Reimagining the Path of an Unmatched Orthopaedic Residency Application: A Survey of Program Directors

Stewart A. Bryant, Achraf H. Jardaly, Brent A. Ponce, S. Trent Guthrie, Harris Slone, Jeremy R. Bruce, Andrew W. Wilson, Charles Cody White, Afshin Razi, Amiethab Aiyer, Andrew Sobel, Anil B. Krishnamurthy, Ashley Rogerson, Benjamin Jackson, Brent M. Cone, Brian Scannell, Brock T. Wentz, Carl Paulino, Carol Lin, Charles J. GattCharles Pasque, Craig Eberson, Daniel Wongworawat, Dawn Laporte, Gabriella Ode, George Dyer, Gregory A. Vrabec, Gregory Grabowski, Gregory Vrabec, Haleh Badkoobehi, James Purtill, Jayson Brooks, Joel Klena, John Andrawis, Joseph M. Sewards, Joseph Weistroffer, Joshua Patt, Joshua Wright-Chisem, Justin J. Hicks, Kathleen S. Beebe, Kellie Leitch, Kenneth Gundle, Kimberly Templeton, Lauren E. Geaney, Lee Leddy, Madhusudhan Yakkanti, Mara Schenker, Mary K. Mulcahey, Matthew D. Beal, Mauricio Kfuri, Mel Harrington, Michael D. Johnson, Michael Hartman, Monica Kogan, Norman Turner, Patrick Osborn, Paul Dougherty, Paul Tornetta, Peter White, Rajiv Rajani, Randy Cohn, Robert C. Decker, Ryan D. Muchow, Ryan Fitzgerald, S. Elizabeth Ames, Samir Mehta, Scott E. Porter, Selina Poon, Shawn Gilbert, Tessa Balach, Thomas Scharschmidt, William K. Payne, William N. Levine, Youssef M. Khalafallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Few evidence-based suggestions are available to help applicants and mentors improve reapplication outcomes. We sought to provide program directors' (PDs) perspectives on actionable steps to improve reapplicants' chances for a match.Methods:The PDs were asked to rank positions unmatched applicants can pursue, steps these applicants can take for the next application cycle, and reasons why reapplicants do not match.Results:Responses from 66 of 123 PDs were received (53.6% response rate). Obtaining new recommendation letters and rotating with orthopaedics were the highest 20 ranked steps unmatched applicants can take. No curriculum vitae (CV) improvement, poor interview, and poor letters of recommendation were the most important reasons hindering applicants from matching when reapplying.Conclusions:Steps reapplicants could prioritize include obtaining new recommendation letters, rotating in orthopaedics, and producing new research items. CV strengthening and improving interview skills address the 2 main reasons why unmatched applicants failed in subsequent attempts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22.00044
JournalJBJS Open Access
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 22 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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