J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2022 Nov 16. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-22-00164. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Orthopaedic surgery residency applicants submit more applications than ever before. While this issue is multifactorial, increased information and transparency regarding residency programs are important. This study aimed to evaluate the completeness and variability of the information that is currently available regarding orthopaedic residency programs on two publicly available databases, the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) and the newly created Orthopaedic Residency Information Network (ORIN).
METHODS: Orthopaedic surgery residency programs were identified and evaluated using FREIDA and ORIN on September 11, 2021. Information on the FRIEDA and ORIN databases were evaluated in the following categories: program overview, the residency application, and education information. Univariate statistical analysis was performed on the data.
RESULTS: Of the 194 programs that participated in the FREIDA database, over 48% failed to include basic program information including resident demographics and key application information including USMLE Step requirements. Of the 141 programs that participated in the ORIN database, most the programs did not report USMLE Step median and cutoff scores and clerkship grades. Depending on the database and type of information, factors including the program’s National Institutes of Health funding, reputation, size, and type were associated with the availability of information.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that while most orthopaedic surgery residency programs participate in FREIDA and ORIN, the information included was highly variable and incomplete for nearly all programs. Improving the completeness of information in these databases has the potential to allow students to make more informed application decisions.