• orthodoc
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20 years 5 months ago - 20 years 5 months ago #26541 by orthodoc
OITE was created by orthodoc
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Posts: 6
(10/11/01 6:05:33 pm)

I had a few questions about this exam (OrthoDoc...I would appreciate your response):

1. What does OITE stand for?
2. If a resident fails the OITE, does that affect job opportunities?? Does it go on your permanent record
for all to see?
3. I've noticed just about every program reports a 100% pass rate, or close to it...how is this possible,
when I've heard that 30% of all test-takers failed the test this year???
4. Is there any way to find out the real pass rate for each program...I mean, how can you trust what 's
on FREIDA...I just found out this particular program has had 5 of its last 11 residents fail the OITE on
the rfirst try...but on FREIDA, it reports a 95% pass rate on first try!
5. As applicants, should we ask programs directly how many of their residents pass the OITE on first try,
or is this as taboo as asking how many hours you're supposed to work?

Any other insights into this exam would be appreciated.
Registered User
Posts: 7
(10/11/01 6:09:26 pm)

One more thing:

Is the pass rate a reflection of the program? What I mean is, one resident told me that some programs
give you a lot of operative experience...and you'll become a great surgeon...but perhaps you won't have
that much time to read...and you may not do well on the OITE...but that doesn't mean you're a bad
surgeon...or that the program is no good. Is this true...or should we stay away from any program that
has had a few residents fail the OITE on first try???
Registered User
Posts: 46
(10/11/01 6:17:30 pm)

Orthopaedic InService Training Exam
Registered User
Posts: 12
(10/11/01 6:36:05 pm)

OITE stands for Ortho In-Service Training Exam. It is NOT the same as the Ortho specialty boards, which
are required for certification after residency and are reported in FREIDA.

The OITE scores are certainly less than stellar (maybe 70% pass) because they are for internal use only.
On the other hand, the certification exams are always near 100%, because orthopods, like all doctors,
study like hell to become board-certified.

As far as operating vs. studying, this is the tired old debate that we went through during med school
apps. The top schools don't "teach to" the USMLE Step 1 and 2 curricula. Rather, they work their
students hard on broadening their exposure to the latest advances in the lab and in practice. Do those
students do poorly on boards because of lack of reading time? Absolutely not!!! A good program has
good residents, and good residents succeed at whatever they do, in the OR and on paper.
Posts: 62
(10/11/01 8:46:02 pm)
Community Supporter

The Orthopedic In-Training Exam is just a yearly test taken by all orthopedic residents across the
country. It is purely just a way to compare your education to those of your peers. There is no pass/fail,
you just get a percentage of where you stand compared to all in your level of training. It is also broken
down by subspecialty so you can see your weak areas and can then concentrate your studies in those
areas. Many programs try to use the OITE as a selling point for their programs. They will brag about how
well their residents do on it. Take this with a grain of salt. Many programs spend the whole year getting
their residents prepared for the test by going over old tests and focusing their didactic lectures on OITE
material. Other programs, don't have time for test reviews and have different curriculums that are not
focused on the OITE. There is a lot of minutiae on the OITE, so cramming just before the test, tends to
increase your score significantly. I recommend reading Miller's review during the month just before the

As for OITE and your job search. It is not a factor. No one, but maybe a few fellowship programs will ask
about it. Those fellowships that do, are not suppose to ask about it. However, if you do very well on it,
feel free to put it on your CV for fellowship applications.

As for the big test. The board certification exam is two parts: written (taken in July after residency) and
orals (taken after two years in practice). The pass rate varies yearly for each part. In 2000, of the 778
examinees taking the written, 616 (79%) passed and 162 (21%) failed. Of the 609 examinees who were
taking the examination for the first time, 551 (90%) passed and 58 (10%) failed. For the orals, overall,
634 (89%) passed the examination. Seventy-five candidates (11%) failed the examination.

As for the boards and your job search. You should be narrowing down your job search well before you
apply for written boards. By the time you get your scores back, you will have started your job or
fellowship. However, some groups will not allow you to become partner until you've passed both parts.

I wouldn't worry much about a program unless its pass rate for the boards drops significantly below the
average. I don't know of a way to see the pass rate for each program other than on FREIDA. Talk to the
senior residents, they will probably know if their previous residents passed. Also, feel free to bring it up
during your interviews.

Hope this helps.

PS: The written boards are nothing like the OITE, so doing well on the OITE does not mean you'll do well
on the boards.

Edited by: OrthoDoc at: 10/11/01 8:50:59 pm
Registered User
Posts: 8
(10/13/01 4:21:27 pm)

Thanks a lot for the comments and the stats...very helpful. I mistakenly thought OITE was the boards
you take at the end of residency.

Orthodoc...it would seem that programs that have a low pass rate on the boards would not want you to
know that. Is this an okay question to ask the faculty or the residents at the interview...my feeling is
such a question may piss them off if they do have a less-than-desirable pass rate...and this may in turn
hurt your chances of being ranked highly by them. Is there any truth to this, or is there a diplomatic way
of asking this question without being too direct?

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18 years 11 months ago - 18 years 11 months ago #3336 by orthodoc
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