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Analysis of the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Questions on the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination, 2002 through 2006

Papp, Derek F. MD; Ting, Beverlie L. AB; Catherine Sargent, M. MD; Frassica, Frank J. MD

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: July/August 2010 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - pp 503-507
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e3181df1560
Selected Topics

Background: Pediatric orthopedics has been a frequently tested topic on the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE). Our goal was to provide direction for resident education efforts by: (1) analyzing the exam's number, topics, and types of pediatric orthopedic surgery questions; (2) examining references cited in the postexam answer packet supplied by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; and (3) examining the efficacy of the Orthopaedic Knowledge Update (OKU): Pediatrics 3 book as a source for answers to the pediatric orthopedic questions.

Methods: We reviewed 5 years (2002 through 2006) of OITEs and the associated American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' answer packets and assessed the OKU: Pediatrics 3 book for topic relativity. Each question was classified into 1 of 6 categories and labeled with a cognitive taxonomy level: 1 (simple recall), 2 (interpretation of data), or 3 (advanced problem-solving). The 6 categories included: (1) pediatric orthopedic knowledge; (2) knowledge of treatment modalities; (3) diagnosis; (4) diagnosis with recognition of associated conditions; (5) diagnosis with further studies; and (6) diagnosis with treatment.

Results: The overall percentage of pediatric questions was 14.1%. The most commonly addressed were pediatric elbow fractures, osteomyelitis, and scoliosis. The most common question types were categories 1 (pediatric orthopedic knowledge) and 6 (diagnosis with treatment). The most frequently referenced textbooks were Lovell and Winter's Pediatric Orthopaedics (31%) and Tachdjian's Pediatric Orthopaedics (16%). The most frequently referenced journals were the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics (American) (29%) and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American) (19%). Using only the OKU: Pediatrics 3 review textbook, 65% of the questions could be answered.

Conclusions: Knowledge of the topics more likely to be tested may help the orthopedic educator direct a didactic curriculum geared toward the OITE and American Board of Surgery examinations. Although the OKU: Pediatrics 3 book seems to be a good, concise resource for studying for the board examination and OITE, residents should be encouraged to supplement their studying with primary sources.

Level of Evidence: Not applicable.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

None of the authors received financial support for this study.

Reprints: Frank J. Frassica, MD, c/o Elaine P. Henze, BJ, ELS, Medical Editor and Director, Editorial Services, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 4940 Eastern Avenue, ♯A665, Baltimore, MD 21224-2780. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.