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Preclinical Years

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The preclinical years of medical school are important for students considering a career in Orthopedic Surgery.

Orthopedic Surgery residency programs value involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, leadership, and research. According to the 2018 NRMP Program Director Survey:


  • Leadership qualities are cited by 72% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.

  • Demonstrated involvement or interest in research is cited by 66% as a factor used to make interview decisions.

  • Volunteer/extracurricular activities are cited by 55% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.

In our book, Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years, we provide you with a detailed blueprint on how to do just that. 

The preclinical years are an excellent time to build these credentials

3 ways to Build your Credentials in Orthopedic Surgery as a Preclinical Student

  • The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery holds its Annual Meeting in February. The American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the American Osteopathic Association in October. At these meetings, students may have opportunities to present their research findings and network with physicians in the field. 

  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has an orthopedic surgery research program (Benjamin Fox Orthopedic Research Scholar Award) open to students attending accredited medical schools. This is a one-year experience dedicated to performing clinical research before either the third or fourth year. 

  • The Hospital for Special Surgery sponsors the Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, a two-month program for students who have completed their first year of medical school. Students have opportunities to perform basic science, translational science, or clinical research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Although Weill Cornell Medical College students are given preference, the program is open to students at other schools. ​

For more information on how to stand out in Orthopedic Surgery as a preclinical student, turn to our book Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years

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