Original Article| Volume 5, ISSUE 2, e411-e414, April 2023

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The Top 10 Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Programs in the United States Frequently Select Fellowship Applicants From the Same Residency Programs

Open AccessPublished:February 18, 2023DOI:


      To determine which residency programs the fellows of the top 10 orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship programs attended and whether residents are selected from the same residency programs multiple years.


      The residency programs of current and former fellows at each of the top 10 orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship programs (based on a recent study) over the last 5 to 10 years was determined by searching program websites and/or contacting program coordinators/directors. For each program, we determined the number of occurrences of at least 3 to 5 fellows from the same residency program. We also calculated a “pipelining ratio,” defined as the ratio of the total number of fellows at the program over the duration of the study to the number of different residency programs represented within the fellowship program during that same time period.


      Data were obtained from 7 of the top 10 fellowship programs. Of the remaining 3 programs, 1 declined to provide the information and 2 did not respond. Pipelining was found to be highly prevalent at one program, with a pipelining ratio of 1.9. Two different residency programs had at least 5 residents match at this fellowship program over the past 10 years. Four additional programs demonstrated evidence of pipelining with ratios of 1.4-1.5. Two programs exhibited minimal pipelining (ratio of 1.1). One program was found to take 2 residents from the same program in the same year on 3 different occasions.


      Most of the top orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship programs have matched fellows from the same orthopaedic surgery residency programs in multiple years.

      Clinical Relevance

      It is important to understand how fellows are selected for sports medicine fellowship programs and to recognize the potential for inequitable bias in the selection process.
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