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Education Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 191470, 9 pages
Research Article

Increasing Trends in Orthopedic Fellowships Are Not due to Inadequate Residency Training

1Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2G5
2Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1

Received 5 June 2014; Accepted 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Bruce Keith

Copyright © 2015 K. A. Almansoori and M. Clark. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Orthopedic residents have one of the highest fellowship participation rates among medical specialities and there are growing concerns that inadequate residency training may be contributing to this trend. Therefore, a mixed-exploratory research survey was distributed to all 148 graduating Canadian orthopedic residents to investigate their perceptions and attitudes for pursuing fellowships. A response rate of 33% () was obtained with the majority of residents undertaking one (27%) or two (60%) fellowships. Surgical-skill development was reported as the most common motivating factor, followed by employment and marketability; malpractice protection and financial reasons were the least relevant. The overwhelming majority of residents (94%, ) felt adequately prepared by their residency training for independent general practice, and 84% () of respondents did not feel that current fellowship trends were due to poor residency training. Three common themes were expressed in their comments: the growing perceived expectation by healthcare professionals and employers to be fellowship-certified, the integration of fellowship training into the surgical education hierarchy, and the failure of residency training curriculums to accommodate for this trend. In conclusion, Canadian orthopedic residents are confident of their residency training and are increasingly pursuing fellowships to primarily develop their surgical skills and expertise.