Prevalence of Change in Orthopaedic Subspecialty Fellowship Preference During Residency Training: A Survey Study



University of Connecticut, Department of Orthopaedics, Farmington, Connecticut


Understanding how preferences for which orthopedic subspecialty to pursue a fellowship in is important for both trainees and training programs. Surveys were distributed to senior orthopedic residents in 145 orthopaedic residency programs. The participants were asked to rank the subspecialties they were most interested in as post graduate year (PGY) 1 residents, which fellowship they applied into, and if they changed preferences, when this change occurred. Of participants, 54.8% matched into the subspecialty they ranked highest as PGY1s, while 75% matched into one of their top three highest ranked. For those that changed top preference, this change occurred at the end of their PGY2 year (32%) or beginning of their PGY3 year (26%). Residency applicants should consider programs that are strong in their area of initial interest, as their preference is unlikely to change. Residency programs should expose residents to a wide variety of subspecialties prior to the PGY2/3 transition.


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