Residency Eligibility and Selection Criteria Policy

Eligibility and Selection Criteria Policy

Orthopaedic Surgery Residency
Department of Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine 
University of Washington 
Last Update: 12/7/2022 


  1. Institutional Eligibility Requirements
  2. Application Submission Requirements
  3. Selection Criteria
  4. Specific Requirements
  5. Match Process


1. Institutional Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program must meet the eligibility requirements of both the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM). Candidates are selected in accordance with the UW GME Eligibility, Recruitment and Selection Policy.

2. Application Submission Requirements

Applications must be submitted via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).  

Application requirements, including the AOA/CORD electronic Standardized Letter of Recommendation (eSLOR) and secondary application links are listed on the Application Instructions page of the program website. 

The UW Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program requires the following items: 

  • Personal statement 
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • Medical School transcript  
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) (aka “Dean’s Letter) 
  • Three letters of recommendation  
  • (AOA/CORD Standardized Letter of Recommendation (eSLOR) forms are requested for clinical referees that are orthopaedic surgery faculty where possible, but narrative letters of reference are acceptable) 
  • USMLE Transcript (Step 1 and Step 2 reports) 
  • Completion of our secondary application questionnaire

3. Selection Criteria 

We select for interviews based on: 

  • academic performance in medical training and related study, 
  • knowledge, behaviors, and skills related to orthopaedic surgery, 
  • scholarship in research, curricular development, or quality, 
  • service and/or leadership 

Candidates are ranked based on their completed application, interview performance, and compatibility with our faculty and current residents.  

The University of Washington Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program recognizes the value and importance of recruiting qualified women and minorities currently underrepresented in orthopaedic surgery. Under University of Washington Executive Order No. 31, programs will recruit applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, veteran, and based upon their qualifications and ability to do the job. 

4. Specific Requirements

Physical abilities including (1) adequate visual acuity for the fine techniques involved in surgery, (2) adequate hearing for conversation in the clinic and operating room, (3) dexterity for fine movements of both hands, (4) ability to sit or stand for extended periods of time without limitation due to neurological or musculoskeletal impairment, (5) ability for independent walking, lifting, reaching, grasping, gripping, pulling and pushing.   

Registration with the Selective Service System (SSS). Our program includes rotations starting in the R1 year at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.  The VA requires that male residents be registered in the SSS before the age of 26.  Therefore, for male US Citizens, and immigrants that were present from age 18 to 26, SSS registration by age 26 is a requirement for eligibility to apply to the UW Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program. 

5. Match Process 

The program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match and all eight positions are filled in accordance with the rules of the NRMP. We adhere to the NRMP Match Code of Conduct for Programs.