Does a Weekly Didactic Conference Improve Resident Performance on the Pediatric Domain of the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination?

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Performance on the Orthopaedic In-training Examination (OITE) has been correlated with performance on the written portion of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery examination. Herein we sought to discover whether adding a regular pediatric didactic lecture improved residents’ performance on the OITE’s pediatric domain.


In 2012, a didactic lecture series was started in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hamot Orthopaedic Residency Program (Hamot). This includes all topics in pediatric orthopaedic surgery and has teaching faculty present, and occurs weekly with all residents attending. A neighboring program [UMPC Pittsburgh (Pitt)] shares in these conferences, but only during their pediatric rotation. We sought to determine the effectiveness of the conference by comparing the historic scores from each program on the pediatric domain of the OITE examination to scores after the institution of the conference, and by comparing the 2 programs’ scores.


Both programs demonstrated improvement in OITE scores. In 2008, the mean examination score was 19.6±4.3 (11.0 to 30.0), and the mean percentile was 57.7±12.6 (32.0 to 88.0); in 2014, the mean examination score was 23.5±4.2 (14.0 to 33.0) and the mean percentile was 67.1±12.1 (40.0 to 94.0). OITE scores and percentiles improved with post graduate year (P<0.0001). Compared with the preconference years, Hamot residents answered 3.99 more questions correctly (P<0.0001) and Pitt residents answered 2.93 more questions correctly (P<0.0001). Before the conference, site was not a predictor of OITE score (P=0.06) or percentile (P=0.08); there was no significant difference found between the mean scores per program. However, in the postconference years, site did predict OITE scores. Controlling for year in training, Hamot residents scored higher on the OITE (2.3 points higher, P=0.003) and had higher percentiles (0.07 higher, P=0.004) than Pitt residents during the postconference years.


This study suggests that adding a didactic pediatric lecture improved residents’ scores on the OITE and indirectly suggests that more frequent attendance is associated with better scores.

Level of Evidence:

Level III—retrospective case-control study.

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