The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires an annual evaluation of all ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs to assess program quality. The results of this evaluation must be used to improve the program. This manuscript describes a metric to be used in conducting ACGME-mandated annual program review of ACGME-accredited anesthesiology residencies and fellowships.
A variety of metrics to assess anesthesiology residency and fellowship programs are identified by the authors through literature review and considered for use in constructing a program "report card."
Metrics used to assess program quality include success in achieving American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) certification, performance on the annual ABA/American Society of Anesthesiology In-Training Examination, performance on mock oral ABA certification examinations, trainee scholarly activities (publications and presentations), accreditation site visit and internal review results, ACGME and alumni survey results, National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) results, exit interview feedback, diversity data and extensive program/rotation/faculty/curriculum evaluations by trainees and faculty. The results are used to construct a "report card" that provides a high-level review of program performance and can be used in a continuous quality improvement process.
An annual program review is required to assess all ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs to monitor and improve program quality. We describe an annual review process based on metrics that can be used to focus attention on areas for improvement and track program performance year-to-year. A "report card" format is described as a high-level tool to track educational outcomes.
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.
Survey sent to all 239 program directors of general surgery residencies participating in the National Resident Matching Program.
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%).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Specialists; workforce; supply
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.
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
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
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.
A national online survey was conducted to evaluate pediatric subspecialty fellow satisfaction regarding continuity clinic experience.
An anonymous online survey (SurveyMonkey™) was developed to evaluate demographics of the program, clinic organization, and patient and preceptor characteristics, and to compare fellow satisfaction when fellows were the primary providers with faculty supervision versus attending-run clinics assisted by fellows or a combination of the two models. Pediatric subspecialty fellows in a 3-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited program in the United States (excluding emergency medicine, neonatology, and critical care) were invited to participate.
There were 644 respondents and nearly half (54%) of these had fellow-run clinics. Eighty-six percent of fellows responded that they would prefer to have their own continuity clinics. Higher satisfaction ratings on maintaining continuity of care, being perceived as the primary provider, and feeling that they had greater autonomy in patient management were associated with being part of a fellow-run clinic experience (all P < 0.001). Additionally, fellow-run clinics were associated with a feeling of increased involvement in designing a treatment plan based on their differential diagnosis (P < 0.001). There were no significant associations with patient or preceptor characteristics.
Fellow-run continuity clinics provide fellows with a greater sense of satisfaction and independence in management plans.
resident education/training; workforce; pediatric; patient-provider relationship; pediatric outpatient clinic
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.
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.
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.
An SP exercise is an efficient and effective tool for assessing core clinical competencies during fellowship training.
The Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program (VAQS) was established in 1998 as a post-graduate medical education fellowship to train physicians in new methods of improving the quality and safety of health care for Veterans and the nation. The VAQS curriculum is based on adult learning theory, with a national core curriculum of face-to-face components, technologically mediated distance learning components, and a unique local curriculum that draws from the strengths of regional resources.
VAQS has established strong ties with other VA programs. Fellows’ research and projects are integrated with local and regional VA leaders’ priorities, enhancing the relevance and visibility of the fellows’ efforts and promoting recruitment of fellows to VA positions.
VAQS has enrolled 96 fellows from 1999 to 2008; 75 have completed the program and 11 are currently enrolled. Fellowship graduates have pursued a variety of career paths: 20% are continuing training (most in VA); 32% hold a VA faculty/staff position; 63% are academic faculty; and 80% conduct clinical or research work related to health care improvement. Graduates have held leadership positions in VA, Department of Defense, and public health.
Combining knowledge about the improvement of health care with adult learning strategies, distance learning technologies, face-to-face meetings, local mentorship, and experiential projects has been successful in improving care in VA and preparing physicians to participate in, study, and lead the improvement of health care quality and safety.
Historical bias toward service-oriented inpatient graduate medical education experiences has hindered both resident education and care of patients in the ambulatory setting.
Describe and evaluate a residency redesign intended to improve the ambulatory experience for residents and patients.
Categorical Internal Medicine resident ambulatory practice at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.
We created a year-long continuous ambulatory group-practice experience separated from traditional inpatient responsibilities called the long block as an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Educational Innovations Project. The practice adopted the Chronic Care Model and residents received extensive instruction in quality improvement and interprofessional teams.
The long block was associated with significant increases in resident and patient satisfaction as well as improvement in multiple quality process and outcome measures. Continuity and no-show rates also improved.
An ambulatory long block can be associated with improvements in resident and patient satisfaction, quality measures, and no-show rates. Future research should be done to determine effects of the long block on education and patient care in the long term, and elucidate which aspects of the long block most contribute to improvement.
ambulatory education; clinic; residency training; chronic care model
Although criteria are available to guide the selection of general internal medicine (GIM) fellowship programs, the factors actually used in this process are unclear. Using a survey of current GIM fellows, we determined that most received information from their residency advisors, and many viewed them as the most important source of fellowship information. Program location was the top selection factor for fellows, followed by research opportunities, availability of a mentor, and the reputation of the program. This information may be useful to both fellowship candidates as an additional selection guide and to program directors seeking to best structure and market their fellowships.
fellowships and scholarships; career choice; questionnaires; internal medicine
As recent events highlight, a global requirement exists for evidence-based training in the emerging field of Disaster Medicine. The following is an example of an International Disaster Medical Sciences Fellowship created to fill this need. We provide here a program description, including educational goals and objectives and a model core curriculum based on current evidence-based literature. In addition, we describe the administrative process to establish the fellowship. Information about this innovative educational program is valuable to international Disaster Medicine scholars, as well as U.S. institutions seeking to establish formal training in Disaster Medical Sciences.
Neurohospitalists are an emerging subspecialty group in neurology.1 A recent survey of neurohospitalists found 75% of respondents had completed general neurology residency plus additional fellowship training (54% vascular neurology, 13% neurocritical care, and 33% other).2 A limited number of neurohospitalist fellowship positions3,4 are offered in the United States, however, a standardized curriculum or subspecialty certification examination does not currently exist. Given the recent dialogue surrounding the utility of neurohospitalist fellowship training, the purpose of this article is to provide 2 contrasting perspectives on the perceived need for neurohospitalist fellowship training.
neurhospitalist; fellowship; education
Background. There are currently 34 International Emergency Medicine (IEM) fellowship programs. Applicants and programs are increasing in number and diversity. Without a standardized application, applicants have a difficulty approaching programs in an informed and an organized method; a streamlined application system is necessary. Objectives. To measure fellows' knowledge of their programs' curricula prior to starting fellowship and to determine what percent of fellows and program directors would support a universal application system. Methods. A focus group of program directors, recent, and current fellows convened to determine the most important features of an IEM fellowship application process. A survey was administered electronically to a convenience sample of 78 participants from 34 programs. Respondents included fellowship directors, fellows, and recent graduates. Results. Most fellows (70%) did not know their program's curriculum prior to starting fellowship. The majority of program directors and fellows support a uniform application service (81% and 67%, resp.) and deadline (85% for both). A minority of program directors (35%) and fellows (30%) support a formal match. Conclusions. Program directors and fellows support a uniform application service and deadline, but not a formalized match. Forums for disseminating IEM fellowship information and for administering a uniform application service and deadline are currently in development to improve the process.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Pediatricians and family physicians are responsible for providing newborn resuscitation, yet Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirements for training in this area during residency differ markedly for the two specialties. Our objectives were to determine (1) the extent to which neonatal resuscitation training differs for pediatric and family medicine residents; (2) the extent to which general pediatricians and family physicians engage in newborn resuscitation in their practice; and (3) whether use of resuscitation skills differs between urban/suburban and rural providers.
We surveyed a national cohort of pediatricians and family physicians who obtained board certification between 2001 and 2005. Data were analyzed based on type of physician and setting of current practice.
Survey response rate was 22% (382 of 1736). Compared with family medicine physicians, pediatricians received more neonatal resuscitation training during residency. Most members of both groups had attended no deliveries in the year prior to the survey (75% [111 of 148] versus 74% [114 of 154]). In their current practice, the groups were equally likely to have provided a newborn bag and mask ventilation, chest compressions, and resuscitation medications. Pediatricians were more likely than family physicians to have attempted to either intubate a newborn (20% [28 of 148] versus 10% [16 of 153]; P = .0495) or insert umbilical catheters (15% [22 of 148] versus 5% [8 of 153]; P = .005). Regardless of specialty, rural physicians were much more likely to report that they attended deliveries (61% [41 of 67] versus 15% [36 of 234]; P < .001). Among rural pediatricians attending deliveries, 44% (7 of 16) reported feeling inadequately prepared for at least one delivery in the past year.
Few primary care pediatricians and family physicians provide newborn resuscitation after residency. For those who do attend deliveries, current training 5 provide insufficient preparation. Flexible, individualized residency curricula could target intensive resuscitation training to individuals who plan to practice in rural areas and/or attend deliveries after graduation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Academic medicine; career paths; fellowship training; subspecialty practice.
Successfully completing an internal medicine residency is a great accomplishment. With the great need for primary care physicians, many residents are considering entering the field of general medicine where one can care for the whole patient. However, for those who have a drive to become an expert in one particular organ system, the path to the completion of training is only half over. Though you may think you have figured out the ‘application process’ after successfully gaining admission to college, medical school, and residency, there is one more hurdle that stands between you and your ultimate goal of sub-specialization – the fellowship application process. Unfortunately, this last application may be the most difficult of all. As a former cardiology program director, I have trained over 100 fellows and reviewed over 3,000 applications. Here is some practical advice from the ‘inside’ on how to be successful at this process.
internal medicine; fellowship; application
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires that training programs integrate system-based practice (SBP) and practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) into internal medicine residency curricula.
Context and setting
We instituted a seminar series and year-long-mentored curriculum designed to engage internal medicine residents in these competencies.
Residents participate in a seminar series that includes assigned reading and structured discussion with faculty who assist in the development of quality improvement or research projects. Residents pursue projects over the remainder of the year. Monthly works in progress meetings, protected time for inquiry, and continued faculty mentorship guide the residents in their project development. Trainees present their work at hospital-wide grand rounds at the end of the academic year. We performed a survey of residents to assess their self-reported knowledge, attitudes and skills in SBP and PBLI. In addition, blinded faculty scored projects for appropriateness, impact, and feasibility.
We measured resident self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and skills at the end of the academic year. We found evidence that participants improved their understanding of the context in which they were practicing, and that their ability to engage in quality improvement projects increased. Blinded faculty reviewers favorably ranked the projects’ feasibility, impact, and appropriateness. The ‘Curriculum of Inquiry’ generated 11 quality improvement and research projects during the study period. Barriers to the ongoing work include a limited supply of mentors and delays due to Institutional Review Board approval. Hospital leadership recognizes the importance of the curriculum, and our accreditation manager now cites our ongoing work.
A structured residency-based curriculum facilitates resident demonstration of SBP and practice-based learning and improvement. Residents gain knowledge and skills though this enterprise and hospitals gain access to trainees who help to solve ongoing problems and meet accreditation requirements.
graduate medical education; competencies; longitudinal curriculum
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is growing interest in global health among medical trainees. Medical schools and residencies are responding to this trend by offering global health opportunities within their programs. Among United States (US) graduating pediatric residents, 40% choose to subspecialize after residency training. There is limited data, however, regarding global health opportunities within traditional post-residency, subspecialty fellowship training programs. The objectives of this study were to explore the availability and type of global health opportunities within Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited pediatric subspecialty fellowship training programs, as noted by their online report, and to document change in these opportunities over time.
The authors performed a systematic online review of ACGME-accredited fellowship training programs within a convenience sample of six US pediatric subspecialties. Utilizing two data sources, the American Medical Association-Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access (AMA-FREIDA) and individual program websites, all programs were coded for global health opportunities and opportunity types were stratified into predefined categories. Comparisons were made between 2008 and 2011 using Fisher exact test. All analyses were conducted using SAS Software v. 9.3 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC).
Of the 355 and 360 programs reviewed in 2008 and 2011 respectively, there was an increase in total number of programs listing global health opportunities on AMA-FREIDA (16% to 23%, p=0.02) and on individual program websites (8% to 16%, p=0.004). Nearly all subspecialties had an increased percentage of programs offering global health opportunities on both data sources; although only critical care experienced a significant increase (p=0.04, AMA-FREIDA). The types of opportunities differed across all subspecialties.
Global health opportunities among ACGME-accredited pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs are limited, but increasing as noted by their online report. The availability and types of these opportunities differ by pediatric subspecialty.
Global health; Pediatrics; Graduate medical education; Subspecialty; Fellowship training
Objective: To review the current status and recent trends in the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) specialties and neurologic subspecialties and discuss the implications of those trends for subspecialty viability.
Methods: Data on numbers of residency and fellowship programs and graduates and ABPN certification candidates and diplomates were drawn from several sources, including ABPN records, Web sites of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Medical Association, and the annual medical education issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Results: About four-fifths of neurology graduates pursue fellowship training. While most recent neurology and child neurology graduates attempt to become certified by the ABPN, many clinical neurophysiologists elect not to do so. There appears to have been little interest in establishing fellowships in neurodevelopmental disabilities. The pass rate for fellowship graduates is equivalent to that for the “grandfathers” in clinical neurophysiology. Lower percentages of clinical neurophysiologists than specialists participate in maintenance of certification, and maintenance of certification pass rates are high.
Conclusion: The initial enthusiastic interest in training and certification in some of the ABPN neurologic subspecialties appears to have slowed, and the long-term viability of those subspecialties will depend upon the answers to a number of complicated social, economic, and political questions in the new health care era.
ABMS = American Board of Medical Specialties; ABPN = American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; ACGME = Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; MOC = maintenance of certification; RRC-N = Residency Review Committee in Neurology.
To compare international medical graduates (IMGs) with Canadian medical school graduates in a family practice residency program.
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.
St Paul’s Hospital (SPH) in Vancouver, BC, a training site of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Family Practice Residency Program.
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.
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.
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.
Pathology Informatics is a new field; a field that is still defining itself even as it begins the formalization, accreditation, and board certification process. At the same time, Pathology itself is changing in a variety of ways that impact informatics, including subspecialization and an increased use of data analysis. In this paper, we examine how these changes impact both the structure of Pathology Informatics fellowship programs and the fellows’ goals within those programs.
Materials and Methods:
As part of our regular program review process, the fellows evaluated the value and effectiveness of our existing fellowship tracks (Research Informatics, Clinical Two-year Focused Informatics, Clinical One-year Focused Informatics, and Clinical 1 + 1 Subspecialty Pathology and Informatics). They compared their education, informatics background, and anticipated career paths and analyzed them for correlations between those parameters and the fellowship track chosen. All current and past fellows of the program were actively involved with the project.
Fellows’ anticipated career paths correlated very well with the specific tracks in the program. A small set of fellows (Clinical – one or two year – Focused Informatics tracks) anticipated clinical careers primarily focused in informatics (Director of Informatics). The majority of the fellows, however, anticipated a career practicing in a Pathology subspecialty, using their informatics training to enhance that practice (Clinical 1 + 1 Subspecialty Pathology and Informatics Track). Significantly, all fellows on this track reported they would not have considered a Clinical Two-year Focused Informatics track if it was the only track offered. The Research and the Clinical One-year Focused Informatics tracks each displayed unique value for different situations.
It seems a “one size fits all” fellowship structure does not fit the needs of the majority of potential Pathology Informatics candidates. Increasingly, these fellowships must be able to accommodate the needs of candidates anticipating a wide range of Pathology Informatics career paths, be able to accommodate Pathology's increasingly subspecialized structure, and do this in a way that respects the multiple fellowships needed to become a subspecialty pathologist and informatician. This is further complicated as Pathology Informatics begins to look outward and takes its place in the growing, and still ill-defined, field of Clinical Informatics, a field that is not confined to just one medical specialty, to one way of practicing medicine, or to one way of providing patient care.
Clinical informatics training; clinical informatics; fellowship tracks; informatics fellowship training; informatics teaching; pathology informatics fellowship; pathology informatics training; pathology informatics
1) To describe how internal medicine residency programs fulfill the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) scholarly activity training requirement including the current context of resident scholarly work, and 2) to compare findings between university and nonuniversity programs.
Cross-sectional mailed survey.
ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency programs.
Internal medicine residency program directors.
Data were collected on 1) interpretation of the scholarly activity requirement, 2) support for resident scholarship, 3) scholarly activities of residents, 4) attitudes toward resident research, and 5) program characteristics. University and nonuniversity programs were compared.
The response rate was 78%. Most residents completed a topic review with presentation (median, 100%) to fulfill the requirement. Residents at nonuniversity programs were more likely to complete case reports (median, 40% vs 25%; P =.04) and present at local or regional meetings (median, 25% vs 20%; P =.01), and were just as likely to conduct hypothesis-driven research (median, 20% vs 20%; P =.75) and present nationally (median, 10% vs 5%; P =.10) as residents at university programs. Nonuniversity programs were more likely to report lack of faculty mentors (61% vs 31%; P <.001) and resident interest (55% vs 40%; P =.01) as major barriers to resident scholarship. Programs support resident scholarship through research curricula (47%), funding (46%), and protected time (32%).
Internal medicine residents complete a variety of projects to fulfill the scholarly activity requirement. Nonuniversity programs are doing as much as university programs in meeting the requirement and supporting resident scholarship despite reporting significant barriers.
ACGME; resident research; medical education; national survey
To obtain a quantitative measure of the extent to which graduate education and qualification for specialty practice have become an integral part of the total educational experience, samples of the graduating classes of 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1970 of Canadian medical schools were tracked through postgraduate educational training and into specialty certification. From the 1960 cohort 65% chose a career recognized by special certifying exams in Canada and/or the United States, entered a residency, completed it and achieved certification of special competence. From the 1970 cohort, by the end of 1972 approximately 50% had entered a recognized specialty training program leading to certification. The diminishing trend toward specialty practice is demonstrated by reviewing the comparative figures in the 1964 and 1968 cohorts. Evidence garnered in this study indicates a continuing strong motivation for specialty practice although family medicine and/or general practice appear increasingly attractive as career choices. Strong provincial educational forces as well as social and other forces will probably continue to modify career selection and may lead an increasing number of Canadian medical graduates into family practice.
Currently, there are more residents enrolled in cardiology training programs in Canada than in immunology, pharmacology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, geriatrics and endocrinology combined. There is no published data regarding the proportion of Canadian internal medicine residents applying to the various subspecialties, or the factors that residents consider important when deciding which subspecialty to pursue. To address the concern about physician imbalances in internal medicine subspecialties, we need to examine the factors that motivate residents when making career decisions.
In this two-phase study, Canadian internal medicine residents participating in the post graduate year 4 (PGY4) subspecialty match were invited to participate in a web-based survey and focus group discussions. The focus group discussions were based on issues identified from the survey results. Analysis of focus group transcripts grew on grounded theory.
110 PGY3 residents participating in the PGY4 subspecialty match from 10 participating Canadian universities participated in the web-based survey (54% response rate). 22 residents from 3 different training programs participated in 4 focus groups held across Canada. Our study found that residents are choosing careers that provide intellectual stimulation, are consistent with their personality, and that provide a challenge in diagnosis. From our focus group discussions it appears that lifestyle, role models, mentorship and the experience of the resident with the specialty appear to be equally important in career decisions. Males are more likely to choose procedure based specialties and are more concerned with the reputation of the specialty as well as the anticipated salary. In contrast, residents choosing non-procedure based specialties are more concerned with issues related to lifestyle, including work-related stress, work hours and time for leisure as well as the patient populations they are treating.
This study suggests that internal medicine trainees, and particularly males, are increasingly choosing procedure-based specialties while non-procedure based specialties, and in particular general internal medicine, are losing appeal. We need to implement strategies to ensure positive rotation experiences, exposure to role models, improved lifestyle and job satisfaction as well as payment schedules that are equitable between disciplines in order to attract residents to less popular career choices.