The purpose of this review was to assess all available studies that analyzed the types of questions in individual sections of the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination, which may be used as a reference for residents studying for their examination.
Following the Providing Innovative Service Models and Assessment extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines, a systematic review was conducted on studies that report on sections or question categories of the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination using PubMed, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases. Two reviewers and an arbitrator reviewed and extracted relevant data from 20 included studies which made up the systematic review.
All 20 studies in the review reported the mean number of questions per section, with the highest coming from musculoskeletal trauma (18.9% to 19.0%). 18 studies reported the Buckwalter taxonomic classification; 42.0% of questions were T1, 18.2% were T2, and 39.5% were T3 with a wide range from section to section. Primary sources were nearly three times more likely to be cited when compared with textbook sources. There were 12 journals that were commonly cited with the most being the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery: American Volume (17/18).
This study accurately portrays the characteristics of each section of the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination over the past 10 years. These data suggest that orthopaedic residents may be inclined to focus on musculoskeletal trauma, topics related to clinical management, and primary journal sources for studying. In addition, residency programs may choose to focus on higher yield sources or material to prepare their residents for the examination.