Pediatric Orthopaedic Fellowship Match

Information for Prospective Applicants

Along with the other subspecialty societies within orthopaedics, pediatric orthopaedic surgery has moved to a single fellowship match day, supervised by the San Francisco Matching Program (SFMP). POSNA’s affiliation with SFMP is a part of an AAOS supervised program for all orthopaedic surgery subspecialty fellowship matches. To participate in the pediatric orthopaedic surgery match, applicants must register with the SFMP on their website. The registration fees are outlined on the website and vary depending of the number of programs to which a resident applies..


Considering a Fellowship and Career in Pediatric Orthopaedics?

Pursuing a fellowship and career in pediatric orthopaedics is a challenging, but intensely rewarding endeavor. Unlike in skeletally mature patients, the growing skeleton affords unique solutions and problems for the orthopaedic surgeon. More often than not, the outcome of the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon’s interventions affects a lifetime of improvement in the quality of function for the patient. As a result, pediatric orthopaedic care necessitates long-term follow up, and with time, mutually satisfying and sustained relationships usually develop between surgeon and family. Pediatric orthopaedic surgery is satisfying work and pediatric orthopaedic surgeons typically become very committed to their craft and their patients.

The broad scope of practice of a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon includes the treatment of a wide range of musculoskeletal deformities/pathologies across a wide range of ages (infants, children, and adolescents/young adults). Nonoperative (e.g. casting, bracing, etc.) and operative techniques are used to provide comprehensive musculoskeletal care for both skeletally immature and recently mature patients. Because of the variety of patient disorders that are encountered, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons are well skilled to operate on all parts of the musculoskeletal system from the spine to the toes. While many pediatric orthopaedists enjoy a general practice, some do choose to subspecialize over the course of their careers. Just a few of the possibilities for sub-specialization include spine, upper extremity, lower extremity/deformity, foot and ankle, neuromuscular disorders, and sports medicine.

Both the clinical setting and practice profile of the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon in North America is quite variable. Many practice as part of a group of orthopaedic surgical subspecialists either in private practice or within an Orthopaedic Department of a university. Others practice in groups of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons, possibly in private practice, or as part of an Orthopaedic Department or perhaps as a full-time employee at a system of hospitals. Many pediatric orthopaedic surgeons select solo practice in either large or small communities. Regardless of practice type, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons are often closely associated with a children’s hospital. The children’s hospital professional staff both encourages and enables caregivers to provide not only state of the art care, but also new and innovative multi-disciplinary treatments for many of the numerous pediatric musculoskeletal pathologies. Many of the possible practice settings for the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon provide an appropriate setting for teaching, clinical, and/or basic science research.

There is no subspecialty certification process for pediatric orthopaedic surgery, although most practicing pediatric orthopaedic surgeons have completed at least one year of fellowship training.

Grievances & Violations

Both applicants and fellowship programs are committed to the rules and outcomes of the match program. Violations of the match process (such as accepting a position outside of the match from a program inside the match) will be heard by the POSNA fellowship match grievance committee and sanctions may be levied against the fellowship program and/or the applicant.

Applying for a Fellowship