Early career sports medicine surgeons should expect to perform general, trauma and adult reconstruction cases, as results showed this surgeon population will perform more than 40% of their cases outside of the sports medicine specialty.
Using the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Part-II case list database, Paul M. Inclan, MD, and colleagues analyzed the practice patterns of 3,298 early career surgeons who completed a sports medicine fellowship between Jan. 1, 2003, and Jan. 1, 2020.
According to the study, researchers recorded annual and overall procedure volumes, candidate case mix, as well as trends in the frequency of cases performed and fellowship training patterns.
Among the 100.6 cases submitted by these early career surgeons during the 6-month case collection period, 58.6% were sports medicine or arthroscopy cases (n = 59). Trauma or general procedures accounted for 29.1% of cases; adult reconstruction procedures accounted for 4.5% of cases; and “other” procedures accounted for 7.8% of cases. Inclan and colleagues also noted the proportion of sports medicine or arthroscopy cases did not change during the study period, despite surgeons performing fewer total and sports medicine or arthroscopy cases during the study period.
Among the 333 surgeons (10.1%) who reported dual fellowship training, the number of candidates who pursued additional fellowship training in pediatrics and adult reconstruction increased, while the number of candidates who pursued additional fellowship training in trauma decreased during the study period.
“Early career sports medicine surgeons should expect to perform a substantial volume of general, trauma and adult reconstruction cases, thereby entering a generalist practice with an emphasis on sports medicine,” Inclan and colleagues wrote in the study. “As such, trainees entering sports medicine should develop a strong foundation during rotations in these subspecialties throughout their orthopedic residency. Moreover, recognizing the practice demands of early career sports surgeons, fellowship directors may consider the value of adult reconstruction and/or trauma exposure.”