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1.  Determinants of internal medicine residents' choice in the canadian R4 Fellowship Match: A qualitative study 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:44.
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.
PMCID: PMC3146947  PMID: 21714921
2.  Impact of personal goals on the internal medicine R4 subspecialty match: a Q methodology study 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:171.
There has been a decline in interest in general internal medicine that has resulted in a discrepancy between internal medicine residents’ choice in the R4 subspecialty match and societal need. Few studies have focused on the relative importance of personal goals and their impact on residents’ choice. The purpose of this study was to assess if internal medicine residents can be grouped based on their personal goals and how each group prioritizes these goals compared to each other. A secondary objective was to explore whether we could predict a resident’s desired subspecialty choice based on their constellation of personal goals.
We used Q methodology to examine how postgraduate year 1–3 internal medicine residents could be grouped based on their rankings of 36 statements (derived from our previous qualitative study). Using each groups’ defining and distinguishing statements, we predicted their subspecialties of interest. We also collected the residents’ first choice in the subspecialty match and used a kappa test to compare our predicted subspecialty group to the residents’ self-reported first choice.
Fifty-nine internal medicine residents at the University of Alberta participated between 2009 and 2010 with 46 Q sorts suitable for analysis. The residents loaded onto four factors (groups) based on how they ranked statements. Our prediction of each groups’ desired subspecialties with their defining and/or distinguishing statements are as follows: group 1 – general internal medicine (variety in practice); group 2 – gastroenterology, nephrology, and respirology (higher income); group 3 – cardiology and critical care (procedural, willing to entertain longer training); group 4 – rest of subspecialties (non-procedural, focused practice, and valuing more time for personal life). There was moderate agreement (kappa = 0.57) between our predicted desired subspecialty group and residents’ self-reported first choice (p < 0.001).
This study suggests that most residents fall into four groups based on a constellation of personal goals when choosing an internal medicine subspecialty. The key goals that define and/or distinguish between these groups are breadth of practice, lifestyle, desire to do procedures, length of training, and future income potential. Using these groups, we were able to predict residents’ first subspecialty group with moderate success.
PMCID: PMC3879426  PMID: 24359484
Career choice; Internal medicine; Q methodology; Postgraduate medical education; Specialization; Canada
3.  Characteristic profiles among students and junior doctors with specific career preferences 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:125.
Factors influencing specialty choice have been studied in an attempt to find incentives to enhance the workforce in certain specialties. The notion of “controllable lifestyle (CL) specialties,” defined by work hours and income, is gaining in popularity. As a result, many reports advocate providing a ‘lifestyle-friendly’ work environment to attract medical graduates. However, little has been documented about the priority in choosing specialties across the diverse career opportunities.
This nationwide study was conducted in Japan with the aim of identifying factors that influence specialty choice. It looked for characteristic profiles among senior students and junior doctors who were choosing between different specialties.
We conducted a survey of 4th and 6th (final)-year medical students and foundation year doctors, using a questionnaire enquiring about their specialty preference and to what extent their decision was influenced by a set of given criteria. The results were subjected to a factor analysis. After identifying factors, we analysed a subset of responses from 6th year students and junior doctors who identified a single specialty as their future career, to calculate a z-score (standard score) of each factor and then we plotted the scores on a cobweb chart to visualise characteristic profiles.
Factor analysis yielded 5 factors that influence career preference. Fifteen specialties were sorted into 4 groups based on the factor with the highest z-score: “fulfilling life with job security” (radiology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology, dermatology and psychiatry), “bioscientific orientation” (internal medicine subspecialties, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, emergency medicine, urology, and neurosurgery), and “personal reasons” (paediatrics and orthopaedics). Two other factors were “advice from others” and “educational experience”. General medicine / family medicine and otolaryngology were categorized as “intermediate” group because of similar degree of influence from 5 factors.
What is valued in deciding a career varies between specialties. Emphasis on lifestyle issues, albeit important, might dissuade students and junior doctors who are more interested in bioscientific aspects of the specialty or have strong personal reasons to pursue the career choice. In order to secure balanced workforce across the specialties, enrolling students with varied background and beliefs should be considered in the student selection process.
PMCID: PMC3847686  PMID: 24028298
Career choice; Medical student; Junior doctor
4.  Choosing Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Factors Influencing Medical Students 
To examine the factors influencing medical students to choose child and adolescent psychiatry as a career specialty.
Quantitative and qualitative methods were used. A web-based survey was distributed to child and adolescent psychiatrists at the University of Toronto. In-depth interviews were held with select child and adolescent psychiatrists as well as a focus group with psychiatry residents. Retrospective accounts of the factors that influenced their decision to choose psychiatry and/or child and adolescent psychiatry as a specialty were collected.
Ninety-two percent of participants indicated that recruitment of child psychiatrists in Canada is a problem. The recent decision by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons to recognize child and adolescent psychiatry as a subspecialty and introduce an extra year of training was identified as a further challenge to recruitment efforts. Other deterrents included lower salary than other subspecialties, lack of exposure during training, stigma, and lack of interest in treating children. Recruitment into psychiatry was enhanced by good role modeling, early exposure in medical school, an interest in brain research, and career and lifestyle issues.
A rebranding of the role and perception of psychiatry is needed to attract future psychiatrists. Early exposure to innovations in child and adolescent psychiatry and positive role models are critical in attracting medical students. Recruitment should begin in the first year of medical school and include an enriched paediatric curriculum.
PMCID: PMC3825465  PMID: 24223044
child and adolescent psychiatry; education; medical students; recruitment; psychiatrie de l’enfant et de l’adolescent; éducation; étudiants en médecine; recrutement
5.  Why Not Nephrology? A Survey of US Internal Medicine Subspecialty Fellows 
There is a decreased interest in nephrology such that the number of trainees likely will not meet the upcoming workforce demands posed by the projected number of patients with kidney disease. We conducted a survey of US internal medicine subspecialty fellows in fields other than nephrology to determine why they did not choose nephrology.
A web-based survey with multiple choice, yes/no, and open-ended questions was sent in summer 2011 to trainees reached through internal medicine subspecialty program directors.
714 fellows responded to the survey (11% response rate). All non-nephrology internal medicine subspecialties were represented, and 90% of respondents were from university-based programs. Of the respondents, 31% indicated that nephrology was the most difficult physiology course taught in medical school, and 26% had considered nephrology as a career choice. Nearly one-fourth of the respondents said they would have considered nephrology if the field had higher income or the subject were taught well during medical school and residency training. The top reasons for not choosing nephrology were the belief that patients with end-stage renal disease were too complicated, the lack of a mentor, and that there were insufficient procedures in nephrology.
Most non-nephrology internal medicine subspecialty fellows never considered nephrology as a career choice. A significant proportion were dissuaded by factors such as the challenges of the patient population, lack of role models, lack of procedures, and perceived difficulty of the subject matter. Addressing these factors will require the concerted effort of nephrologists throughout the training community.
PMCID: PMC4164433  PMID: 23332603
Non-renal fellows survey; nephrology education; mentors; perception of nephrology; internal medicine fellows; nephrology workforce
6.  Internal Medicine Resident Self-report of Factors Associated with Career Decisions 
Little is known about factors contributing to the career decisions of internal medicine residents.
To evaluate factors self-reported by internal medicine residents nationally as important to their career decisions.
Cross-sectional survey conducted in October of 2005, 2006, and 2007 as part of the national Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE).
Postgraduate year 3 internal medicine residents taking the IM-ITE.
Residents rated the importance of nine factors in their career decisions on 5-point Likert scales. Univariate statistics characterized the distribution of responses. Associations between variables were evaluated using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel statistics for ordinal data. Multivariate analyses were conducted using logistic regression.
Of 17,044 eligible residents taking the IM-ITE, 14,890 (87.4%) completed the career decision survey questions. Overall, time with family was the factor most commonly reported as of high or very high importance to career decisions (69.6%). Women were more likely to assign greatest importance to family time (OR 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.12–1.31, p < 0.001) and long-term patient relationships (OR 1.34, 95% confidence interval 1.23–1.46, p < 0.001). Across debt levels, financial considerations were of greatest importance more often for residents owing >$150,000 (OR 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.09–1.62, p < 0.001). Across specialties, mentor specialty was rated lowest in importance by residents pursuing hospitalist and general internal medicine careers.
Greater attention to factors reported by residents as important to their career decisions may assist efforts to optimize the distribution of physicians across disciplines. In addition to lifestyle and practice considerations, these factors may include mentor specialty. As this factor is less commonly reported as important by residents planning careers in generalist fields, attention to effective mentoring may be an important element of efforts to increase interest in these areas.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1039-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2710478  PMID: 19551448
career decision; career plan; ACGME; graduate medical education; internship and residency
7.  Canadian and immigrant international medical graduates 
Canadian Family Physician  2005;51(9):1243.
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.
Web-based questionnaire survey.
The study was conducted during the second-iteration CaRMS match in Canada.
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.
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.
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.
There are notable similarities and some significant differences between Canadian and immigrant IMGs seeking to practise medicine in Canada.
PMCID: PMC1479472  PMID: 16926941
8.  Why would I choose a career in family medicine? 
Canadian Family Physician  2007;53(11):1956-1957.
To describe the factors that medical students report influencethem to pursue careers in family medicine.
Qualitative study using focus groups and interviews and the results of surveys conducted at 3 different points in medical education.
Three medical schools in western Canada: the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the University of Calgary in Alberta, and the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
A total of 33 medical students.
Students were surveyed during the first 2 weeks of their programs, at the end of their preclinical training, and again at the end of their clinical training on their interest in family medicine or other specialty areas. Focus groups and interviews were conducted to explore the reasons students gave for an emerging or final interest in family medicine as a career choice. A small cohort of students who stayed with another specialty choice or switched to another specialty from family medicine were also interviewed. Thematic content analysis was carried out.
Students identified several important influences that were subdivided into pre–medical school, medical school, postgraduate training, and life-in-medicine influences. Many positive and negative aspects of family medicine were reported during the preclinical period. Clinical exposure was critical for demonstrating the positive aspects of family medicine. Postgraduate training, future practice, and nonpractice life considerations also influenced students’ career choices.
This study provides a qualitative understanding of why students choose careers in family medicine. Medical schools should offer high-quality family medicine clinical experiences, consider the potentially positive influence of rural settings, and provide early and accurate information on family medicine training and career opportunities. These interventions might help students make more informed career decisions and increase the likelihood that they will consider careers in family medicine.
PMCID: PMC2231492  PMID: 18000274
9.  Implementing the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations on resident physician work hours, supervision, and safety 
Long working hours and sleep deprivation have been a facet of physician training in the US since the advent of the modern residency system. However, the scientific evidence linking fatigue with deficits in human performance, accidents and errors in industries from aeronautics to medicine, nuclear power, and transportation has mounted over the last 40 years. This evidence has also spawned regulations to help ensure public safety across safety-sensitive industries, with the notable exception of medicine.
In late 2007, at the behest of the US Congress, the Institute of Medicine embarked on a year-long examination of the scientific evidence linking resident physician sleep deprivation with clinical performance deficits and medical errors. The Institute of Medicine’s report, entitled “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety”, published in January 2009, recommended new limits on resident physician work hours and workload, increased supervision, a heightened focus on resident physician safety, training in structured handovers and quality improvement, more rigorous external oversight of work hours and other aspects of residency training, and the identification of expanded funding sources necessary to implement the recommended reforms successfully and protect the public and resident physicians themselves from preventable harm.
Given that resident physicians comprise almost a quarter of all physicians who work in hospitals, and that taxpayers, through Medicare and Medicaid, fund graduate medical education, the public has a deep investment in physician training. Patients expect to receive safe, high-quality care in the nation’s teaching hospitals. Because it is their safety that is at issue, their voices should be central in policy decisions affecting patient safety. It is likewise important to integrate the perspectives of resident physicians, policy makers, and other constituencies in designing new policies. However, since its release, discussion of the Institute of Medicine report has been largely confined to the medical education community, led by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
To begin gathering these perspectives and developing a plan to implement safer work hours for resident physicians, a conference entitled “Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety: What will it take to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations?” was held at Harvard Medical School on June 17–18, 2010. This White Paper is a product of a diverse group of 26 representative stakeholders bringing relevant new information and innovative practices to bear on a critical patient safety problem. Given that our conference included experts from across disciplines with diverse perspectives and interests, not every recommendation was endorsed by each invited conference participant. However, every recommendation made here was endorsed by the majority of the group, and many were endorsed unanimously. Conference members participated in the process, reviewed the final product, and provided input before publication. Participants provided their individual perspectives, which do not necessarily represent the formal views of any organization.
In September 2010 the ACGME issued new rules to go into effect on July 1, 2011. Unfortunately, they stop considerably short of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations and those endorsed by this conference. In particular, the ACGME only applied the limitation of 16 hours to first-year resident physicans. Thus, it is clear that policymakers, hospital administrators, and residency program directors who wish to implement safer health care systems must go far beyond what the ACGME will require. We hope this White Paper will serve as a guide and provide encouragement for that effort.
Resident physician workload and supervision
By the end of training, a resident physician should be able to practice independently. Yet much of resident physicians’ time is dominated by tasks with little educational value. The caseload can be so great that inadequate reflective time is left for learning based on clinical experiences. In addition, supervision is often vaguely defined and discontinuous. Medical malpractice data indicate that resident physicians are frequently named in lawsuits, most often for lack of supervision. The recommendations are: The ACGME should adjust resident physicians workload requirements to optimize educational value. Resident physicians as well as faculty should be involved in work redesign that eliminates nonessential and noneducational activity from resident physician dutiesMechanisms should be developed for identifying in real time when a resident physician’s workload is excessive, and processes developed to activate additional providersTeamwork should be actively encouraged in delivery of patient care. Historically, much of medical training has focused on individual knowledge, skills, and responsibility. As health care delivery has become more complex, it will be essential to train resident and attending physicians in effective teamwork that emphasizes collective responsibility for patient care and recognizes the signs, both individual and systemic, of a schedule and working conditions that are too demanding to be safeHospitals should embrace the opportunities that resident physician training redesign offers. Hospitals should recognize and act on the potential benefits of work redesign, eg, increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved quality of care, and resident physician and attending job satisfactionAttending physicians should supervise all hospital admissions. Resident physicians should directly discuss all admissions with attending physicians. Attending physicians should be both cognizant of and have input into the care patients are to receive upon admission to the hospitalInhouse supervision should be required for all critical care services, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, and trauma services. Resident physicians should not be left unsupervised to care for critically ill patients. In settings in which the acuity is high, physicians who have completed residency should provide direct supervision for resident physicians. Supervising physicians should always be physically in the hospital for supervision of resident physicians who care for critically ill patientsThe ACGME should explicitly define “good” supervision by specialty and by year of training. Explicit requirements for intensity and level of training for supervision of specific clinical scenarios should be providedCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should use graduate medical education funding to provide incentives to programs with proven, effective levels of supervision. Although this action would require federal legislation, reimbursement rules would help to ensure that hospitals pay attention to the importance of good supervision and require it from their training programs
Resident physician work hours
Although the IOM “Sleep, supervision and safety” report provides a comprehensive review and discussion of all aspects of graduate medical education training, the report’s focal point is its recommendations regarding the hours that resident physicians are currently required to work. A considerable body of scientific evidence, much of it cited by the Institute of Medicine report, describes deteriorating performance in fatigued humans, as well as specific studies on resident physician fatigue and preventable medical errors.
The question before this conference was what work redesign and cultural changes are needed to reform work hours as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s evidence-based report? Extensive scientific data demonstrate that shifts exceeding 12–16 hours without sleep are unsafe. Several principles should be followed in efforts to reduce consecutive hours below this level and achieve safer work schedules. The recommendations are: Limit resident physician work hours to 12–16 hour maximum shiftsA minimum of 10 hours off duty should be scheduled between shiftsResident physician input into work redesign should be actively solicitedSchedules should be designed that adhere to principles of sleep and circadian science; this includes careful consideration of the effects of multiple consecutive night shifts, and provision of adequate time off after night work, as specified in the IOM reportResident physicians should not be scheduled up to the maximum permissible limits; emergencies frequently occur that require resident physicians to stay longer than their scheduled shifts, and this should be anticipated in scheduling resident physicians’ work shiftsHospitals should anticipate the need for iterative improvement as new schedules are initiated; be prepared to learn from the initial phase-in, and change the plan as neededAs resident physician work hours are redesigned, attending physicians should also be considered; a potential consequence of resident physician work hour reduction and increased supervisory requirements may be an increase in work for attending physicians; this should be carefully monitored, and adjustments to attending physician work schedules made as needed to prevent unsafe work hours or working conditions for this group“Home call” should be brought under the overall limits of working hours; work load and hours should be monitored in each residency program to ensure that resident physicians and fellows on home call are getting sufficient sleepMedicare funding for graduate medical education in each hospital should be linked with adherence to the Institute of Medicine limits on resident physician work hours
Moonlighting by resident physicians
The Institute of Medicine report recommended including external as well as internal moonlighting in working hour limits. The recommendation is: All moonlighting work hours should be included in the ACGME working hour limits and actively monitored. Hospitals should formalize a moonlighting policy and establish systems for actively monitoring resident physician moonlighting
Safety of resident physicians
The “Sleep, supervision and safety” report also addresses fatigue-related harm done to resident physicians themselves. The report focuses on two main sources of physical injury to resident physicians impaired by fatigue, ie, needle-stick exposure to blood-borne pathogens and motor vehicle crashes. Providing safe transportation home for resident physicians is a logistical and financial challenge for hospitals. Educating physicians at all levels on the dangers of fatigue is clearly required to change driving behavior so that safe hospital-funded transport home is used effectively. Fatigue-related injury prevention (including not driving while drowsy) should be taught in medical school and during residency, and reinforced with attending physicians; hospitals and residency programs must be informed that resident physicians’ ability to judge their own level of impairment is impaired when they are sleep deprived; hence, leaving decisions about the capacity to drive to impaired resident physicians is not recommendedHospitals should provide transportation to all resident physicians who report feeling too tired to drive safely; in addition, although consecutive work should not exceed 16 hours, hospitals should provide transportation for all resident physicians who, because of unforeseen reasons or emergencies, work for longer than consecutive 24 hours; transportation under these circumstances should be automatically provided to house staff, and should not rely on self-identification or request
Training in effective handovers and quality improvement
Handover practice for resident physicians, attendings, and other health care providers has long been identified as a weak link in patient safety throughout health care settings. Policies to improve handovers of care must be tailored to fit the appropriate clinical scenario, recognizing that information overload can also be a problem. At the heart of improving handovers is the organizational effort to improve quality, an effort in which resident physicians have typically been insufficiently engaged. The recommendations are: Hospitals should train attending and resident physicians in effective handovers of careHospitals should create uniform processes for handovers that are tailored to meet each clinical setting; all handovers should be done verbally and face-to-face, but should also utilize written toolsWhen possible, hospitals should integrate hand-over tools into their electronic medical records (EMR) systems; these systems should be standardized to the extent possible across residency programs in a hospital, but may be tailored to the needs of specific programs and services; federal government should help subsidize adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals to improve signoutWhen feasible, handovers should be a team effort including nurses, patients, and familiesHospitals should include residents in their quality improvement and patient safety efforts; the ACGME should specify in their core competency requirements that resident physicians work on quality improvement projects; likewise, the Joint Commission should require that resident physicians be included in quality improvement and patient safety programs at teaching hospitals; hospital administrators and residency program directors should create opportunities for resident physicians to become involved in ongoing quality improvement projects and root cause analysis teams; feedback on successful quality improvement interventions should be shared with resident physicians and broadly disseminatedQuality improvement/patient safety concepts should be integral to the medical school curriculum; medical school deans should elevate the topics of patient safety, quality improvement, and teamwork; these concepts should be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum and reinforced throughout residency; mastery of these concepts by medical students should be tested on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) stepsFederal government should support involvement of resident physicians in quality improvement efforts; initiatives to improve quality by including resident physicians in quality improvement projects should be financially supported by the Department of Health and Human Services
Monitoring and oversight of the ACGME
While the ACGME is a key stakeholder in residency training, external voices are essential to ensure that public interests are heard in the development and monitoring of standards. Consequently, the Institute of Medicine report recommended external oversight and monitoring through the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The recommendations are: Make comprehensive fatigue management a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal; fatigue is a safety concern not only for resident physicians, but also for nurses, attending physicians, and other health care workers; the Joint Commission should seek to ensure that all health care workers, not just resident physicians, are working as safely as possibleFederal government, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, should encourage development of comprehensive fatigue management programs which all health systems would eventually be required to implementMake ACGME compliance with working hours a “ condition of participation” for reimbursement of direct and indirect graduate medical education costs; financial incentives will greatly increase the adoption of and compliance with ACGME standards
Future financial support for implementation
The Institute of Medicine’s report estimates that $1.7 billion (in 2008 dollars) would be needed to implement its recommendations. Twenty-five percent of that amount ($376 million) will be required just to bring hospitals into compliance with the existing 2003 ACGME rules. Downstream savings to the health care system could potentially result from safer care, but these benefits typically do not accrue to hospitals and residency programs, who have been asked historically to bear the burden of residency reform costs. The recommendations are: The Institute of Medicine should convene a panel of stakeholders, including private and public funders of health care and graduate medical education, to lay down the concrete steps necessary to identify and allocate the resources needed to implement the recommendations contained in the IOM “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety” report. Conference participants suggested several approaches to engage public and private support for this initiativeEfforts to find additional funding to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations should focus more broadly on patient safety and health care delivery reform; policy efforts focused narrowly upon resident physician work hours are less likely to succeed than broad patient safety initiatives that include residency redesign as a key componentHospitals should view the Institute of Medicine recommendations as an opportunity to begin resident physician work redesign projects as the core of a business model that embraces safety and ultimately saves resourcesBoth the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should take the Institute of Medicine recommendations into consideration when promulgating rules for innovation grantsThe National Health Care Workforce Commission should consider the Institute of Medicine recommendations when analyzing the nation’s physician workforce needs
Recommendations for future research
Conference participants concurred that convening the stakeholders and agreeing on a research agenda was key. Some observed that some sectors within the medical education community have been reluctant to act on the data. Several logical funders for future research were identified. But above all agencies, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the only stakeholder that funds graduate medical education upstream and will reap savings downstream if preventable medical errors are reduced as a result of reform of resident physician work hours.
PMCID: PMC3630963  PMID: 23616719
resident; hospital; working hours; safety
10.  Associations between subspecialty fellowship interest and knowledge of internal medicine: A hypothesis-generating study of internal medicine residents 
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.
PMCID: PMC3038163  PMID: 21281500
11.  Experience with Emergency Ultrasound Training by Canadian Emergency Medicine Residents 
Introduction: Starting in 2008, emergency ultrasound (EUS) was introduced as a core competency to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College) emergency medicine (EM) training standards. The Royal College accredits postgraduate EM specialty training in Canada through 5-year residency programs. The objective of this study is to describe both the current experience with and the perceptions of EUS by Canadian Royal College EM senior residents.
Methods: This was a web-based survey conducted from January to March 2011 of all 39 Canadian Royal College postgraduate fifth-year (PGY-5) EM residents. Main outcome measures were characteristics of EUS training and perceptions of EUS.
Results: Survey response rate was 95% (37/39). EUS was part of the formal residency curriculum for 86% of respondents (32/37). Residents most commonly received training in focused assessment with sonography for trauma, intrauterine pregnancy, abdominal aortic aneurysm, cardiac, and procedural guidance. Although the most commonly provided instructional material (86% [32/37]) was an ultrasound course, 73% (27/37) of residents used educational resources outside of residency training to supplement their ultrasound knowledge. Most residents (95% [35/37]) made clinical decisions and patient dispositions based on their EUS interpretation without a consultative study by radiology. Residents had very favorable perceptions and opinions of EUS.
Conclusion: EUS training in Royal College EM programs was prevalent and perceived favorably by residents, but there was heterogeneity in resident training and practice of EUS. This suggests variability in both the level and quality of EUS training in Canadian Royal College EM residency programs. [West J Emerg Med. 2014;15(3):306–311.]
PMCID: PMC4025528  PMID: 24868309
12.  Physician career satisfaction within specialties 
Specialty-specific data on career satisfaction may be useful for understanding physician workforce trends and for counseling medical students about career options.
We analyzed cross-sectional data from 6,590 physicians (response rate, 53%) in Round 4 (2004-2005) of the Community Tracking Study Physician Survey. The dependent variable ranged from +1 to -1 and measured satisfaction and dissatisfaction with career. Forty-two specialties were analyzed with survey-adjusted linear regressions
After adjusting for physician, practice, and community characteristics, the following specialties had significantly higher satisfaction levels than family medicine: pediatric emergency medicine (regression coefficient = 0.349); geriatric medicine (0.323); other pediatric subspecialties (0.270); neonatal/prenatal medicine (0.266); internal medicine and pediatrics (combined practice) (0.250); pediatrics (0.250); dermatology (0.249);and child and adolescent psychiatry (0.203). The following specialties had significantly lower satisfaction levels than family medicine: neurological surgery (-0.707); pulmonary critical care medicine (-0.273); nephrology (-0.206); and obstetrics and gynecology (-0.188). We also found satisfaction was significantly and positively related to income and employment in a medical school but negatively associated with more than 50 work-hours per-week, being a full-owner of the practice, greater reliance on managed care revenue, and uncontrollable lifestyle. We observed no statistically significant gender differences and no differences between African-Americans and whites.
Career satisfaction varied across specialties. A number of stakeholders will likely be interested in these findings including physicians in specialties that rank high and low and students contemplating specialty. Our findings regarding "less satisfied" specialties should elicit concern from residency directors and policy makers since they appear to be in critical areas of medicine.
PMCID: PMC2754441  PMID: 19758454
13.  Association of Volume of Patient Encounters with Residents’ In-Training Examination Performance 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(8):1035-1041.
Patient care and medical knowledge are Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competencies. The correlation between amount of patient contact and knowledge acquisition is not known.
To determine if a correlation exists between the number of patient encounters and in-training exam (ITE) scores in internal medicine (IM) and pediatric residents at a large academic medical center.
Retrospective cohort study
Resident physicians at Mayo Clinic from July 2006 to June 2010 in IM (318 resident-years) and pediatrics (66 resident-years).
We tabulated patient encounters through review of clinical notes in an electronic medical record during post graduate year (PGY)-1 and PGY-2. Using linear regression models, we investigated associations between ITE score and number of notes during the previous PGY, adjusted for previous ITE score, gender, medical school origin, and conference attendance.
For IM, PGY-2 admission and consult encounters in the hospital and specialty clinics had a positive linear association with ITE-3 % score (β = 0.02; p = 0.004). For IM, PGY-1 conference attendance is positively associated with PGY-2 ITE performance. We did not detect a correlation between PGY-1 patient encounters and subsequent ITE scores for IM or pediatric residents. No association was found between IM PGY-2 ITE score and inpatient, outpatient, or total encounters in the first year of training. Resident continuity clinic and total encounters were not associated with change in PGY-3 ITE score.
We identified a positive association between hospital and subspecialty encounters during the second year of IM training and subsequent ITE score, such that each additional 50 encounters were associated with an increase of 1 % correct in PGY-3 ITE score after controlling for previous ITE performance and continuity clinic encounters. We did not find a correlation for volume of encounters and medical knowledge for IM PGY-1 residents or the pediatric cohort.
PMCID: PMC3710390  PMID: 23595933
14.  Resident and program director perspectives on third-year family medicine programs 
Canadian Family Physician  2009;55(9):904-905.e8.
To determine the views of family medicine (FM) program directors, third-year program coordinators, and residents on the factors affecting demand and allocation of postgraduate year 3 (PGY3) positions and the effects of these programs on the professional activities of program graduates.
Cross-sectional surveys and key informant interviews.
Ontario (FM residents) and across Canada (program directors) in 2006.
All FM residents in Ontario and all core program directors and PGY3 program coordinators nationally were eligible to participate in the surveys. Eighteen key informant interviews were conducted, all in Ontario. Interviewees included all FM program directors, selected PGY3 program coordinators, residents, and other community stakeholders.
Resident surveys were Web-based; invitations to participate were delivered by FM programs via e-mail lists. The program director and coordinator surveys were postal surveys. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and the authors coded the interviews for themes.
Response rates for the surveys were 34% to 39% for residents and 78% for program directors and coordinators. Respondents agreed that programs should include flexible training options of varied duration. Demand for training is determined more by resident need than community or health system factors, and is either increasing or stable. Overall, respondents believed that approximately one-third of core program graduates should have the opportunity for PGY3 training. They thought re-entry from practice should be permitted, but mandatory return-of-service agreements were not desired. Program allocation and resident selection is a complex process with resident merit playing an important role. Respondents expected PGY3 graduates to practise differently than PGY2 graduates and to provide improved quality of care in their fields. They also thought that PGY3 graduates might play larger roles in leadership and teaching than core program graduates.
It is likely that PGY3 programs will continue to grow and form an increasingly important part of the FM training system in Canada. Flexible programs that can adapt to changing educational, health system, and community needs are essential. Training programs and national and provincial colleges of FM will also need to ensure that these physicians are provided with opportunities to maintain their links with the rest of the FM community.
PMCID: PMC2743591  PMID: 19752262
15.  Factors considered by medical students when formulating their specialty preferences in Japan: findings from a qualitative study 
Little research addresses how medical students develop their choice of specialty training in Japan. The purpose of this research was to elucidate factors considered by Japanese medical students when formulating their specialty choice.
We conducted qualitative interviews with 25 Japanese medical students regarding factors influencing specialty preference and their views on roles of primary versus specialty care. We qualitatively analyzed the data to identify factors students consider when developing specialty preferences, to understand their views about primary and subspecialty care, and to construct models depicting the pathways to specialization.
Students mention factors such as illness in self or close others, respect for family member in the profession, preclinical experiences in the curriculum such as labs and dissection, and aspects of patient care such as the clinical atmosphere, charismatic role models, and doctor-patient communication as influential on their specialty preferences. Participating students could generally distinguish between subspecialty care and primary care, but not primary care and family medicine. Our analysis yields a "Two Career" model depicting how medical graduates can first train for hospital-based specialty practice, and then switch to mixed primary/specialty care outpatient practice years later without any requirement for systematic training in principles of primary care practice.
Preclinical and clinical experiences as well as role models are reported by Japanese students as influential factors when formulating their specialty preferences. Student understanding of family medicine as a discipline is low in Japan. Students with ultimate aspirations to practice outpatient primary care medicine do not need to commit to systematic primary care training after graduation. The Two Career model of specialization leaves the door open for medical graduates to enter primary care practice at anytime regardless of post-graduate residency training choice.
PMCID: PMC2072940  PMID: 17848194
16.  The impact of gender and parenthood on physicians' careers - professional and personal situation seven years after graduation 
The profile of the medical profession is changing in regard to feminization, attitudes towards the profession, and the lifestyle aspirations of young physicians. The issues addressed in this study are the careers of female and male physicians seven years after graduation and the impact of parenthood on career development.
Data reported originates from the fifth assessment (T5) of the prospective SwissMedCareer Study, beginning in 2001 (T1). At T5 in 2009, 579 residents (81.4% of the initial sample at T1) participated in the questionnaire survey. They were asked about occupational factors, career-related factors including specialty choice and workplace, work-life balance and life satisfaction. The impact of gender and parenthood on the continuous variables was investigated by means of multivariate and univariate analyses of variance; categorical variables were analyzed using Chi-square tests.
Female physicians, especially those with children, have lower rates of employment and show lower values in terms of career success and career support experiences than male physicians. In addition, parenthood has a negative impact on these career factors. In terms of work-life balance aspired to, female doctors are less career-oriented and are more inclined to consider part-time work or to continue their professional career following a break to bring up a family. Parenthood means less career-orientation and more part-time orientation. As regards life satisfaction, females show higher levels of satisfaction overall, especially where friends, leisure activities, and income are concerned. Compared to their male colleagues, female physicians are less advanced in their specialty qualification, are less prone to choosing prestigious surgical fields, have a mentor less often, more often work at small hospitals or in private practice, aspire less often to senior hospital or academic positions and consider part-time work more often. Any negative impact on career path and advancement is exacerbated by parenthood, especially as far as women are concerned.
The results of the present study reflect socially-rooted gender role stereotypes. Taking into account the feminization of medicine, special attention needs to be paid to female physicians, especially those with children. At an early stage of their career, they should be advised to be more proactive in seeking mentoring and career-planning opportunities. If gender equity in terms of career chances is to be achieved, special career-support measures will have to be provided, such as mentoring programs, role models, flexitime and flexible career structures.
PMCID: PMC2851709  PMID: 20167075
17.  Differences in residents’ self-reported confidence and case experience between two post-graduate rotation curricula: results of a nationwide survey in Japan 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:141.
In Japan, all trainee physicians must begin clinical practice in a standardized, mandatory junior residency program, which encompasses the first two years of post-graduate medical training (PGY1 – PGY2). Implemented in 2004 to foster primary care skills, the comprehensive rotation program (CRP) requires junior residents to spend 14 months rotating through a comprehensive array of clinical departments including internal medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, obstetrics-gynecology (OBGYN), pediatrics, psychiatry, and rural medicine. In 2010, Japan’s health ministry relaxed this curricular requirement, allowing training programs to offer a limited rotation program (LRP), in which core departments constitute 10 months of training, with electives geared towards residents’ choice of career specialty comprising the remaining 14 months. The effectiveness of primary care skill acquisition during early training warrants evaluation. This study assesses self-reported confidence with clinical competencies, as well as case experience, between residents in CRP versus LRP curricula.
A nation-wide cross-sectional study of all PGY2 physicians in Japan was conducted in March 2011. Primary outcomes were self-report confidence for 98 clinical competency items, and number of cases experienced for 85 common diseases. We compared confidence scores and case experience between residents in CRP and LRP programs, adjusting for parameters relevant to training.
Among 7506 PGY2 residents, 5052 replied to the survey (67.3%). Of 98 clinical competency items, CRP residents reported higher confidence in 12 items compared to those in an LRP curriculum, 10 of which remained significantly higher after adjustment. CRP trainees reported lower confidence scores in none of the items. Out of 85 diseases, LRP residents reported less experience with 11 diseases. CRP trainees reported lower case experience with one disease, though this did not remain significant on adjusted analysis. Confidence and case experience with OBGYN- and pediatrics-related items were particularly low among LRP trainees.
Residents in the specialty-oriented LRP curriculum showed less confidence and less case experience compared to peers training in the broader CRP residency curriculum. In order to foster competence in independent primary care practice, junior residency programs requiring experience in a breadth of core departments should continue to be mandated to ensure adequate primary care skills.
PMCID: PMC4105122  PMID: 25016304
Japanese junior residency education; Clinical competency
18.  Choosing a career in surgery: factors that influence Canadian medical students' interest in pursuing a surgical career 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2008;51(5):371-377.
Interest in both general surgery and surgical subspecialties has been declining among Canadian medical students. Studies have shown that a student's desire to practise surgery is largely determined before entry into medical school. As part of a larger study of students' career preferences throughout medical school, we sought to identify the level of interest in surgical careers and the factors that influence a student's interest in pursuing a surgical career.
We surveyed students from 18 different classes at Canadian medical schools at the commencement of their studies between 2001 and 2004. We asked the students to list their top career choices and the degree to which a series of variables influenced their choices. We also collected demographic data. We performed a factor analysis on the variables.
Of 2420 surveys distributed, 2168 (89.6%) were completed. A total of 21.0% of respondents named a surgical specialty as their first choice of career. We found that male students were more likely to express interest in a surgical specialty than female students, who were more likely to express interest in either family medicine or a medical specialty. Compared with students interested in a career in family medicine, those interested in a surgical or medical specialty were younger, more likely to be single and more likely to be influenced by prestige when making their career choices. Students interested in a career in surgery were less influenced by medical lifestyle and a varied scope of practice, less likely to demonstrate a social orientation and more likely to be hospital-oriented than students interested in either family medicine or a medical specialty. Male students interested in a career in surgery were more hospital-oriented and less likely to demonstrate a social orientation than female students interested in surgical careers.
We identified 5 factors and a number of demographic variables associated with a student's interest in a surgical career.
PMCID: PMC2556546  PMID: 18841235
19.  Alternative Approaches to Ambulatory Training: Internal Medicine Residents’ and Program Directors’ Perspectives 
Internal medicine ambulatory training redesign, including recommendations to increase ambulatory training, is a focus of national discussion. Residents’ and program directors’ perceptions about ambulatory training models are unknown.
To describe internal medicine residents’ and program directors’ perceptions regarding ambulatory training duration, alternative ambulatory training models, and factors important for ambulatory education.
National cohort study.
Internal medicine residents (N = 14,941) and program directors (N = 222) who completed the 2007 Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE) Residents Questionnaire or Program Directors Survey, representing 389 US residency programs.
A total of 58.4% of program directors and 43.7% of residents preferred one-third or more training time in outpatient settings. Resident preferences for one-third or more outpatient training increased with higher levels of training (48.3% PGY3), female sex (52.7%), primary care program enrollment (64.8%), and anticipated outpatient-focused career, such as geriatrics. Most program directors (77.3%) and residents (58.4%) preferred training models containing weekly clinic. Although residents and program directors reported problems with competing inpatient-outpatient responsibilities (74.9% and 88.1%, respectively) and felt that absence of conflict with inpatient responsibilities is important for good outpatient training (69.4% and 74.2%, respectively), only 41.6% of residents and 22.7% of program directors supported models eliminating ambulatory sessions during inpatient rotations.
Residents’ and program directors’ preferences for outpatient training differ from recommendations for increased ambulatory training. Discordance was observed between reported problems with conflicting inpatient-outpatient responsibilities and preferences for models maintaining longitudinal clinic during inpatient rotations. Further study regarding benefits and barriers of ambulatory redesign is needed.
PMCID: PMC2710468  PMID: 19475458
medical education-graduate; ambulatory care; curriculum/program evaluation; medical student and residency education
20.  A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Impact of a Teaching Procedure Service on the Training of Internal Medicine Residents 
Academic medical centers must provide safe inpatient procedures while balancing resident autonomy and education. We performed a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effect of a 2-week hospitalist procedure service (HPS) rotation on interns' self-perceived procedure ability, knowledge, and autonomy versus the standard curriculum.
We randomly selected 16 of 57 internal medicine interns (28%) to participate in the intervention group rotation, with 29 interns in the control group. All interns were surveyed before the start of residency and at the end of the postgraduate year-1 (PGY-1) and PGY-2 years to evaluate self-reported knowledge and ability to (1) safely perform procedures, (2) supervise procedures, and (3) use bedside ultrasound.
Ninety-four percent of HPS interns (15/16) and 71% of control interns (29/41) completed all surveys. Baseline knowledge and experience did not differ significantly between the groups. The intervention group performed significantly more paracentesis (9 versus 4; P < .001), thoracentesis (6 versus 2; P < .001), and lumbar puncture (4 versus 3; P < .001) procedures than did the control group. After their first year, residents who completed the HPS rotation rated their ability to safely perform and supervise all of the assessed procedures as higher (P < .05 for all procedures) and were more likely to rate self-perceived knowledge as very good or excellent in all surveyed aspects of procedure performance (P < .05).
A 2-week hospitalist-supervised procedure service rotation substantially improved residents' experience, confidence, and knowledge in performing bedside procedures early in their training, with this effect sustained through the PGY-2 year. Standardized procedure service rotations are a viable solution for programs seeking to improve their procedure-based education.
PMCID: PMC3399608  PMID: 23730437
21.  Well-being in residency training: a survey examining resident physician satisfaction both within and outside of residency training and mental health in Alberta 
Despite the critical importance of well-being during residency training, only a few Canadian studies have examined stress in residency and none have examined well-being resources. No recent studies have reported any significant concerns with respect to perceived stress levels in residency. We investigated the level of perceived stress, mental health and understanding and need for well-being resources among resident physicians in training programs in Alberta, Canada.
A mail questionnaire was distributed to the entire resident membership of PARA during 2003 academic year. PARA represents each of the two medical schools in the province of Alberta.
In total 415 (51 %) residents participated in the study. Thirty-four percent of residents who responded to the survey reported their life as being stressful. Females reported stress more frequently than males (40% vs. 27%, p < 0.02). Time pressure was reported as the number one factor contributing to stress (44% of males and 57% of females). A considerable proportion of residents would change their specialty program (14%) and even more would not pursue medicine (22%) if given the opportunity to relive their career. Up to 55% of residents reported experiencing intimidation and harassment. Intimidation and harassment was strongly related to gender (12% of males and 38% of females). Many residents (17%) rated their mental health as fair or poor. This was more than double the amount reported in the Canadian Community Health Survey from the province (8%) or the country (7%).
Residents highly valued their colleagues (67%), program directors (60%) and external psychiatrist/psychologist (49%) as well-being resources. Over one third of residents wished to have a career counselor (39%) and financial counselor (38%).
Many Albertan residents experience significant stressors and emotional and mental health problems. Some of which differ among genders. This study can serve as a basis for future resource application, research and advocacy for overall improvements to well-being during residency training.
PMCID: PMC1183209  PMID: 15972100
Residency; physician; post-graduate well-being; stress; intimidation; harassment; and resources
22.  Senior Internal Medicine Residents' Confidence with Essential Topics in Evidence-Based Medicine Taught During Internship 
Few studies have examined residents' retained knowledge and confidence regarding essential evidence-based medicine (EBM) topics.
To compare postgraduate year-3 (PGY-3) residents' confidence with EBM topics taught during internship with that of PGY-1 residents before and after exposure to an EBM curriculum.
All residents participated in an EBM curriculum during their intern year. We surveyed residents in 2009. PGY-1 residents completed a Likert-scale type survey (which included questions from the validated Berlin questionnaire and others, developed based on input from local EBM experts). We administered the Berlin questionnaire to a subset of PGY-3 residents.
Forty-five PGY-3 (88%; n  =  51) and 42 PGY-1 (91%; n  =  46) residents completed the survey. Compared with PGY-1 residents pre-curriculum, PGY-3 residents were significantly more confident in their knowledge of pre- and posttest probability (mean difference, 1.14; P  =  .002), number needed to harm (mean difference, 1.09; P  =  .002), likelihood ratio (mean difference, 1.01; P  =  .003), formulation of a focused clinical question (mean difference, 0.98; P  =  .001), and critical appraisal of therapy articles (mean difference, 0.91; P  =  .002). Perceived confidence was significantly lower for PGY-3 than post-curriculum PGY-1 residents on relative risk (mean difference, −0.86; P  =  .002), study design for prognosis questions (mean difference, −0.75; P  =  .004), number needed to harm (mean difference, −0.67; P  =  .01), ability to critically appraise systematic reviews (mean difference, −0.65, P  =  .009), and retrieval of evidence (mean difference, −0.56; P  =  .008), among others. There was no relationship between confidence with and actual knowledge of EBM topics.
Our findings demonstrate lower confidence among PGY-3 than among PGY-1 internal medicine residents for several EBM topics. PGY-3 residents demonstrated poor knowledge of several core topics taught during internship. Longitudinal EBM curricula throughout residency 5 help reinforce residents' EBM knowledge and their confidence.
PMCID: PMC3244314  PMID: 23205197
23.  Residents' views about family medicine specialty education in Turkey 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:29.
Residents are one of the key stakeholders of specialty training. The Turkish Board of Family Medicine wanted to pursue a realistic and structured approach in the design of the specialty training programme. This approach required the development of a needs-based core curriculum built on evidence obtained from residents about their needs for specialty training and their needs in the current infrastructure. The aim of this study was to obtain evidence on residents' opinions and views about Family Medicine specialty training.
This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study. The board prepared a questionnaire to investigate residents' views about some aspects of the education programme such as duration and content, to assess the residents' learning needs as well as their need for a training infrastructure. The questionnaire was distributed to the Family Medicine Departments (n = 27) and to the coordinators of Family Medicine residency programmes in state hospitals (n = 11) by e-mail and by personal contact.
A total of 191 questionnaires were returned. The female/male ratio was 58.6%/41.4%. Nine state hospitals and 10 university departments participated in the study. The response rate was 29%. Forty-five percent of the participants proposed over three years for the residency duration with either extensions of the standard rotation periods in pediatrics and internal medicine or reductions in general surgery. Residents expressed the need for extra rotations (dermatology 61.8%; otolaryngology 58.6%; radiology 52.4%). Fifty-nine percent of the residents deemed a rotation in a private primary care centre necessary, 62.8% in a state primary care centre with a proposed median duration of three months. Forty-seven percent of the participants advocated subspecialties for Family Medicine, especially geriatrics. The residents were open to new educational methods such as debates, training with models, workshops and e-learning. Participation in courses and congresses was considered necessary. The presence of a department office and the clinical competency of the educators were more favored by state residents.
This study gave the Board the chance to determine the needs of the residents that had not been taken into consideration sufficiently before. The length and the content of the programme will be revised according to the needs of the residents.
PMCID: PMC2861691  PMID: 20398292
24.  Characteristics of international medical graduates who applied to the CaRMS 2002 match 
International medical graduates are an important component of the Canadian physician workforce. For most international medical graduates, the principal route to obtaining a residency position in Canada is to apply through the second iteration of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) match. In order to help inform the work toward integrating unlicensed international medical graduates into Canada's health professional workforce, our objectives were to describe the demographic and educational characteristics of international medical graduate CaRMS applicants and identify their preferred clinical disciplines and practice locations.
A 37-item Web-based questionnaire survey was offered to all 659 international medical graduate second-iteration CaRMS 2002 applicants. We collected data on their demographic and educational background and preferred clinical discipline and practice location. Up to 2 follow-up email reminders were sent to nonrespondents.
The survey response rate was 70.3% (463/659). Of the respondents, 71.9% had obtained their medical degree in Asia, the Middle East or Eastern Europe: 36.5% had graduated with a medical degree since 1994, and 17.3% since 1997. Most respondents (74.3%) were aged between 30 and 44 years. More than half (54.6%) had completed their medical education in English. Most (69.3%) had done postgraduate training outside Canada. Before coming to Canada, 42.8% had practised medicine for 1–5 years and 45.6% had practised for 6–20 years. The top 5 choices of clinical discipline in Canada were family medicine/general practice (45.6%), internal medicine (14.9%), surgery (7.3%), obstetrics/gynecology (6.7%) and pediatrics (4.8%). Of those who resided in the 4 Western provinces or Nova Scotia, between 76.8% and 86.7% preferred to stay in their own province, and 60%, 51.4% and 37% of those who resided in Newfoundland, Ontario or Quebec respectively preferred to practise in their own province.
Second-iteration international medical graduate CaRMS applicants are a heterogeneous group of physicians, some with substantial medical training and experience and others at an earlier stage of their medical career.
PMCID: PMC153680  PMID: 12719314
25.  The FacharztDuell: innovative career counselling in medicine 
Objective: The selection of a future medical specialty is a challenge all medical students face during the course of their studies. Students can choose from more than sixty specialties after graduation. There is usually no structured career counselling program available at German medical faculties. So far only little data on acceptance, formats and effects of different career counselling programs are available.
The aim of this study is to describe an innovative format of career counselling for medical students including its evaluation of acceptance and its possible influence on medical specialty preferences.
Methods: The need for career counselling became evident after the analysis of mentor-mentee conversations held within the mentoring program of our medical faculty, an online-based survey, an ad-hoc focus group and a pilot event. Panel discussions as an interactive format of presenting related medical specialties were developed and hence held four times under the name “FacharztDuell”. Students evaluated all events separately with a questionnaire and changes in medical specialty choice preferences were documented using an Audience-Response-System (ARS). The FacharztDuell is organized regularly and supported by faculty teaching funds.
Results: Among the student body FacharztDuell was well accepted (an average of 300 participants/event) and rated (average grade of 1.8 (SD= 0.7, 1=very good, 6=unsatisfactory, n=424). On average, 77.8% of the participating students considered the FacharztDuell to be a decision support for their future selection of a specialty. Up to 12% of the students changed their medical specialty choice preference throughout the event.
Conclusion: FacharztDuell was well accepted by medical students of all semesters and seems to be supportive for their selection of a future medical specialty. However, longitudinal studies are necessary to better understand the decision making process of medical students along their career path.
The FacharztDuell is easily transferrable to other faculties with respect to organization, staff and technical resources.
PMCID: PMC4027802  PMID: 24872852
Undergraduate medical education; graduate medical education; choice of specialty; mentoring; career counselling

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