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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 - p 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.