Subspecialty Rotation Exposure Across Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-Accredited Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs.

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INTRODUCTION: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandates certain procedural minimums for graduating residents of orthopaedic surgery programs and provides residency programs with comparative data on surgical case volume. It provides much less guidance and feedback to programs regarding the amount of time residents should spend on different rotations during residency. Comparative data regarding how much time residents are spending on general and subspecialty rotations may be of use to educational leadership as they consider curriculum changes and alternative training structures. The purpose of this study is to summarize the subspecialty rotation exposure across ACGME-accredited orthopaedic residency programs and to correlate the subspecialty rotation exposure with available program-specific factors.

METHODS: This study contacted 162 ACGME-accredited orthopaedic residency programs and received rotation schedules from 115 programs (70.1%). Rotation schedules for postgraduate year 2 to 5 residents were categorized into the number of months spent on the following rotations: general orthopaedics, trauma, pediatrics, hand, sport, foot and ankle, arthroplasty, oncology, spine, research, and elective. The percentage of residency spent in each category was then calculated as the number of months divided by 48 months. Differences in the percent of residency spent on subspecialty rotations were compared for the following variables: program size and presence of subspecialty fellowships at the institution.

RESULTS: On average, the greatest percentage of residency spent was in the following categories: trauma (16.6%; 8.0 months), general orthopaedics (13.7%; 6.6 months), and pediatrics (12.5%; 6.0 months). Rotations with the highest variation between programs included the following: general orthopaedics (SD 5.8 months; range 0 to 30 months), sport (SD 2.5 months; range 0 to 15 months), and arthroplasty (SD 2.3 months; range 0 to 11.8 months). Sixty-seven programs (63.2%) had dedicated blocks for research, and 25 programs (23.6%) had dedicated blocks for electives. No notable correlations were found between subspecialty exposure and program size or availability of subspecialty fellowship training at the program.

CONCLUSION: Variability exists between ACGME-accredited orthopaedic surgery residency programs in subspecialty rotation exposure. Summarizing the subspecialty rotation exposure across accredited orthopaedic residency programs is useful to graduate medical education leadership for comparative purposes because they design and modify resident curricula.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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