Arthroscopic / Sports Medicine Fellowship

AANA and AOSSM joined efforts to establish a Match in 2008. AANA and AOSSM utilize the SF Match Residency and Fellowship Matching Services (SF Match) to administer the Match. Applicants interested in applying to the Orthopaedic Surgery Sports Medicine Match should register with SF Match and obtain and complete the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Match Central Application Service (CAS). All applications must be submitted to SF Match for distribution to fellowship programs. Applications sent directly to fellowship programs will not be accepted.


Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Programs are eligible to participate in the Match if they are ACGME-accredited, accredited by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA), an AANA-recognized fellowship or have submitted an application to the ACGME prior to August 15. Non-accredited positions are clearly designated in the Participating Programs listing and on the SF Match website. Non-accredited positions DO NOT qualify for subspecialty certification in sports medicine through the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.


It is particularly important that resident applicants, program directors and faculty, as well as residency directors and faculty fully understand the Match process and policies.

The orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship match is sponsored by AOSSM and AANA and is administered by SFMatch , a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. SFMatch has provided matching services for more than 50,000 residents and fellows since 1977. The Society established an eight person Fellowship Match Committee, comprised mostly of leaders who are not running a fellowship program, to administer and police the Match.

No. Each year programs will have the option to participate. The AOSSM and AANA Boards strongly encourage participation and provide incentives for those who do participate. Once committed, however, programs are required to participate in the program for the duration of that term – 1 year.

All orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)  or the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA)  or who have formally applied to the ACGME for accreditation prior to August 15 can participate in the Match.


Programs that are not accredited will be clearly identified to all match participants since their fellows will be ineligible for ABOS subspecialty certification in orthopaedic sports medicine.


Applicants who wish to participate in the Match will register directly with the SFMatch .

No. The leadership feels strongly that those who want to participate in a match must fully commit to the Match. It also feels strongly that candidates who commit to the match can only select their position through the Match. Exercising other options only undermines participation. The only exception is for positions that by definition do not qualify as a fellowship position under the Match agreement:


International positions that are available only to non-US candidates and are so designated upon signing the Match agreement.

The Society believes participation in the Match is important for a thorough and fair selection of candidates/programs, and wants to ensure its success. AOSSM and AANA are providing the following benefits to encourage a large number of applicants and programs to participate:

  • The Match will include a Centralized Application Service (CAS)  that will allow candidates to complete one application and to distribute it to any programs participating in the Match, online. Non-participating programs and applicants will not be able to use the CAS.
  • AOSSM and AANA will publicize participating programs’ names, contact information and selected program information on the AOSSM and AANA websites, in advertisements in AJSM, Arthroscopy and in Sports Medicine Update so that applicants have ready knowledge of the number and quality of programs participating. This publicity – including listing on the AOSSM and AANA websites -- will not be available to programs that choose not to participate in the Match.
  • AOSSM will send a mailing to residents and residency directors further promoting the availability of the match, its benefits and the programs that are participating in the Match.
  • The Society will limit eligibility to the Young Investigator Grant to participants in the Match.
  • Other incentives will be considered and provided, as needed.

Yes. Before programs can participate in the Match, they must sign a detailed contract with the Society obligating them to select their positions only through the Match. Failure to adhere to the commitment incurs the following penalties:

  • A $7,500 fine
  • Exclusion from participating in the Match for 2 match cycles
  • Exclusion from presenting at the AOSSM and AANA Annual Meeting and Specialty Day by Program Directors for 2 years and by other program faculty for 1 year
  • Exclusion from serving on the AOSSM and AANA Board and committees by Program Directors for 2 years and by program faculty for 1 year

Yes. An applicant who registers with the Match cannot withdraw from the program without violating their commitment to the program. Applicants who do not follow through on their commitment:

  • Forfeit their ability to become AOSSM Candidate Members or AANA Associate Members
  • Disqualify themselves from receiving certain AOSSM grants
  • Must reimburse AOSSM for each application submitted on their behalf through the CAS

The Match timeframe has been consolidated from previous iterations to focus the interview and selection process and to limit the waiting period for applicants and programs. Above is the timeline that is being established for the Match.

The Match has enjoyed strong participation by both programs and applicants for the past three years, with 97 percent of all orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship programs and 97 percent of all fellowship positions offered through the Match. In addition, the Society has implemented a number of steps to ensure the new program is fully developed and program directors are fully informed of how the program works and who intends to participate.


The Program Agreement outlines in detail the obligations and responsibilities that program directors must sign before they can participate in the Match. Program directors can view and submit the Match Agreement by logging in to their AOSSM account.

The cost of the Match is minimal. Each program must submit $150 to be enrolled in the program. If you have not recently participated, there is also a $350 set-up fee. Applicants must pay $100 to register with the SF Match and pay additional fees depending upon the number of programs they wish to distribute their application.

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