Analysis of Current Orthopedic Surgery Residents and Their Prior Medical Education: Does Medical School Ranking Matter in Orthopedic Surgery Match?

Brendan M. Holderread, Jonathan Liu, Hadyn K. Craft, Bradley K. Weiner, Joshua D. Harris, Shari R. Liberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of the association between medical school ranking and orthopedic surgery residency ranking using the current cohort of orthopedic surgery residents. DESIGN: We obtained a list of accredited programs from Doximity for orthopedic surgery residency programs and U.S. News & World Report for medical schools. Each orthopedic surgery residency program webpage was evaluated for the presence of an orthopedic surgery residency roster. For each resident, the medical school attended, allopathic or osteopathic degree, and year of post-graduate training was recorded. Orthopedic surgery residency programs and medical schools were assigned to one of four tiers for each based on their respective ranking. Descriptive statistics, Chi squared tests and Pearson residuals were used to analyze the association of orthopedic surgery residency tier and medical school tier. Post-hoc pairwise comparisons were performed utilizing the Bonferroni correction to account for 16 tests, correcting the significance level to p = 0.003. SETTING: 187 orthopedic surgery residency program webpages. PARTICIPANTS: 4123 orthopedic surgery residents. RESULTS: There was a significant association between medical school tier and orthopedic surgery residency tier (X2 [9] = 1214.78, p < 0.001). The post-hoc residual values were statistically significant for 75% (12/16) of tests performed. The majority of Tier 1 orthopedic surgery residents 50.5% (800/1585) attended a Tier 1 medical school. The strongest positive association exists between Tier 1 medical students attending Tier 1 residencies (residual = 23.978, p < 0.001). The strongest negative association with Tier 4 residencies was with Tier 1 medical schools (residual= -15.656, p< 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Medical school ranking is an important consideration for prospective orthopedic surgery applicants and may become more important with less objective measures of academic performance such as United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1. Level of Evidence: Observational

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1075
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Step 1
  • medical school rank
  • orthopedic surgery match
  • orthopedic surgery residency application
  • orthopedic surgery residency rank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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