Evaluation of Pediatric Questions on the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination—An Update

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Pediatric orthopaedics is tested frequently on the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE). The most recent data on the pediatrics section of the OITE were generated from content 10 years old. The purpose of this study is to assess the pediatric orthopaedic questions on the 2011 to 2014 OITE, and to compare question categories and cognitive taxonomy with previous data.


Four years (2011 to 2014) of OITE questions, answers, and references were reviewed. The number of pediatric questions per year was recorded, as well as presence of a clinical photo or imaging modality. Each question was categorized and assigned a cognitive taxonomy level. Categories included: knowledge; knowledge-treatment modalities; diagnosis; diagnosis/recognition of associated conditions; diagnosis/further studies; and diagnosis/treatment. Cognitive taxonomy levels included: simple recall, interpretation of data, and advanced problem-solving.


The 3 most commonly covered topics were upper extremity trauma (17.4%), scoliosis (10.1%), and developmental dysplasia of the hip (5.7%). Compared with previous data, the percentage of pediatric questions was constant (13% vs. 14%). Categorically, the more recent OITE examinations contained significantly fewer questions testing simple knowledge (19% vs. 39%, P=0.0047), and significantly more questions testing knowledge of treatment modalities (17% vs. 9%, P=0.016) and diagnosis with associated conditions (19% vs. 9%, P=0.0034). Regarding cognitive taxonomy, there was a significant increase in the average number of questions that required advanced problem-solving (57% vs. 46%, P=0.048). Significantly more questions utilized clinical photographs and imaging studies (62% vs. 48%, P=0.012). The most common reference materials provided to support correct responses included Lovell and Winter’s Pediatric Orthopaedics (25.7%) and the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics (23.4%).


Although the percentage of pediatric questions on the OITE has remained essentially constant, the percentage of questions requiring advanced problem-solving or interpretation of images has increased significantly in the past 10 years. Knowledge of question type and content may be helpful for those involved in resident education and in the development of didactic pediatric orthopaedic curricula.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV.

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