Subspecialty Training Among Graduates of Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowships: An 11-Year Analysis of the Database of American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

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Abstract

Background:

The field of pediatric orthopaedic surgery is evolving with a reported increase in the number of pediatric orthopaedic fellows being trained as well as an increase in the number of fellows completing additional fellowship training in another subspecialty. The purpose of this study was to examine the historic trends of trainees seeking multiple fellowships within pediatric orthopaedics over an 11-year period using the database of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS).

Methods:

We queried the ABOS database for fellowship choice of applicants for the ABOS part II oral examination with the self-declared subspecialty of pediatric orthopaedics during the years of 2005 to 2015. Descriptive analysis was performed to determine the percentage of applicants who completed >1 fellowship, and the type of subspecialty fellowship completed. χ2 analysis was used to compare the proportion of multiple fellowship trainees between years.

Results:

From 2005 to 2015, 310 applicants for ABOS part II pediatric subspecialty examination had completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery, with that number increasing from 14 to 43/y over that span. Forty-five trainees (15%) completed 48 additional fellowships over that decade, with 2 recent trainees completing multiple additional fellowships. The most common additional fellowships were sports (n=22, 46%), hand (n=8, 17%), and spine (n=7, 15%). The rate of additional fellowship training increased over 5-fold from 5% in the first 3 years of the study to 28% in the last 2 years of the study (P=0.001).

Conclusions:

The proportion of trainees completing additional subspecialty fellowships in addition to pediatric orthopaedics has risen over the past decade. The precise cause and effect of such change is uncertain and likely multifactorial. Reexamination of our classic training paradigms may be warranted in light of these trends.

Level of Evidence:

Level III.

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