Eight Years of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship Match: What Have We Learned?

Ishaan Swarup, Scott Luhmann, Marcella Woiczik, Wudbhav N. Sankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background:Pediatric orthopaedic surgery fellowships in North America have been organized, assigned, and administered through the San Francisco Match Program since 2011. However, trends in application numbers and match rates have not been assessed to this point. The purpose of this study is to describe these trends and applicants' perspective of the fellowship match.Methods:The San Francisco Match databank was queried for program and applicant data from 2011 to 2018. Specifically, we obtained data regarding the number of applicants, programs, match rates, and match results. Each year, applicants also completed an anonymous post-match survey administered by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America fellowship committee, which included information on the number of applications, interview process, estimated costs, and suggested changes. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data, and univariate statistics were used to assess differences in categorical and continuous variables.Results:From 2011 to 2018, 524 applicants participated in the pediatric orthopaedic fellowship match, and the mean number of annual applicants was 66 (range, 55 to 76). The mean number of fellowship programs and available positions during the same time period was 43 (range, 40 to 47) and 69 (range, 63 to 74), respectively. Each fellowship interview was estimated by the applicant to cost a mean of $458 (range, $372 to $566), and annual application costs across all applicants were extrapolated to be over $200,000/year. The mean overall match rate was 81% (range, 74% to 91%). The mean match rate for North American applicants was 98.7% and international applicants were 40.9% (P<0.01). Approximately, 93% of applicants obtained one of their top 5 choices of fellowship program (range, 78% to 100%), and 50% of matched applicants obtained their top choice each year (range, 43% to 56%).Conclusion:In the pediatric orthopaedic fellowship match, the number of applicants and fellowship programs has remained relatively stable over the study period, and the majority of applicants match one of their top choices for fellowship. Proposed changes to the match should focus on decreasing the financial burden on applicants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e144-e148
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • fellowship
  • fellowship match
  • pediatric orthopaedics
  • training


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