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December 5, 1990

Making a Complete Orthopod

JAMA. 1990;264(21):2742. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450210038029

To the Editor.—  Your recent publication "Principles for Graduate Medical Education"1 was of great interest. Although many of the principles seem to reflect common sense, some are not in current practice. Principle 10, "Education in the broad field of medicine," is specifically a problem within orthopedic surgery. Since the general demise of the "rotating internship," it is clear that the clinical education of physicians entering the field of orthopedic surgery is not consistent with the goal of providing a broad clinical experience prior to specialty education.Obtaining an orthopedic surgery residency is extremely competitive. It is unusual for an individual to be considered highly for a residency spot without some extraordinary qualification. This usually consists of time spent in orthopedic electives in the junior or senior year of medical school. This experience allows the individual to acquire a recommendation from a qualified orthopedic educator. This type of experience is