minority Applicant to Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs

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J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Sep 27. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01155-9. Online ahead of print.


The lack of diversity among orthopaedic health care providers is a pressing matter that must continue to be corrected at all levels. Improving diversity among orthopaedic physicians starts with improving diversity in residency training programs. This study brings light to the demographics and achievements of successful minority applicants, detailing what types of students are successfully matching into orthopaedic surgery. Between June and July 2020, the authors distributed a 12-question, anonymous survey to 53 URM students who successfully matched into orthopaedic surgery residencies for the 2020 application cycle. The survey inquiries about respondent demographics, academic accomplishments, and match process success as well as whether the presence of URM faculty, program director, and chairman influenced how they made their rank list. Overall, 37 students (71%) completed the entire survey. Most students indicated that the presence or absence of URM faculty influenced their rank list (n = 32, 88.9%) and that this distinction was meaningful to their orthopaedic candidacy (n = 28, 87.5%). Less than half of the respondents (n = 16; 44.4%) noted that the presence of a URM residency program director or department chairman influenced their rank list, while 20 (55.6%) noted that it did not. In conclusion, URM applicants with multiple academic achievements can be successful during the orthopaedic match process. Furthermore, the presence of URM faculty is an important factor that URM applicants consider. Residency directors must both identify the competitive URM applicants and strive to recruit more URM faculty when aiming to increase program diversity. Level of Evidence: Level IV.

PMID:34580824 | DOI:10.1007/s40615-021-01155-9