The unique impact of COVID-19 on orthopedic surgery residency applicants and program directors in Canada

The unique impact of COVID-19 on orthopedic surgery residency applicants and program directors in Canada

Can J Surg 2021;64(2):E249-E252 | PDF

Ajay Shah, BSc (Hons.); Allen A. Champagne, PhD; Joshua Del Papa, PhD; Jay Toor, MD, MBA; Jeremie Larouche, MD; Markku T. Nousiainen, MD


The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of visiting medical student electives and in-person residency interviews in Canada. Orthopedic surgery residency programs are now curtailed in their ability to self-promote and select optimal applicants. Online and social media tools should be adopted to promote programs. Faculty, residents and trainees should aim to attend virtual social and program information events. Applicants should make efforts to learn about the programs by attending events and reaching out to residents, and strengthen their application through research and other activities to demonstrate their interest and commitment to the field of orthopedic surgery. These efforts may help avoid the prospect of qualified candidates being unranked by programs or residency positions being unfilled. These difficult circumstances may serve to engender collaboration and cooperation across residency programs and medical schools and lay the foundation for a thriving interconnected ecosystem of future orthopedic surgeons.

Accepted February 9, 2021

Affiliations: From the Michael DeGroote School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont. (Shah); the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ont. (Champagne, Del Papa); and the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. (Toor, Larouche, Nousiainen).

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: All authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this article and approved the final version for publication.

Content licence: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence, which p rmits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original publication is properly cited, the use is noncommercial (i.e., research or educational se), and no modifications or adaptations are made. See:

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.002021

Correspondence to: A. Shah, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, 1200 Main St West, Hamilton ON L8N 3Z5,