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1.  Associations between subspecialty fellowship interest and knowledge of internal medicine: A hypothesis-generating study of internal medicine residents 
Background
Little is known about whether and how medical knowledge relates to interest in subspecialty fellowship training. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between residents' interest in subspecialty fellowship training and their knowledge of internal medicine (IM).
Methods
A questionnaire was emailed to 48 categorical postgraduate-year (PGY) two and three residents at a New York university-affiliated IM residency program in 2007 using the Survey Monkey online survey instrument. Overall and content area-specific percentile scores from the IM in-training examination (IM-ITE) for the same year was used to determine objective knowledge.
Results
Forty-five of 48 residents (response rate was 93.8%) completed the survey. Twenty-two (49%) were PG2 residents and 23(51%) were PGY3 residents. Sixty percent of respondents were male. Six (13%) residents were graduates of U.S. medical schools. Eight (18%) reported formal clinical training prior to starting internal medicine residency in the U.S. Of this latter group, 6 (75%) had training in IM and 6 (75) % reported a training length of 3 years or less. Thirty-seven of 45 (82%) residents had a subspecialty fellowship interest. Residents with a fellowship interest had a greater mean overall objective knowledge percentile score (56.44 vs. 31.67; p = 0.04) as well as greater mean percentile scores in all content areas of IM. The adjusted mean difference was statistically significant (p < 0.02) across three content areas.
Conclusions
More than half of surveyed residents indicated interest in pursuing a subspecialty fellowship. Fellowship interest appears positively associated with general medical knowledge in this study population. Further work is needed to explore motivation and study patterns among internal medicine residents.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-5
PMCID: PMC3038163  PMID: 21281500
2.  Associations between quality indicators of internal medicine residency training programs 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:30.
Background
Several residency program characteristics have been suggested as measures of program quality, but associations between these measures are unknown. We set out to determine associations between these potential measures of program quality.
Methods
Survey of internal medicine residency programs that shared an online ambulatory curriculum on hospital type, faculty size, number of trainees, proportion of international medical graduate (IMG) trainees, Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE) scores, three-year American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination (ABIM-CE) first-try pass rates, Residency Review Committee-Internal Medicine (RRC-IM) certification length, program director clinical duties, and use of pharmaceutical funding to support education. Associations assessed using Chi-square, Spearman rank correlation, univariate and multivariable linear regression.
Results
Fifty one of 67 programs responded (response rate 76.1%), including 29 (56.9%) community teaching and 17 (33.3%) university hospitals, with a mean of 68 trainees and 101 faculty. Forty four percent of trainees were IMGs. The average post-graduate year (PGY)-2 IM-ITE raw score was 63.1, which was 66.8 for PGY3s. Average 3-year ABIM-CE pass rate was 95.8%; average RRC-IM certification was 4.3 years. ABIM-CE results, IM-ITE results, and length of RRC-IM certification were strongly associated with each other (p < 0.05). PGY3 IM-ITE scores were higher in programs with more IMGs and in programs that accepted pharmaceutical support (p < 0.05). RRC-IM certification was shorter in programs with higher numbers of IMGs. In multivariable analysis, a higher proportion of IMGs was associated with 1.17 years shorter RRC accreditation.
Conclusions
Associations between quality indicators are complex, but suggest that the presence of IMGs is associated with better performance on standardized tests but decreased duration of RRC-IM certification.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-30
PMCID: PMC3126786  PMID: 21651768
program quality; Residency Review Committee; American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination
3.  Examination outcomes for international medical graduates pursuing or completing family medicine residency training in Quebec 
Canadian Family Physician  2010;56(9):912-918.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE
To review the success of international medical graduates (IMGs) who are pursuing or have completed a Quebec residency training program and examinations.
DESIGN
We retrospectively reviewed IMGs’ success rates on the pre-residency Collège des médecins du Québec medical clinical sciences written examination and objective structured clinical examination, as well as on the post-residency Certification Examination in Family Medicine.
SETTING
Quebec.
PARTICIPANTS
All IMGs taking their examinations between 2001 and 2008, inclusive, and Canadian and American graduates taking their examinations during this same period.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Success rates for IMGs on the pre-residency and post-residency examinations, compared with success rates for Canadian and American graduates.
RESULTS
Success rates on the pre-residency clinical examinations remained below 50% from 2001 to 2008 for IMGs. Similarly, during the same period, the average success rate on the Certification examination was 56.0% for IMGs, compared with 93.5% for Canadian and American medical graduates.
CONCLUSION
Despite pre-residency competency screening and in-program orientation and supports, a substantial number of IMGs in Quebec are not passing their Certification examinations. Another study is under way to analyze reasons for some IMGs’ lack of success and to find ways to help IMGs complete residency training successfully and pass the Certification examination.
PMCID: PMC2939121  PMID: 20841596
4.  Comparison of International Medical Graduates with US Medical Students and Residents after a Four-Week Course in Palliative Medicine: A Pilot Study 
Journal of Palliative Medicine  2013;16(5):471-477.
Abstract
Background
The need for doctors who have skills in pain management and palliative medicine is greatest in low and moderate resource countries where patients most frequently present to their health care system with advanced illness and greater than 80% of the global deaths occur. While medical students trained in the United States are required to have training in palliative medicine, international medical graduates (IMGs), who have completed medical school outside North America, may not have the same exposure to palliative medicine training as U.S. physicians. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether a four-week course in palliative medicine could bring IMG attitudes, concerns, competence, and knowledge to the level of U.S. trainees.
Methods
As part of a prospective cohort study, 21 IMGs from 14 countries participated in a four-week course in palliative medicine. Attitudes, concerns, self-reported competence, and knowledge were assessed pre-course and post-course. The course was evaluated weekly and at the end of the four-week program. The data from the IMGs was compared to data from U.S. medical students and residents using the same assessment tools.
Results
After the course, IMGs had significantly decreased concern about ethical and legal issues in palliative medicine to the level of U.S.-trained residents and a significant increase in knowledge and self-rated competence equivalent to the level of U.S. trainees.
Conclusions
A four-week course in palliative medicine can improve the levels of concern, knowledge and self-assessed competence in IMGs to the level of US trainees.
doi:10.1089/jpm.2012.0478
PMCID: PMC3713437  PMID: 23448688
5.  International medical graduates (IMGs) needs assessment study: comparison between current IMG trainees and program directors 
Background
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) training within the Canadian medical education system face unique difficulties. The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges IMGs encounter from the perspective of trainees and their Program Directors.
Methods
Program Directors of residency programs and IMGs at the University of Toronto were anonymously surveyed and asked to rate (using a 5-point Likert scale; 1 = least important – 5 = most important) the extent to which specific issues were challenging to IMGs and whether an orientation program (in the form of a horizontal curriculum) should be implemented for incoming IMGs prior to starting their residency.
Results
Among the IMGs surveyed, Knowledge of the Canadian Healthcare System received the highest mean score (3.93), followed by Knowledge of Pharmaceuticals and Hospital formularies (3.69), and Knowledge of the Hospital System (3.69). In contrast, Program Directors felt that Communication with Patients (4.40) was a main challenge faced by IMGs, followed by Communication with Team Members (4.33) and Basic Clinical Skills (4.28).
Conclusion
IMGs and Program Directors differ in their perspectives as to what are considered challenges to foreign-trained physicians entering residency training. Both groups agree that an orientation program is necessary for incoming IMGs prior to starting their residency program.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-42
PMCID: PMC2546389  PMID: 18759968
6.  Evaluation of VA Women’s Health Fellowships: Developing Leaders in Academic Women’s Health 
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) instituted the VA Women’s Health Fellowship (VAWHF) Program in 1994, to accommodate the health needs of increasing numbers of female veterans and to develop academic leaders in women’s health. Despite the longevity of the program, it has never been formally evaluated.
OBJECTIVE
To describe the training environments of VAWHFs and career outcomes of female graduates.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS
Cross-sectional web-based surveys of current program directors (2010–2011) and VAWHF graduates (1995–2011).
RESULTS
Responses were received from six of seven program directors (86 %) and 42 of 74 graduates (57 %). The mean age of graduates was 41.2 years, and mean time since graduation was 8.5 years. Of the graduates, 97 % were female, 74 % trained in internal medicine, and 64 % obtained an advanced degree. Those with an advanced degree were more likely than those without an advanced degree to pursue an academic career (82 % vs. 60 %; P < 0.01). Of the female graduates, 76 % practice clinical women’s health and spend up to 66 % of their time devoted to women’s health issues. Thirty percent have held a VA faculty position. Seventy–nine percent remain in academics, with 39 % in the tenure stream. Overall, 94 % had given national presentations, 88 % had received grant funding, 79 % had published in peer-reviewed journals, 64 % had developed or evaluated curricula, 51 % had received awards for teaching or research, and 49 % had held major leadership positions. At 11 or more years after graduation, 33 % of the female graduates in academics had been promoted to the rank of associate professor and 33 % to the rank of full professor.
CONCLUSIONS
The VAWHF Program has been successful in training academic leaders in women’s health. Finding ways to retain graduates in the VA system would ensure continued clinical, educational, and research success for the VA women veteran’s healthcare program.
doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2306-z
PMCID: PMC3682043  PMID: 23435766
VA women’s health; fellowship; academic productivity; female leadership; women in academic medicine
7.  Physician Emigration from Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States: Analysis of the 2011 AMA Physician Masterfile 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001513.
Siankam Tankwanchi and colleagues used the AMA Physician Masterfile and the WHO Global Health Workforce Statistics on physicians in sub-Saharan Africa to determine trends in physician emigration to the United States.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The large-scale emigration of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to high-income nations is a serious development concern. Our objective was to determine current emigration trends of SSA physicians found in the physician workforce of the United States.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed physician data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Workforce Statistics along with graduation and residency data from the 2011 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile (AMA-PM) on physicians trained or born in SSA countries who currently practice in the US. We estimated emigration proportions, year of US entry, years of practice before emigration, and length of time in the US. According to the 2011 AMA-PM, 10,819 physicians were born or trained in 28 SSA countries. Sixty-eight percent (n = 7,370) were SSA-trained, 20% (n = 2,126) were US-trained, and 12% (n = 1,323) were trained outside both SSA and the US. We estimated active physicians (age ≤70 years) to represent 96% (n = 10,377) of the total. Migration trends among SSA-trained physicians increased from 2002 to 2011 for all but one principal source country; the exception was South Africa whose physician migration to the US decreased by 8% (−156). The increase in last-decade migration was >50% in Nigeria (+1,113) and Ghana (+243), >100% in Ethiopia (+274), and >200% (+244) in Sudan. Liberia was the most affected by migration to the US with 77% (n = 175) of its estimated physicians in the 2011 AMA-PM. On average, SSA-trained physicians have been in the US for 18 years. They practiced for 6.5 years before US entry, and nearly half emigrated during the implementation years (1984–1999) of the structural adjustment programs.
Conclusion
Physician emigration from SSA to the US is increasing for most SSA source countries. Unless far-reaching policies are implemented by the US and SSA countries, the current emigration trends will persist, and the US will remain a leading destination for SSA physicians emigrating from the continent of greatest need.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Population growth and aging and increasingly complex health care interventions, as well as existing policies and market forces, mean that many countries are facing a shortage of health care professionals. High-income countries are addressing this problem in part by encouraging the immigration of foreign health care professionals from low- and middle-income countries. In the US, for example, international medical graduates (IMGs) can secure visas and permanent residency by passing examinations provided by the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates and by agreeing to provide care in areas that are underserved by US physicians. Inevitably, the emigration of physicians from low- and middle-income countries undermines health service delivery in the emigrating physicians' country of origin because physician supply is already inadequate in those countries. Physician emigration from sub-Saharan Africa, which has only 2% of the global physician workforce but a quarter of the global burden of disease, is particularly worrying. Since 1970, as a result of large-scale emigration and limited medical education, there has been negligible or negative growth in the density of physicians in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In Liberia, for example, in 1973, there were 7.76 physicians per 100,000 people but by 2008 there were only 1.37 physicians per 100,000 people; in the US, there are 250 physicians per 100,000 people.
Why Was This Study Done?
Before policy proposals can be formulated to address global inequities in physician distribution, a clear picture of the patterns of physician emigration from resource-limited countries is needed. In this study, the researchers use data from the 2011 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile (AMA-PM) to investigate the “brain drain” of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa to the US. The AMA-PM collects annual demographic, academic, and professional data on all residents (physicians undergoing training in a medical specialty) and licensed physicians who practice in the US.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Workforce Statistics and graduation and residency data from the 2011 AMA-PM to estimate physician emigration rates from sub-Saharan African countries, year of US entry, years of service provided before emigration to the US, and length of time in the US. There were 10,819 physicians who were born or trained in 28 sub-Saharan African countries in the 2011 AMA-PM. By using a published analysis of the 2002 AMA-PM, the researchers estimated that US immigration among sub-Saharan African-trained physicians had increased over the past decade for all the countries examined except South Africa, where physician emigration had decreased by 8%. Overall, the number of sub-Saharan African IMGs in the US had increased by 38% since 2002. More than half of this increase was accounted for by Nigerian IMGs. Liberia was the country most affected by migration of its physicians to the US—77% of its estimated 226 physicians were in the 2011 AMA-PM. On average, sub-Saharan African IMGs had been in the US for 18 years and had practiced for 6.5 years before emigration. Finally, nearly half of the sub-Saharan African IMGs had migrated to US between 1984 and 1995, years during which structural adjustment programs, which resulted in deep cuts to public health care services, were implemented in developing countries by international financial institutions as conditions for refinancing.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although the sub-Saharan African IMGs in the 2011 AMA-PM only represent about 1% of all the physicians and less than 5% of the IMGs in the AMA-PM, these findings reveal a major loss of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa. They also suggest that emigration of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa is a growing problem and is likely to continue unless job satisfaction for physicians is improved in their country of origin. Moreover, because the AMA-PM only lists physicians who qualify for a US residency position, more physicians may have moved from sub-Saharan Africa to the US than reported here and may be working in other jobs incommensurate with their medical degrees (“brain waste”). The researchers suggest that physician emigration from sub-Saharan Africa to the US reflects the complexities in the labor markets for health care professionals in both Africa and the US and can be seen as low- and middle-income nations subsidizing the education of physicians in high-income countries. Policy proposals to address global inequities in physician distribution will therefore need both to encourage the recruitment, training, and retention of health care professionals in resource-limited countries and to persuade high-income countries to train more home-grown physicians to meet the needs of their own populations.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001513.
The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research is a non-profit foundation committed to improving world health through education that was established in 2000 by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
The Global Health Workforce Alliance is a partnership of national governments, civil society, international agencies, finance institutions, researchers, educators, and professional associations dedicated to identifying, implementing and advocating for solutions to the chronic global shortage of health care professionals (available in several languages)
Information on the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile and the providers of physician data lists is available via the American Medical Associations website
The World Health Organization (WHO) annual World Health Statistics reports present the most recent health statistics for the WHO Member States
The Medical Education Partnership Initiative is a US-sponsored initiative that supports medical education and research in sub-Saharan African institutions, aiming to increase the quantity, quality, and retention of graduates with specific skills addressing the health needs of their national populations
CapacityPlus is the USAID-funded global project uniquely focused on the health workforce needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
Seed Global Health cultivates the next generation of health professionals by allying medical and nursing volunteers with their peers in resource-limited settings
"America is Stealing the Worlds Doctors", a 2012 New York Times article by Matt McAllester, describes the personal experience of a young doctor who emigrated from Zambia to the US
Path to United States Practice Is Long Slog to Foreign Doctors, a 2013 New York Times article by Catherine Rampell, describes the hurdles that immigrant physicians face in practicing in the US
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001513
PMCID: PMC3775724  PMID: 24068894
8.  How do IMGs compare with Canadian medical school graduates in a family practice residency program? 
Canadian Family Physician  2010;56(9):e318-e322.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE
To compare international medical graduates (IMGs) with Canadian medical school graduates in a family practice residency program.
DESIGN
Analysis of the results of the in-training evaluation reports (ITERs) and the Certification in Family Medicine (CCFP) examination results for 2 cohorts of IMGs and Canadian-trained graduates between the years 2006 and 2008.
SETTING
St Paul’s Hospital (SPH) in Vancouver, BC, a training site of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Family Practice Residency Program.
PARTICIPANTS
In-training evaluation reports were examined for 12 first-year and 9 second-year Canadian-trained residents at the SPH site, and 12 first-year and 12 second-year IMG residents at the IMG site at SPH; CCFP examination results were reviewed for all UBC family practice residents who took the May 2008 examination and disclosed their results.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Pass or fail rates on the CCFP examination; proportions of evaluations in each group of residents given each of the following designations: exceeds expectations, meets expectations, or needs improvement. The May 2008 CCFP examination results were reviewed.
RESULTS
Compared with the second-year IMGs, the second-year SPH Canadian-trained residents had a greater proportion of exceeds expectations designations than the IMGs. For the first-year residents, both the SPH Canadian graduates and IMGs had similar results in all 3 categories. Combining the results of the 2 cohorts, the Canadian-trained residents had 310 (99%) ITERs that were designated as either exceeds expectations or meets expectations, and only 3 (1%) ITERs were in the needs improvement category. The IMG results were 362 (97.6%) ITERs in the exceeds expectations or meets expectations categories; 9 (2%) were in the needs improvement category. Statistically these are not significant differences. Seven of the 12 (58%) IMG candidates passed the CCFP examination compared with 59 of 62 (95%) of the UBC family practice residents.
CONCLUSION
The IMG residents compared favourably with their Canadian-trained colleagues when comparing ITERs but not in passing the CCFP examination. Further research is needed to elucidate these results.
PMCID: PMC2939132  PMID: 20841570
9.  Resident selection of Hand Surgery Fellowships: a survey of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Hand Fellowship graduates 
Hand (New York, N.Y.)  2013;8(2):164-171.
Background
We desired information from the recent, current, and future matched hand surgery fellows regarding their residency training, number of interviews, position matched, cost of interviewing, influences, opinions on future hand training models, and post-fellowship job information.
Methods
Institutional review board approval was obtained from our institution to submit an online survey. An email was sent to the coordinators of all US Hand Fellowships to be forwarded to their fellows with graduation years 2011, 2012, and 2013, as well as directly to the fellows if their email addresses were provided. Data on the application process, relative importance of program attributes, and opinions regarding optimal training of a hand surgeon were collected. Statistical analysis was performed with respect to the training background and graduation year of the respondent.
Results
The survey was completed by 137 hand surgery fellows. Seventy-one percent of the survey responders were from an orthopedic residency background, 20 % from plastic, and 7 % from general surgery. Forty-four percent of all of the respondents matched into their first choice. The type of operative cases performed by the current fellows was most often selected as very important when making their rank list. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents reflected their personal preference in fellowship model to be a 1-year fellowship program.
Conclusions
The field of hand surgery is unique in that it has residents from multiple training backgrounds who all apply to one fellowship. The current fellowship model allows for diversity of training and the possibility of obtaining a second fellowship if desired.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11552-013-9504-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11552-013-9504-y
PMCID: PMC3652997  PMID: 24426913
Fellowship; Hand; Residency; Survey; Training
10.  Immediate Impact of Participation in the Electronic Residency Application Service on a Fellowship Program 
Objective
This study sought to evaluate the immediate impact of participation in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) on a single cardiology fellowship program.
Method
The study reviewed all applications (n = 1824) made to the Geisinger Medical Center cardiology fellowship program over a 4-year period (2004–2007). The aggregate data for the first 2 years (pre-ERAS, 2004 and 2005) was compared to that of the last 2 years (post-ERAS, 2006 and 2007).
Results
Compared to the pre-ERAS period, the total number of applications in the post-ERAS period increased by 49% (732 versus 1092; p<.05) and the number of complete applications increased by 70% (577 versus 983; p<.05). Other significant differences (p<.05) included a higher percentage of applications from female candidates (81 of 732 [11%] versus 186 of 1092 [17%]), and a greater geographic distance from applicants’ internal medicine residency institutions (420 ± 454 miles versus 585 ± 559 miles]. Comparison of applicants’ age, citizenship status, graduation origin, years since medical school graduation, and United States Medical Licensing Examination scores yielded no significant differences between pre-ERAS and post-ERAS periods.
Conclusion
Participation in ERAS resulted in an immediate increase in the total number of applications, higher proportion of applications with complete data, a higher number and proportion of female applicants, and a wider geographic distribution of applications. This likely reflects ease of application submission through a central electronic service. However, the administrative burden on fellowship programs and the effects of wider geographic distribution of applications on the fellowship-matching process merit further evaluation.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-09-00039.1
PMCID: PMC2931225  PMID: 21975898
11.  Sponsorship of Internal Medicine Subspecialty Fellowships Since 2000: Trends and Community Hospital Involvement 
Background:
Since 2002, market studies have predicted a physician shortage with an increasing need for future subspecialists. A Residency Review Committee (RRC) rule that restricted sponsorship of fellowships was eliminated in 2005, but the influence of this change on the number of fellowships is not known. We believed that the rules change might make it possible for community hospitals to offer fellowships. Our objectives were to determine the extent of change in the number of fellowships in university and community hospitals from 2000 through 2008, both before and after the RRC regulation change in 2005, and to determine whether community hospitals contributed substantially to the number of new fellowships available to internal medicine graduates.
Methods:
We used archived Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) data from July 2000 through June 2008. The community hospital category included multispecialty clinics, community programs, and municipal hospitals.
Results:
Of the 94 newly approved internal medicine subspecialty fellowships in this time period, 59 (63%) were community sponsored. As of 6/02/08, all were in good standing. Thirteen programs were started as a department of medicine solo fellowship since 2005. The number of new programs approved between 2005 and 2008 was roughly three times the number approved between 2000 and 2004.
Conclusions:
The number of subspecialty fellowship programs and approved positions has increased dramatically in the last 8 years. Many of the new programs were at community hospitals. The change in RRC rules has been associated with increased availability of fellowship programs in the university and community hospital setting for subspecialty training.
doi:10.3885/meo.2009.Res00307
PMCID: PMC2779615  PMID: 20165522
Specialists; workforce; supply
12.  Canadian and immigrant international medical graduates 
Canadian Family Physician  2005;51(9):1243.
OBJECTIVE
To compare the demographic and educational characteristics of Canadian international medical graduates (IMGs) and immigrant IMGs who applied to the second iteration of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) match in 2002.
DESIGN
Web-based questionnaire survey.
SETTING
The study was conducted during the second-iteration CaRMS match in Canada.
PARTICIPANTS
The sampling frame included the entire population of IMG registrants for the 2002 CaRMS match in Canada who expressed interest in applying for a ministry-funded residency position in the 13 English-speaking Canadian medical schools. Those who immigrated to Canada with medical degrees were categorized as immigrant IMGs. Canadian citizens and landed immigrants or permanent residents who left Canada to obtain a medical degree in another country were defined as Canadian IMGs.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Demographic characteristics, education and training outside Canada, examinations taken, previous applications for a residency position, preferred type of practice, and barriers and supports were compared.
RESULTS
Out of 446 respondents who indicated their immigration status and education, 396 (88.8%) were immigrant IMGs and 50 (11.2%) were Canadian IMGs. Immigrant IMGs tended to be older, be married, and have dependent children. Immigrant IMGs most frequently obtained their medical education in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, whereas Canadian IMGs most frequently obtained their medical degrees in Asia, the Caribbean, or Europe. Immigrant IMGs tended to have more years of postgraduate training and clinical experience. A significantly greater proportion of immigrant IMGs had perceived that there were insufficient opportunities for assessment, financial barriers to training, and licensing barriers to practice. Nearly half (45.5%) of all IMGs selected family medicine as their first choice of clinical discipline to practise in Canada. There were no significant differences between Canadian and immigrant IMGs in terms of first choice of clinical discipline (family medicine vs specialty). There were no significant differences between the groups in the number of times they applied to CaRMS in the past, but a relatively greater proportion of Canadian IMGs obtained residency positions.
CONCLUSION
There are notable similarities and some significant differences between Canadian and immigrant IMGs seeking to practise medicine in Canada.
PMCID: PMC1479472  PMID: 16926941
13.  Determinants of internal medicine residents' choice in the canadian R4 Fellowship Match: A qualitative study 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:44.
Background
There is currently a discrepancy between Internal Medicine residents' decisions in the Canadian subspecialty fellowship match (known as the R4 match) and societal need. Some studies have been published examining factors that influence career choices. However, these were either demographic factors or factors pre-determined by the authors' opinion as possibly being important to incorporate into a survey.
Methods
A qualitative study was undertaken to identify factors that determine the residents choice in the subspecialty (R4) fellowship match using focus group discussions involving third and fourth year internal medicine residents
Results
Based on content analysis of the discussion data, we identified five themes:
1) Practice environment including acuity of practice, ability to do procedures, lifestyle, job prospects and income
2) Exposure in rotations and to role models
3) Interest in subspecialty's patient population and common diseases
4) Prestige and respect of subspecialty
5) Fellowship training environment including fellowship program resources and length of training
Conclusions
There are a variety of factors that contribute to Internal Medicine residents' fellowship choice in Canada, many of which have been identified in previous survey studies. However, we found additional factors such as the resources available in a fellowship program, the prestige and respect of a subspecialty/career, and the recent trend towards a two-year General Internal Medicine fellowship in our country.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-44
PMCID: PMC3146947  PMID: 21714921
14.  Building Faculty Community: Fellowship in Graduate Medical Education Administration 
Introduction
The Department of Graduate Medical Education at Stanford Hospital and Clinics has developed a professional training program for program directors. This paper outlines the goals, structure, and expected outcomes for the one-year Fellowship in Graduate Medical Education Administration program.
Background
The skills necessary for leading a successful Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) training program require an increased level of curricular and administrative expertise. To meet the ACGME Outcome Project goals, program directors must demonstrate not only sophisticated understanding of curricular design but also competency-based performance assessment, resource management, and employment law. Few faculty-development efforts adequately address the complexities of educational administration. As part of an institutional-needs assessment, 41% of Stanford program directors indicated that they wanted more training from the Department of Graduate Medical Education.
Intervention
To address this need, the Fellowship in Graduate Medical Education Administration program will provide a curriculum that includes (1) readings and discussions in 9 topic areas, (2) regular mentoring by the director of Graduate Medical Education (GME), (3) completion of a service project that helps improve GME across the institution, and (4) completion of an individual scholarly project that focuses on education.
Results
The first fellow was accepted during the 2008–2009 academic year. Outcomes for the project include presentation of a project at a national meeting, internal workshops geared towards disseminating learning to peer program directors, and the completion of a GME service project. The paper also discusses lessons learned for improving the program.
doi:10.4300/01.01.0024
PMCID: PMC2931184  PMID: 21975722
15.  Lessons Learned From a 5-Year Experience With a 4-Week Experiential Quality Improvement Curriculum in a Preventive Medicine Fellowship 
Background
Competency in practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems-based practice (SBP) empowers learners with the skills to plan, lead, and execute health care systems improvement efforts. Experiences from several graduate medical education programs describe the implementation of PBLI and SBP curricula as challenging because of lack of adequate curricular time and faculty resources, as well as a perception that PBLI and SBP are not relevant to future careers. A dedicated experiential rotation that requires fellow participation in a specialty-specific quality improvement project (QIP) may address some of these challenges.
Method
We describe a retrospective analysis of our 5-year experience with a dedicated 3-week PBLI-SBP experiential curriculum in a preventive medicine fellowship program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Results
Between 2004 and 2008, 19 learners including 7 preventive medicine fellows participated in the rotation. Using just-in-time learning, fellows work together on a relatively complex QIP of community or institutional significance. Since 2004, all 19 learners (100%) participating in this rotation have consistently demonstrated statistically significant increase in their quality improvement knowledge application tool (QIKAT) scores at the end of the rotation. At the end of the rotation, all 19 learners stated that they were either confident or very confident of making a change to improve health care in a local setting. Most of the QIPs resulted in sustainable practice improvements, and resultant solutions have been disseminated beyond the location of the original QIP.
Conclusion
A dedicated experiential rotation that requires learner participation in a QIP is one of the effective methods to address the needs of the SBP and PBLI competencies.
doi:10.4300/01.01.0015
PMCID: PMC2931202  PMID: 21975713
16.  Current pediatric rheumatology fellowship training in the United States: what fellows actually do 
Background
Pediatric Rheumatology (PR) training in the US has existed since the 1970’s. In the early 1990’s, the training was formalized into a three year training program by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). Programs have been evaluated every 5 years by the ACGME to remain credentialed and graduates had to pass a written exam to be certified. There has been no report yet that details not just what training fellows should receive in the 32 US PR training programs but what training the trainees are actually receiving.
Methods
After a literature search, a survey was constructed by the authors, then reviewed and revised with the help members of the Executive Committee of the Rheumatology Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) using the Delphi technique. IRB approval was obtained from the AAP and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The list of fellows was obtained from the ABP and the survey sent out to 81 current fellows or fellows just having finished. One repeat e-mail was sent out.
Results
Forty-seven fellows returned the survey by e-mail (58%) with the majority being 3rd year fellows or fellows who had completed their training. The demographics were as expected with females > males and Caucasians> > non-Caucasians. Training appeared quite appropriate in the number of ½ day continuity clinics per week (1–2, 71%), number of patients per clinic (4–5, 60%), inpatient exposure (2–4 inpatients per week, 40%; 5 or greater, 33%), and weekday/weekend call. Fellows attended more didactic activities than required, had ample time for research (54% 21-60/hours per week), and had multiple teaching opportunities. Seventy-seven percent of the trainees presented abstracts at national meetings, 41% had publication. Disease exposure was excellent and joint injection experience sufficient.
Conclusions
Most US PR training programs as a whole provide an appropriate training by current ACGME, American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and ABP standards in: 1) number of continuity clinics; 2) sufficient on-call activities for weekday nights and weekends; 3) joint interdisciplinary conferences; 4) electives 5) didactic activities; 6) scholarly activities; and 7) exposure to diverse rheumatology diseases. Areas of concern were uniformity & standardization of training, need for a customized PR training curriculum, more mentorship, free electives, training in musculoskeletal ultrasound, need for a hands-on OSCE certification exam and more exposure to ACGME competencies.
doi:10.1186/1546-0096-12-8
PMCID: PMC3922187  PMID: 24507769
17.  Global Health Fellowships: A National, Cross-Disciplinary Survey of US Training Opportunities 
Introduction
Medical trainee interest and participation in global health programs have been growing at unprecedented rates, and the response has been increasing opportunities for medical students and residents. However, at the fellowship level, the number and types of global health training opportunities across specialties have not previously been characterized.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted between November and December 2010 among all identified global health fellowship programs in the United States. Programs were identified through review of academic and institutional websites, peer-reviewed literature, web-based search engines, and epidemiologic snowball sampling. Identified global health fellowship programs were invited through e-mail invitation and follow-up telephone calls to participate in the web-based survey questionnaire.
Results
The survey identified 80 global health fellowship programs: 31 in emergency medicine, 14 in family medicine, 11 in internal medicine, 10 in pediatrics, 8 interdisciplinary programs, 3 in surgery, and 3 in women's health. Of these, 46 of the programs (57.5%) responded to the survey. Fellowship programs were most commonly between 19 and 24 months in duration and were nearly equally divided among 2 models: (1) fellowship integrated into residency, and (2) fellowship following completion of residency. Respondents also provided information on selection criteria for fellows, fellowship training activities, and graduates' career choices. Nearly half of fellowship programs surveyed were recently established and had not graduated fellows at the time of the study.
Conclusion
Institutions across the nation have established a significant, diverse collection of global health fellowship opportunities. A public online database (www.globalhealthfellowships.org), developed from the results of this study, will serve as an ongoing resource on global health fellowships and best practices.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-11-00214.1
PMCID: PMC3399610  PMID: 23730439
18.  The Ambulatory Pediatric Association Fellowship in Pediatric Environmental Health: A 5-Year Assessment 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2007;115(10):1383-1387.
Background
Evidence is mounting that environmental exposures contribute to causation of disease in children. Yet few pediatricians are trained to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease of environmental origin.
Objectives
To develop a cadre of future leaders in pediatric environmental health (PEH), the Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) launched a new 3-year fellowship in 2001—the world’s first formal training program in PEH. Sites were established at Boston Children’s Hospital, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, George Washington University, University of Cincinnati, and University of Washington. Fellows are trained in epidemiology, biostatistics, toxicology, risk assessment, and preventive medicine. They gain clinical experience in environmental pediatrics and mentored training in clinical research, policy development, and evidence-based advocacy. Thirteen fellows have graduated. Two sites have secured follow-on federal funding to enable them to continue PEH training.
Discussion
To assess objectively the program’s success in preparing fellows for leadership careers in PEH, we conducted a mailed survey in 2006 with follow-up in 2007.
Conclusions
Fifteen (88%) of 17 fellows and graduates participated; program directors provided information on the remaining two. Nine graduates are pursuing full-time academic careers, and two have leadership positions in governmental and environmental organizations. Ten have published one or more first-authored papers. Seven graduates are principal investigators on federal or foundation grants. The strongest predictors of academic success are remaining affiliated with the fellowship training site and devoting < 20% of fellowship time to clinical practice.
Conclusion
The APA fellowship program is proving successful in preparing pediatricians for leadership careers in PEH.
doi:10.1289/ehp.10015
PMCID: PMC2022661  PMID: 17938724
community pediatrics; environmental medicine; environmental pediatrics; fellowship training; medical education
19.  Use of a Standardized Patient Exercise to Assess Core Competencies During Fellowship Training 
Background
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires fellows in many specialties to demonstrate attainment of 6 core competencies, yet relatively few validated assessment tools currently exist. We present our initial experience with the design and implementation of a standardized patient (SP) exercise during gastroenterology fellowship that facilitates appraisal of all core clinical competencies.
Methods
Fellows evaluated an SP trained to portray an individual referred for evaluation of abnormal liver tests. The encounters were independently graded by the SP and a faculty preceptor for patient care, professionalism, and interpersonal and communication skills using quantitative checklist tools. Trainees' consultation notes were scored using predefined key elements (medical knowledge) and subjected to a coding audit (systems-based practice). Practice-based learning and improvement was addressed via verbal feedback from the SP and self-assessment of the videotaped encounter.
Results
Six trainees completed the exercise. Second-year fellows received significantly higher scores in medical knowledge (55.0 ± 4.2 [standard deviation], P  =  .05) and patient care skills (19.5 ± 0.7, P  =  .04) by a faculty evaluator as compared with first-year trainees (46.2 ± 2.3 and 14.7 ± 1.5, respectively). Scores correlated by Spearman rank (0.82, P  =  .03) with the results of the Gastroenterology Training Examination. Ratings of the fellows by the SP did not differ by level of training, nor did they correlate with faculty scores. Fellows viewed the exercise favorably, with most indicating they would alter their practice based on the experience.
Conclusions
An SP exercise is an efficient and effective tool for assessing core clinical competencies during fellowship training.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-09-00001.1
PMCID: PMC2931209  PMID: 21975896
20.  Gaps in exposure to essential competencies in hand surgery fellowship training: a national survey of program directors 
Hand (New York, N.Y.)  2013;8(1):1-11.
Background
Graduate medical education has moved towards competency-based training. The aim of this study was to assess hand surgery program directors’ opinions of exposure gaps in core competencies rated as essential for hand surgery training.
Methods
We surveyed the 74 ACGME hand surgery fellowship program directors. Respondents rated their opinion of 9 general areas of practice, 97 knowledge topics, and 172 procedures into one of three categories: essential, exposure needed, or unnecessary. Program directors also rated trainee exposure of each component at their respective program. Moderate and large exposure gaps were respectively defined as presence of at least 25 and 50 % of programs rating trainees as not having proficiency in the component at the end of training.
Results
Sixty-two of 74 program directors (84 %) responded to the survey. For the 76 knowledge topics and 98 procedures rated as essential, a majority of the knowledge topics (61 %; n = 46) and procedures (72 %; n = 71) had at least a moderate exposure gap. In addition, 22 % (n = 17) of the essential knowledge topics and 26 % (n = 25) of the essential procedures had a large exposure gap.
Conclusion
This study illuminates the discrepancies between what is believed to be important for practicing hand surgeons and graduates’ proficiency as perceived by program directors. The field of hand surgery must work to determine if program directors have unrealistic expectations for what is essential for practicing hand surgeons or if reforms are needed to improve exposure to essential skills in hand surgery training.
doi:10.1007/s11552-012-9482-5
PMCID: PMC3574485  PMID: 24426886
Competencies; Competency-based training; Hand surgery fellowship; Hand surgery training; Medical knowledge; Patient care
21.  Clerkship pathway 
Canadian Family Physician  2012;58(6):662-667.
Abstract
Objective
To identify factors that help predict success for international medical graduates (IMGs) who train in Canadian residency programs and pass the Canadian certification examinations.
Design
A retrospective analysis of 58 variables in the files of IMGs who applied to the Collège des médecins du Québec between 2000 and 2008.
Setting
Quebec.
Participants
Eight hundred ten IMGs who applied to the Collège des médecins du Québec through either the “equivalency pathway” (ie, starting training at a residency level) or the “clerkship pathway” (ie, relearning at the level of a medical student in the last 2 years of the MD diploma).
Main outcome measures
Success factors in achieving certification. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA (analysis of variance).
Results
International medical graduates who chose the “clerkship pathway” had greater success on certification examinations than those who started at the residency level did.
Conclusion
There are several factors that influence IMGs’ success on certification examinations, including integration issues, the acquisition of clinical decision-making skills, and the varied educational backgrounds. These factors perhaps can be better addressed by a regular clerkship pathway, in which IMGs benefit from learner-centred teaching and have more time for reflection on and understanding of the North American approach to medical education. The clerkship pathway is a useful strategy for assuring the integration of IMGs in the North American health care system. A 2-year relearning period in medical school at a clinical clerkship level deserves careful consideration.
PMCID: PMC3374691  PMID: 22859630
22.  Resident interest and factors involved in entering a pediatric pulmonary fellowship 
Background
Relatively little is known about interest in pediatric pulmonology among pediatric residents. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine at this institution: 1) the level of pediatric resident interest in pursuing a pulmonary fellowship, 2) potential factors involved in development of such interest, 3) whether the presence of a pulmonary fellowship program affects such interest.
Methods
A questionnaire was distributed to all 52 pediatric residents at this institution in 1992 and to all 59 pediatric residents and 14 combined internal medicine/pediatrics residents in 2002, following development of a pulmonary fellowship program.
Results
Response rates were 79% in 1992 and 86% in 2002. Eight of the 43 responders in 1992 (19%) had considered doing a pulmonary fellowship compared to 7 of 63 (11%) in 2002. The highest ranked factors given by the residents who had considered a fellowship included wanting to continue one's education after residency, enjoying caring for pulmonary patients, and liking pulmonary physiology and the pulmonary faculty. Major factors listed by residents who had not considered a pulmonary fellowship included not enjoying the tracheostomy/ventilator population and chronic pulmonary patients in general, and a desire to enter general pediatrics or another fellowship. Most residents during both survey periods believed that they would be in non-academic or academic general pediatrics in 5 years. Only 1 of the 106 responding residents (~1%) anticipated becoming a pediatric pulmonologist.
Conclusions
Although many pediatric residents consider enrolling in a pulmonary fellowship (~10–20% here), few (~1% here) will actually pursue a career in pediatric pulmonology. The presence of a pulmonary fellowship program did not significantly alter resident interest, though other confounding factors may be involved.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-4-11
PMCID: PMC503396  PMID: 15274742
Academic medicine; career paths; fellowship training; subspecialty practice.
23.  Validation of a large-scale clinical examination for international medical graduates 
Canadian Family Physician  2012;58(7):e408-e417.
Abstract
Objective
To evaluate a new examination process for international medical graduates (IMGs) to ensure that it is able to reliably assign candidates to 1 of 4 competency levels, and to determine if a global rating scale can accurately stratify examinees into 4 levels of learners: clerks, first-year residents, second-year residents, or practice ready.
Design
Validation study evaluating a 12-station objective structured clinical examination.
Setting
Ontario.
Participants
A total of 846 IMGs, and an additional 63 randomly selected volunteers from 2 groups: third-year clinical clerks (n = 42) and first-year family medicine residents (n = 21).
Main outcome measures
The accuracy of the stratification of the examinees into learner levels, the impact of the patient-encounter ratings and postencounter oral questions, and between-group differences in total score.
Results
Reliability of the patient-encounter scores, postencounter oral question scores, and the total between-group difference scores was 0.93, 0.88, and 0.76, respectively. Third-year clerks scored the lowest, followed by the IMGs. First-year residents scored highest for all 3 scores. Analysis of variance demonstrated significant between-group differences for all 3 scores (P < .05). Postencounter oral question scores differentiated among all 3 groups.
Conclusion
Clinical examination scores were capable of differentiating among the 3 groups. As a group, the IMGs seemed to be less competent than the first-year family medicine residents and more competent than the third-year clerks. The scores generated by the postencounter oral questions were the most effective in differentiating between the 2 training levels and among the 3 groups of test takers.
PMCID: PMC3395548  PMID: 22859643
24.  Prevalence and Cost of Full-Time Research Fellowships During General Surgery Residency – A National Survey 
Annals of surgery  2009;249(1):155-161.
Structured Abstract
Objective
To quantify the prevalence, outcomes, and cost of surgical resident research.
Summary Background Data
General surgery is unique among graduate medical education programs because a large percentage of residents interrupt their clinical training to spend 1-3 years performing full-time research. No comprehensive data exists on the scope of this practice.
Methods
Survey sent to all 239 program directors of general surgery residencies participating in the National Resident Matching Program.
Results
Response rate was 200/239 (84%). A total of 381 out of 1052 trainees (36%) interrupt residency to pursue full-time research. The mean research fellowship length is 1.7 years, with 72% of trainees performing basic science research. A significant association was found between fellowship length and post-residency activity, with a 14.7% increase in clinical fellowship training and a 15.2% decrease in private practice positions for each year of full-time research (p<0.0001). Program directors at 31% of programs reported increased clinical duties for research fellows as a result of ACGME work hour regulations for clinical residents, while a further 10% of programs are currently considering such changes. It costs $41.5 million to pay the 634 trainees who perform research fellowships each year, the majority of which is paid for by departmental funds (40%) and institutional training grants (24%).
Conclusions
Interrupting residency to perform a research fellowship is a common and costly practice among general surgery residents. While performing a research fellowship is associated with clinical fellowship training after residency, it is unclear to what extent this practice leads to the development of surgical investigators after post-graduate training.
doi:10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181929216
PMCID: PMC2678555  PMID: 19106692
25.  A Multiple Choice Testing Program Coupled with a Year-long Elective Experience is Associated with Improved Performance on the Internal Medicine In-Training Examination 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2011;26(11):1253-1257.
Background
The Internal Medicine In-Training Exam (IM-ITE) assesses the content knowledge of internal medicine trainees. Many programs use the IM-ITE to counsel residents, to create individual remediation plans, and to make fundamental programmatic and curricular modifications.
Objective
To assess the association between a multiple-choice testing program administered during 12 consecutive months of ambulatory and inpatient elective experience and IM-ITE percentile scores in third post-graduate year (PGY-3) categorical residents.
Design
Retrospective cohort study.
Participants
One hundred and four categorical internal medicine residents. Forty-five residents in the 2008 and 2009 classes participated in the study group, and the 59 residents in the three classes that preceded the use of the testing program, 2005–2007, served as controls.
Intervention
A comprehensive, elective rotation specific, multiple-choice testing program and a separate board review program, both administered during a continuous long-block elective experience during the twelve months between the second post-graduate year (PGY-2) and PGY-3 in-training examinations.
Measures
We analyzed the change in median individual percent correct and percentile scores between the PGY-1 and PGY-2 IM-ITE and between the PGY-2 and PGY-3 IM-ITE in both control and study cohorts. For our main outcome measure, we compared the change in median individual percentile rank between the control and study cohorts between the PGY-2 and the PGY-3 IM-ITE testing opportunities.
Results
After experiencing the educational intervention, the study group demonstrated a significant increase in median individual IM-ITE percentile score between PGY-2 and PGY-3 examinations of 8.5 percentile points (p < 0.01). This is significantly better than the increase of 1.0 percentile point seen in the control group between its PGY-2 and PGY-3 examination (p < 0.01).
Conclusion
A comprehensive multiple-choice testing program aimed at PGY-2 residents during a 12-month continuous long-block elective experience is associated with improved PGY-3 IM-ITE performance.
doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1696-7
PMCID: PMC3208479  PMID: 21499831
Internal Medicine In-Training Exam; multiple-choice testing; medical knowledge

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