The Geographic Movement Patterns and Career and Personal Interests of Orthopaedic Surgery Residents in the United States

Nathan C. Sherman, Jacob C. Sorenson, Ansab M. Khwaja, Gregory L. DeSilva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Orthopaedic surgery continues to be a highly desired residency specialty for graduating medical students in the United States. The geographic preferences and trajectories of orthopaedic surgery applicants are not well understood. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study was to determine the geographic movement patterns of orthopaedic residents from university through residency. A secondary objective was to trend the career and personal interests of orthopaedic residents. METHODS: One hundred eighty-seven orthopaedic surgery programs and 3672 residents were identified through the Electronic Residency Application Service website and Google searches and included for study. Program provided information, including the residents' medical school, undergraduate institution, career interests, and personal interests was then gathered. All data were recorded between the dates of March 25, 2020, and April 2, 2020. RESULTS: A minority of orthopaedic residents (46.2%; n = 1,569/3,398) were training in the same geographic region of their medical school; however, analysis revealed a statistically significant strength of association for home region over a different US census bureau region (χ2 = 127.4, df = 8, Cramer's V = 0.2, P < 0.001). The average distance between orthopaedic residents' medical school and residency program was 666 miles. Male residents were more interested in arthroplasty, spine, and sports, whereas female residents were more interested in hand and pediatrics. The residents leading interests were in arthroplasty (24.4%), sports (21.7%), and trauma (21.3%). CONCLUSION: Orthopaedic surgery residents are more likely to train in a geographical region that is different from their medical school or undergraduate institution. The reported career interests of male and female orthopaedic residents showed significant differences, but personal interests seem to be similar between genders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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