Orthopaedic In-Training Examination: History, Perspective, and Tips for Residents

Hai V. Le, Joseph B. Wick, Brian M. Haus, George S.M. Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduced in 1963, the orthopaedic in-training examination (OITE) is a standardized, national test administered annually to orthopaedic residents by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The examination consists of 275 multiple-choice questions that cover 11 domains of orthopaedic knowledge, including basic science, foot and ankle, hand, hip and knee, oncology, pediatrics, shoulder and elbow, spine, sports medicine, trauma, and practice management. The OITE has been validated and is considered predictive of success in both orthopaedic surgery residency and on the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery part I examination. This article provides a historical overview of the OITE, details its current structure and scoring system, and reviews currently available study materials. For examination preparation, the residents are encouraged to (1) start the examination preparation early, (2) practice on old OITE or self-assessment examination questions, (3) focus on the questions answered incorrectly, (4) focus on comprehension over memorization, and (5) recognize and avoid burnout. Finally, the residents should have a systemic way of approaching each multiple-choice question, both during practice and on the actual examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e427-e437
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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