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Availability and Quality of Online Information on Sub-Internships in U.S. Orthopaedic Residency Programs

Rai, Rahul, BA1; Sabharwal, Sanjeev, MD, MPH2,3

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.OA.18.00036
Scientific Articles: PDF Only

Background: The purpose of the present study was to assess the availability and quality of online information regarding sub-internships in orthopaedics among U.S. orthopaedic residency programs.

Methods: Each U.S. orthopaedic surgery residency program web site was assessed for the following 4 criteria: any mention of a sub-internship offered by that program, contact information regarding the sub-internship, a list of learning objectives to be met by the rotating student during the sub-internship, and presence of a web page dedicated solely to the orthopaedic sub-internship. Each web site was given a sub-internship score (SI score) from 0 to 4 based on how many of the above criteria were met.

Results: From the 151 analyzed U.S. orthopaedic surgery residency program web sites, 69 (46%) did not have any mention of a sub-internship and thus received a score of 0, 4 (3%) received a score of 1, 18 (12%) received a score of 2, 20 (13%) received a score of 3, and 40 (26%) received a score of 4. The average SI score was 1.05 for the community-based orthopaedic residency programs, compared with 1.98 for the university-based orthopaedic programs (p = 0.003). Subgroup analysis based on SI scores (0 vs. 1 to 4) revealed that the higher-score group (1 to 4) had a higher percentage of university-based programs than the lower-score (0) group (80% vs. 62%; p = 0.003) and was associated with a greater number of residents per program than the lower-score group (mean, 26.4 vs. 21.0; p = 0.04). There was a weak association between the SI score and the number of residents in a given program (R2 = 0.074, p = 0.0004).

Conclusions: The availability and quality of online information regarding sub-internships offered at orthopaedic residency programs in the U.S. are variable. Nearly half of the programs did not have any available online information on their web sites regarding orthopaedic surgery sub-internships. Larger and university-based orthopaedic programs have more robust information regarding sub-internships than smaller and community-based programs.

Clinical Relevance: There needs to be greater awareness and more uniformly accessible online information regarding orthopaedic surgery sub-internships for senior medical students seeking elective orthopaedic rotations prior to applying for residency training.

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1Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

2University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California

3Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland, Oakland, California

E-mail address for S. Sabharwal:

Investigation performed at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey

Disclosure: No external funds were received in support of this study. 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 other relationships or activities that could be perceived to influence, or have the potential to influence, what was written in this work (

© 2019 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated.