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.
Physician workforce projections by the Institute of Medicine require enhanced training in geriatrics for all primary care and subspecialty physicians. Defining essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residents would improve training for primary care and subspecialty physicians. The objectives of this study were to (1) define essential geriatrics competencies common to internal medicine and family medicine residents that build on established national geriatrics competencies for medical students, are feasible within current residency programs, are assessable, and address the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies; and (2) involve key stakeholder organizations in their development and implementation.
Initial candidate competencies were defined through small group meetings and a survey of more than 100 experts, followed by detailed item review by 26 program directors and residency clinical educators from key professional organizations. Throughout, an 8-member working group made revisions to maintain consistency and compatibility among the competencies. Support and participation by key stakeholder organizations were secured throughout the project.
The process identified 26 competencies in 7 domains: Medication Management; Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health; Complex or Chronic Illness(es) in Older Adults; Palliative and End-of-Life Care; Hospital Patient Safety; Transitions of Care; and Ambulatory Care. The competencies map directly onto the medical student geriatric competencies and the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Competencies.
Through a consensus-building process that included leadership and members of key stakeholder organizations, a concise set of essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residencies has been developed. These competencies are well aligned with concerns for residency training raised in a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report to Congress. Work is underway through stakeholder organizations to disseminate and assess the competencies among internal medicine and family medicine residency programs.
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.
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.
The Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada mandates that paediatric training programs in Canada incorporate subspecialty training and the teaching and evaluation of the seven CanMEDS roles into their curriculum. The literature suggests that newly practicing paediatricians feel inadequately prepared in many subspecialties and CanMEDS roles.
That either current training programs underestimate the importance of these areas for future practice, or that residents themselves feel that these areas are less important.
An online survey of Canadian paediatric residents and paediatric residency program directors was conducted to determine their views on various subspecialty areas and CanMEDS roles.
Fourteen of 16 Canadian paediatric programs participated, and 127 of 486 (26%) paediatric residents completed the survey. Overall, trainees were satisfied with their current training (86%), and 90% believed they would be adequately prepared for independent practice. Forty-six residents (40%) believed training programs place less importance on 10 of the subspecialties that newly practicing paediatricians felt less comfortable with (from a previous study conducted in 2006). However, at least 25% of residents themselves placed less importance on nine of these 10 areas. Residents also place less importance on two CanMEDS competencies which practicing paediatricians felt less comfortable with, including the medical aspects of palliative care (medical expert) and managing an efficient office practice (manager).
Residents and programs place less importance on specific areas of paediatric training, thus creating potential deficiencies in graduating paediatricians. Promotion of these topics during training may better prepare residents for future practice.
Internship and residency; Medical education; Pediatrics/education; Questionnaires
The American Board of Internal Medicine Certification Examination (ABIM-CE) is one of several methods used to assess medical knowledge, an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competency for graduating internal medicine residents. With recent changes in graduate medical education program directors and internal medicine residents are seeking evidence to guide decisions regarding residency elective choices. Prior studies have shown that formalized elective curricula improve subspecialty ABIM-CE scores. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether the number of subspecialty elective exposures or the specific subspecialties which residents complete electives in impact ABIM-CE scores.
ABIM-CE scores, elective exposures and demographic characteristics were collected for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital internal medicine residents who were first-time takers of the ABIM-CE in 2006–2010 (n=152). Elective exposures were defined as a two-week period assigned to the respective subspecialty. ABIM-CE score was analyzed using the difference between the ABIM-CE score and the standardized passing score (delta-SPS). Subspecialty scores were analyzed using percentage of correct responses. Data was analyzed using GraphPad Prism version 5.00 for Windows.
Paired elective exposure and ABIM-CE scores were available in 131 residents. There was no linear correlation between ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS and the total number of electives or the number of unique elective exposures. Residents with ≤14 elective exposures had higher ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS than those with ≥15 elective exposures (143.4 compared to 129.7, p=0.051). Repeated electives in individual subspecialties were not associated with significant difference in mean ABIM-CE delta-SPS.
This study did not demonstrate significant positive associations between individual subspecialty elective exposures and ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS score. Residents with ≤14 elective exposures had higher ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS than those with ≥15 elective exposures suggesting there may be an “ideal” number of elective exposures that supports improved ABIM-CE performance. Repeated elective exposures in an individual specialty did not correlate with overall or subspecialty ABIM-CE performance.
Resident education; Gender; Elective; Subspecialty; Graduate medical education
Women medical graduates of McMaster University were divided into two groups: those in the fields traditionally chosen by women (primary care, general internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and anesthesia), and those in nontraditional fields (surgery, subspecialties of medicine, and academic medicine). The careers of the two groups of women were then compared with matched groups of men physicians. More women choosing traditional careers worked in another field, frequently health-related, before deciding to enter medicine than women entering nontraditional careers. Fewer of the former had a university education in the natural sciences, and more of them were married at the start of post-graduate training. Both groups of women worked shorter hours than the comparison groups of men. More women in traditional careers had selected group practice than had the corresponding men. Influences on career choices showed more sex similarities than career-type similarities, with women influenced more by factors related to family responsibilities. Few in any group reported that their choices are not their preferences. The results suggest that complete convergence of the medical careers of men and women in the near future is unlikely.
Canadian medical manpower; medical career choices; women in medicine
Learner satisfaction assessment is critical in the design and improvement of training programs. However, little is known about what influences satisfaction and whether trainee specialty is correlated. A national comparison of satisfaction among internal medicine subspecialty fellows in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a unique opportunity to examine educational factors associated with learner satisfaction. We compared satisfaction across internal medicine fellows by subspecialty and compared factors associated with satisfaction between procedural versus non-procedural subspecialty fellows, using data from the Learners' Perceptions Survey (LPS), a validated survey tool.
We surveyed 2,221 internal medicine subspecialty fellows rotating through VA between 2001 and 2008. Learners rated their overall training satisfaction on a 100-point scale, and on a five-point Likert scale ranked satisfaction with items within six educational domains: learning, clinical, working and physical environments; personal experience; and clinical faculty/preceptor.
Procedural and non-procedural fellows reported similar overall satisfaction scores (81.2 and 81.6). Non-procedural fellows reported higher satisfaction with 79 of 81 items within the 6 domains and with the domain of physical environment (4.06 vs. 3.85, p <0.001). Satisfaction with clinical faculty/preceptor and personal experience had the strongest impact on overall satisfaction for both. Procedural fellows reported lower satisfaction with physical environment.
Internal medicine fellows are highly satisfied with their VA training. Nonprocedural fellows reported higher satisfaction with most items. For both procedural and non-procedural fellows, clinical faculty/preceptor and personal experience have the strongest impact on overall satisfaction.
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.
Canadian pharmacy residency programs rely on preceptors to support the growing demand of graduates wishing to pursue hospital residencies. Understanding the educational needs of these preceptors is important to ensure that they are well prepared to deliver successful programs.
To determine what new and experienced residency preceptors self-identify as learning needs in order to become more effective preceptors for pharmacy residents.
A needs assessment of preceptors from the 31 accredited Canadian general hospital pharmacy residency programs was conducted. The study had 4 key components: interviews and focus group discussions with key informants, a pilot study, an online survey, and member checking (seeking clarification and further explanation from study participants). The residency coordinators and a convenience sample of 5 preceptors from each program were invited to participate in the survey component.
Of a possible 186 participants, 132 (71%) responded to the survey. Of these, 128 (97%) were confident that they met the 2010 standards of the Canadian Hospital Pharmacy Residency Board (CHPRB). Preceptors ranked communication skills, giving effective feedback, and clinical knowledge as the most important elements of being an effective preceptor. Managing workload, performing evaluations, and dealing with difficult residents were commonly reported challenges. Preceptors expressed a preference for interactive workshops and mentorship programs with experienced colleagues when first becoming preceptors, followed by 1-day training sessions or online learning modules every other year for ongoing educational support. The most beneficial support topics selected were providing constructive feedback, practical assessment strategies, small-group teaching strategies, effective communication skills, and setting goals and objectives.
This study identified several learning needs of hospital residency preceptors and showed that preceptors would appreciate educational support. Utilization of these results by residency program administrators, the CHPRB, and faculties of pharmacy could be beneficial for residency programs across Canada.
hospital pharmacy residency; preceptor; preceptor development; pharmacy education; résidence en pharmacie d’hôpital; précepteur; perfectionnement des précepteurs; enseignement de la pharmacie
At a time of increased need and demand for general internists in Canada, the attractiveness of generalist careers (including general internal medicine, GIM) has been falling as evidenced by the low number of residents choosing this specialty. One hypothesis for the lack of interest in a generalist career is lack of comfort with the skills needed to practice after training, and the mismatch between the tertiary care, inpatient training environment and "real life". This project was designed to determine perceived effectiveness of training for 10 years of graduates of Canadian GIM programs to assist in the development of curriculum and objectives for general internists that will meet the needs of graduates and ultimately society.
Mailed survey designed to explore perceived importance of training for and preparation for various aspects of Canadian GIM practice. After extensive piloting of the survey, including a pilot survey of two universities to improve the questionnaire, all graduates of the 16 universities over the previous ten years were surveyed.
Gaps (difference between importance and preparation) were demonstrated in many of the CanMEDS 2000/2005® competencies. Medical problems of pregnancy, perioperative care, pain management, chronic care, ambulatory care and community GIM rotations were the medical expert areas with the largest gaps. Exposure to procedural skills was perceived to be lacking. Some procedural skills valued as important for current GIM trainees and performed frequently (example ambulatory ECG interpretation) had low preparation ratings by trainees. Other areas of perceived discrepancy between training and practice included: manager role (set up of an office), health advocate (counseling for prevention, for example smoking cessation), and professional (end of life issues, ethics).
Graduates of Canadian GIM training programs over the last ten years have identified perceived gaps between training and important areas for practice. They have identified competencies that should be emphasized in Canadian GIM programs. Ongoing review of graduate's perceptions of training programs as it applies to their current practice is important to ensure ongoing appropriateness of training programs. This information will be used to strengthen GIM training programs in Canada.
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.
medical education-graduate; ambulatory care; curriculum/program evaluation; medical student and residency education
Internal medicine includes several subspecialties. This study aimed to describe change trend of impact factors in different subspecialties of internal medicine during the past 12 years, as well as the developmental differences among each subspecialty, and the possible influencing factors behind these changes and differences.
Nine subspecialties of internal medicine were chosen for comparison. All data were collected from the Science Citation Index Expanded and Journal Citation Reports database.
(1) Journal numbers in nine subspecialties increased significantly from 1998 to 2010, with an average increment of 80.23%, in which cardiac and cardiovascular system diseases increased 131.2% rank the first; hematology increased 45% rank the least. (2) Impact Factor in subspecialties of infectious disease, cardiac and cardiovascular system diseases, gastroenterology and hepatology, hematology, endocrinology and metabolism increased significantly (p<0.05), in which gastroenterology and hepatology had the largest increase of 65.4%. (3) Journal impact factor of 0–2 had the largest proportion in all subspecialties. Among the journals with high impact factor (IF>6), hematology had the maximum proportion of 10%, nephrology and respiratory system disease had the minimum of 4%. Among the journal with low impact factor (IF<2), journal in nephrology and allergy had the most (60%), while endocrinology and metabolism had the least (40%). There were differences in median number of IF among the different subspecialties (p<0.05), in which endocrinology and metabolism had the highest, nephrology had the lowest. (4) The highest IF had a correlation with journal numbers and total paper numbers in each field.
The IF of internal medicine journals showed an increasingly positive trend, in which gastroenterology and hepatology increase the most. Hematology had more high IF journals. Endocrinology and metabolism had higher average IF. Nephrology remained the lowest position. Numbers of journals and total papers were associated with the highest IF.
General Internal Medicine (GIM) has recently been approved as a subspecialty by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. As such, there is a need to define areas of knowledge that a General Internist must learn in those two years of training. There is limited literature as to what competencies are needed in a GIM practice. Draft competencies for GIM (4th and 5th year residents in internal medicine) training were developed over eight years with input from many stakeholders. Practicing General Internists were surveyed and asked their perspective as to the level of importance of each of these competencies for GIM training. They were also asked if training gaps exist in current training programs. The survey was offered widely online in both English and French to gain perspectives from as many different contexts as possible.
157 General Internists, in practice on average for 15 years, responded from all of Canada's provinces and territories. Practice profiles were diverse (large urban centers to rural centers). The majority of the competencies surveyed were perceived as important to attain at least proficiency in. Perioperative care, risk reduction, and the management of common, emergent, and complex internal medicine problems were identified as key areas to focus training programs on, with respondents perceiving these should be mastered to an expert level. Training gaps were identified, most frequently in that of the manager role (example managing practice).
This is the first study we are aware of to attempt to isolate the opinions of practicing Canadian General Internists as to the major competencies that should be mastered as a General Internist. We suggest that "generalism" in the context of GIM, does not mean a bit of knowledge about everything but that defined objectives for training in this 'newest' of Royal College subspecialties can be identified. This includes mastery of core areas such as perioperative care, risk reduction, and management of common, emergent and multiple internal medicine problems. The training gaps identified need to be addressed to ensure that General Internists continue to provide excellence in health care delivery.
The increased demand for clinician-educators in academic medicine necessitates additional training in educational skills to prepare potential candidates for these positions. Although many teaching skills training programs for residents exist, there is a lack of reports in the literature evaluating similar programs during fellowship training.
To describe the implementation and evaluation of a unique program aimed at enhancing educational knowledge and teaching skills for subspecialty medicine fellows and chief residents.
Fellows as Clinician-Educators (FACE) program is a 1-year program open to fellows (and chief residents) in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa.
The course involves interactive monthly meetings held throughout the academic year and has provided training to 48 participants across 11 different subspecialty fellowships between 2004 and 2009.
FACE participants completed a 3-station Objective Structured Teaching Examination using standardized learners, which assessed participants' skills in giving feedback, outpatient precepting, and giving a mini-lecture. Based on reviews of station performance by 2 independent raters, fellows demonstrated statistically significant improvement on overall scores for 2 of the 3 cases. Participants self-assessed their knowledge and teaching skills prior to starting and after completing the program. Analyses of participants' retrospective preassessments and postassessments showed improved perceptions of competence after training.
The FACE program is a well-received intervention that objectively demonstrates improvement in participants' teaching skills. It offers a model approach to meeting important training skills needs of subspecialty medicine fellows and chief residents in a resource-effective manner.
Internal medicine residents must be competent in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) for board certification.
To use a medical simulator to assess postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2) residents' baseline proficiency in ACLS scenarios and evaluate the impact of an educational intervention grounded in deliberate practice on skill development to mastery standards.
Pretest-posttest design without control group. After baseline evaluation, residents received 4, 2-hour ACLS education sessions using a medical simulator. Residents were then retested. Residents who did not achieve a research-derived minimum passing score (MPS) on each ACLS problem had more deliberate practice and were retested until the MPS was reached.
Forty-one PGY-2 internal medicine residents in a university-affiliated program.
Observational checklists based on American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines with interrater and internal consistency reliability estimates; deliberate practice time needed for residents to achieve minimum competency standards; demographics; United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and Step 2 scores; and resident ratings of program quality and utility.
Performance improved significantly after simulator training. All residents met or exceeded the mastery competency standard. The amount of practice time needed to reach the MPS was a powerful (negative) predictor of posttest performance. The education program was rated highly.
A curriculum featuring deliberate practice dramatically increased the skills of residents in ACLS scenarios. Residents needed different amounts of training time to achieve minimum competency standards. Residents enjoy training, evaluation, and feedback in a simulated clinical environment. This mastery learning program and other competency-based efforts illustrate outcome-based medical education that is now prominent in accreditation reform of residency education.
mastery learning; medical simulation; residency education
OBJECTIVE: To examine the status of postgraduate family medicine training that occurs in rural family practice settings in Canada and to identify problems and how they are addressed. DESIGN: A retrospective questionnaire sent to all 18 Canadian family medicine training programs followed by a focus group discussion of results. SETTING: Canadian university family medicine training programs. PARTICIPANTS: Chairs or program directors of all 18 Canadian family medicine training programs and people attending a workshop at the Section of Teachers of Family Medicine annual meeting. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Extent of training offered, educational models used, common problems for residents and teachers. RESULTS: Nine of 18 programs offer some family medicine training in a rural practice setting to some or all of their first-year family medicine residents, and 99 of 684 first-year family medicine residents did some training in a rural practice. All programs offer some training in a rural practice to some or all of the second-year residents, and 567 of 702 second-year residents did some training in a rural setting. In 12 of 18 programs, a rural family medicine block is compulsory. Education models for training for rural family practice vary widely. Isolation, accommodation, and supervision are common problems for rural family medicine residents. Isolation and faculty development are common problems for rural physician-teachers. Programs use various approaches to address these problems. CONCLUSIONS: The variety of postgraduate training models for rural family practice used in the 18 training programs reflects different regional health care needs and resources. There is no common rural family medicine curriculum. Networking through a rural physician-teachers group or a faculty of rural medicine could further the development of education for rural family practice.
To review the success of international medical graduates (IMGs) who are pursuing or have completed a Quebec residency training program and examinations.
We retrospectively reviewed IMGs’ success rates on the pre-residency Collège des médecins du Québec medical clinical sciences written examination and objective structured clinical examination, as well as on the post-residency Certification Examination in Family Medicine.
All IMGs taking their examinations between 2001 and 2008, inclusive, and Canadian and American graduates taking their examinations during this same period.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Success rates for IMGs on the pre-residency and post-residency examinations, compared with success rates for Canadian and American graduates.
Success rates on the pre-residency clinical examinations remained below 50% from 2001 to 2008 for IMGs. Similarly, during the same period, the average success rate on the Certification examination was 56.0% for IMGs, compared with 93.5% for Canadian and American medical graduates.
Despite pre-residency competency screening and in-program orientation and supports, a substantial number of IMGs in Quebec are not passing their Certification examinations. Another study is under way to analyze reasons for some IMGs’ lack of success and to find ways to help IMGs complete residency training successfully and pass the Certification examination.
OBJECTIVE: To explore factors that influence senior medical students to pursue careers in family medicine. DESIGN: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews. SETTING: University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven of 29 graduating UWO medical students matched to Canadian family medicine residency programs beginning in July 2001. METHOD: Eleven semistructured interviews were conducted with a maximum variation sample of medical students. Interviews were transcribed and reviewed independently, and a constant comparative approach was used by the team to analyze the data. MAIN FINDINGS: Family physician mentors were an important influence on participants' decisions to pursue careers in family medicine. Participants followed one of three pathways to selecting family medicine: from an early decision to pursue family medicine, from initial uncertainty about career choice, or from an early decision to specialize and a change of mind. CONCLUSION: The perception of a wide scope of practice attracts candidates to family medicine. Having more family medicine role models early in medical school might encourage more medical students to select careers in family medicine.
The Internal Medicine In-Training Exam (IM-ITE) assesses the content knowledge of internal medicine trainees. Many programs use the IM-ITE to counsel residents, to create individual remediation plans, and to make fundamental programmatic and curricular modifications.
To assess the association between a multiple-choice testing program administered during 12 consecutive months of ambulatory and inpatient elective experience and IM-ITE percentile scores in third post-graduate year (PGY-3) categorical residents.
Retrospective cohort study.
One hundred and four categorical internal medicine residents. Forty-five residents in the 2008 and 2009 classes participated in the study group, and the 59 residents in the three classes that preceded the use of the testing program, 2005–2007, served as controls.
A comprehensive, elective rotation specific, multiple-choice testing program and a separate board review program, both administered during a continuous long-block elective experience during the twelve months between the second post-graduate year (PGY-2) and PGY-3 in-training examinations.
We analyzed the change in median individual percent correct and percentile scores between the PGY-1 and PGY-2 IM-ITE and between the PGY-2 and PGY-3 IM-ITE in both control and study cohorts. For our main outcome measure, we compared the change in median individual percentile rank between the control and study cohorts between the PGY-2 and the PGY-3 IM-ITE testing opportunities.
After experiencing the educational intervention, the study group demonstrated a significant increase in median individual IM-ITE percentile score between PGY-2 and PGY-3 examinations of 8.5 percentile points (p < 0.01). This is significantly better than the increase of 1.0 percentile point seen in the control group between its PGY-2 and PGY-3 examination (p < 0.01).
A comprehensive multiple-choice testing program aimed at PGY-2 residents during a 12-month continuous long-block elective experience is associated with improved PGY-3 IM-ITE performance.
Internal Medicine In-Training Exam; multiple-choice testing; medical knowledge
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been widely integrated into residency curricula, although results of randomized controlled trials and long term outcomes of EBM educational interventions are lacking. We sought to determine if an EBM workshop improved internal medicine residents' EBM knowledge and skills and use of secondary evidence resources.
This randomized controlled trial included 48 internal medicine residents at an academic medical center. Twenty-three residents were randomized to attend a 4-hour interactive workshop in their PGY-2 year. All residents completed a 25-item EBM knowledge and skills test and a self-reported survey of literature searching and resource usage in their PGY-1, PGY-2, and PGY-3 years.
There was no difference in mean EBM test scores between the workshop and control groups at PGY-2 or PGY-3. However, mean EBM test scores significantly increased over time for both groups in PGY-2 and PGY-3. Literature searches, and resource usage also increased significantly in both groups after the PGY-1 year.
We were unable to detect a difference in EBM knowledge between residents who did and did not participate in our workshop. Significant improvement over time in EBM scores, however, suggests EBM skills were learned during residency. Future rigorous studies should determine the best methods for improving residents' EBM skills as well as their ability to apply evidence during clinical practice.
Sociodemographic factors and personality attributes predict career decisions in medical students. Determinants of internal medicine residents' specialty choices have received little attention.
To identify factors that predict the clinical practice of residents following their training.
Prospective cohort study.
Two hundred and four categorical residents from 2 university-based residency programs.
Sociodemographic and personality inventories performed during residency, and actual careers 4 to 9 years later.
International medical school graduates (IMGs) were less likely to practice general medicine than U.S. graduates (33.3% vs 70.6%, P<.001). Residents with higher loan indebtedness more often became generalists (P = .001). A corresponding trend favoring general internal medicine was observed among those who perceived General Internists to have lower potential incomes (69.0% vs 53.3%, P = .08). There was a trend for generalists to have lower scores on scales measuring authoritarianism, negative orientation to psychological problems, and Machiavellianism (0.05
Recruitment of IMGs may not increase the supply of General Internists. Prospects of lower income, even in the face of large debt, may not discourage residents from becoming generalists. If increasing generalist manpower is a goal, residencies should consider weighing applicants' personal attributes during the selection process.
career choice; general internal medicine; health manpower; international medical graduates
It is challenging to create an educational and satisfying experience in the outpatient setting. We developed a 3-year ambulatory curriculum that addresses the special needs of our categorical medicine residents with distinct learning objectives for each year of training and clinical experiences and didactic sessions to meet these goals. All PGY1 residents spend 1 month on a general medicine ambulatory care rotation. PGY2 residents spend 3 months on an ambulatory block focusing on 8 core medicine subspecialties. Third-year residents spend 2 months on an advanced ambulatory rotation. The curriculum was started in July 2000 and has been highly regarded by the house staff, with statistically significant improvements in the PGY2 and PGY3 evaluation scores. By enhancing outpatient clinical teaching and didactics with an emphasis on the specific needs of our residents, we have been able to reframe the thinking and attitudes of a group of inpatient-oriented residents.
medical education; residency training; ambulatory medicine
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.
Physicians who complete combined residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics (med-peds) have a variety of career options after training. Little is known about career transitions among this group or among other broadly trained physicians.
To better understand these career transitions, we conducted semistructured, in-depth, telephone interviews of graduates of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill School of Medicine med-peds program who self-identified as having had a career transition since completing training. We qualitatively analyzed interview transcripts, to develop themes describing their career transitions.
Of 106 physicians who graduated during 1980–2007, 20 participated in interviews. Participants identified factors such as personality, work environment, lifestyle, family, and finances as important to career transition. Five other themes emerged from the data; the following 4 were confirmed by follow-up interviews: (1) experiences during residency were not sufficient to predict future job satisfaction; work after the completion of training was necessary to discover career preferences; (2) a major factor motivating job change was a perceived lack of control in the workplace; (3) participants described a sense of regret if they did not continue to see both adult and pediatric patients as a result of their career change; (4) participants appreciated their broad training and, regardless of career path, would choose to pursue combined residency training again.
We included only a small number of graduates from a single institution. We did not interview graduates who had no career transitions after training.
There are many professional opportunities for physicians trained in med-peds. Four consistent themes surfaced during interviews about med-peds career transitions. Future research should explore how to use these themes to help physicians make career choices and employers retain physicians.
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