Women and underrepresented minorities make up smaller proportions of orthopaedic residency programs than their numbers in medical school would predict, according to our evaluation of self-reported orthopaedic residency data from 1998 and 2001, as well as information on medical students published in 2002. Based on race, ethnicity, and sex, comparisons were made between students entering and graduating from medical school and those in orthopaedic residency programs. With few exceptions, the percentages of women and underrepresented minorities were statistically significantly lower among those training in orthopaedic residency programs compared with those same groups entering and graduating from medical school. The percentage of women and minorities in orthopaedic residency programs remained constant between 1998 and 2001. Further study is necessary to determine whether fewer students of color and women apply to orthopaedic residency programs because of lack of interest, lack of appropriate mentoring and role models, or other factors.