Skip to main content
High Disparity Between Orthopedic Resident Interest and Participation in International Health Electives ORTHOPEDICS Zhang, S., Shultz, P., Daniels, A., Akelman, E., Kamal, R. N. 2016; 39 (4): E680-E686


Few orthopedic surgical residency programs offer international health electives (IHEs). Efforts to expand these programs have been increasing across medical disciplines. Whether orthopedic residents will participate remains unknown. This study quantified and characterized orthopedic resident interest and barriers to IHEs in US residency programs. A web-based survey was administered to residents from 154 US orthopedic residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 2014 to 2015. Questions assessed demographics and program background, previous medical experience abroad, barriers to participation, and level of interest in participating in an international health elective during their training and beyond. Twenty-seven (17.5%) residency programs responded. Chi-square analysis showed that residents who expressed interest in participating were significantly more likely to have experience abroad compared with those who expressed no interest (P<.004). Analysis using Mann-Whitney U test suggested that those who expressed interest were more likely to believe IHEs are important to resident training (P<.0011; mean Likert scale score of 3.7 vs 2.6), provide valuable experience (P<.001; mean Likert scale score of 4.2 vs 3.2), and should be required for orthopedic residencies (P<.001; mean Likert scale score of 2.8 vs 1.9). Residents are strongly interested in participating in IHEs during their training, and many may integrate global health into future practices. Residents perceive lack of funding and scheduling flexibility as barriers preventing them from participating. Prior experience abroad influences level of interest, and international clinical experience may enhance future perception of its value. [Orthopedics. 2016; 39(4):e680-e686.].

View details for DOI 10.3928/01477447-20160419-02

View details for Web of Science ID 000393105500014

View details for PubMedID 27111074