Residents and Program Director Perspectives Often Differ on Optimal Preparation Strategies and the Value of the Orthopedic In-Training Examination

Christopher L. Camp, Ryan M. Degen, Arlen D. Hanssen, Joshua S. Dines, Matthew D. Karam, Norman S. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this work was to compare resident and program director (PD) perspectives on the value of the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE), resident study habits, and best resources for optimal performance. Design: A national survey of orthopedic surgery residents and PDs. Setting: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Participants: The survey was completed by 445 (41.5%) eligible orthopedic surgery residents and 37 (77.1%) PDs. Results: Although residents and PDs agreed on when (p = 0.896) and how much (p = 0.171) residents currently study, residents felt that the OITE was not as valuable of an assessment of their knowledge, and also felt their individual scores were less likely to remain confidential compared to PDs (p < 0.001). The mean OITE score below which residents were concerned about their ability to pass American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons Part 1 was 9.7 percentile points higher than PDs threshold (42.3% vs. 32.6%, respectively, p = 0.003). Both groups agreed that it is important to dedicate focused study time to the OITE (p = 0.680) and to perform well (p = 0.099). Regarding the best resources and preparation strategies, both residents and PDs tended to agree on the value of most (6 of 10) study methods. Residents ranked practice question websites (mean ranking of 2.6 vs. 3.8 of 10, respectively; p < 0.001) and formal rotations in a subspecialty (6.0 vs. 7.7 respectively, p < 0.001) higher than PDs. In contrast, PDs tended to value their program's formal OITE prep program (4.1. vs. 5.3, respectively, p = 0.012) and reading primary literature (5.6 vs. 6.6, respectively, p = 0.012) more than residents. Conclusion: Residents and PDs agreed on many critical components of this process; however, a number of key differences in perspectives exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • OITE
  • Orthopaedic In-Training Examination
  • perspectives
  • program director
  • resident

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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