Perceptions of the Recommended Resident Experience with Common Orthopaedic Procedures: A Survey of Program Directors and Early Practice Surgeons

Alan K. Stotts, Jessica M. Kohring, Angela P. Presson, Morgan M. Millar, John J. Harrast, Ann E. Van Heest, Chong Zhang, Charles L. Saltzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BackgroundU.S. orthopaedic residency training is anchored by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements, which include minimum numbers for 15 categories of procedures. The face validity of these recommendations and expectations for exposure to other common procedures has not been rigorously investigated. The main goals of this investigation were to understand the perceptions of program directors and early practice surgeons regarding the number of cases needed in residency training and to report which of the most commonly performed procedures residents should be able to perform independently upon graduation.MethodsWe sent surveys to 157 current program directors of ACMGE-approved orthopaedic surgery residency programs and to all examinees sitting for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Part II Oral Examination in 2017, requesting that they estimate the minimum number of exposures for the 22 adult and 24 pediatric procedures that are most commonly performed during residency and the first 2 years in practice. Where applicable, we compared these with the ACGME "Minimum Numbers" and the average ACGME resident experience data from 2010 to 2012 for resident graduates. For each of the 46 procedures, participants were asked if every orthopaedic resident should be able to independently perform the procedure upon graduation. We compared the percent for independence between the early practice surgeons and the program directors.ResultsFor the majority of adult and pediatric procedures, the early practitioners reported significantly higher numbers of cases needing to be performed during residency than the program directors. ACGME Minimum Numbers were always lower than the case numbers that were recommended by the early practice surgeons and the program directors. Overall we found good-to-excellent agreement for independence at graduation between program directors and early practitioners for adult cases (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC], 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 0.99) and moderate-to-good agreement for pediatric cases (ICC, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.74, 0.99).ConclusionsThe program directors frequently perceived the need for resident operative case exposure to common orthopaedic procedures to be lower than that estimated by the early practice surgeons. Both program directors and early practice surgeons generally agreed on which common cases residents should be able to perform independently by graduation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere63
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number113
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Disclosure: Supported by the University of Utah Population Health Research Foundation, with funding in part from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant 5UL1TR001067-05 (formerly 8UL1TR000105 and UL1RR025764). On the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest forms, which are provided with the online version of the article, one or more of the authors checked “yes” to indicate that the author had a relevant financial relationship in the biomedical arena outside the submitted work (

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the Journal of Bone And Joint Surgery, Incorporated.


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