The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan has been promoting participation in scholarly activities for physicians during residency training. However, there is debate regarding whether this is worthwhile for residents.
To evaluate residents’ opinions of engaging in scholarly activities and identify factors associated with overall satisfaction with their training program.
Cross-sectional national survey.
1,124 second-year residents in teaching hospitals in Japan in 2007
Collected data included demographics, teaching hospital characteristics and resources, residents’ research experiences, including type of activities, barriers to performing scholarly activities, residents’ opinions of scholarly requirements, and resident satisfaction with their residency program.
1,124 residents/1,500 responded for a response rate of 74.9%. Our data showed that 60.2% of Japanese residents engaged in some type of scholarly activity. Barriers included: “No resident time”; “No mentor;” and “No resident interest.” Sixty-three percent of residents thought that research should be a residency requirement. In multivariate logistic analysis, residents’ overall satisfaction with their residency program was significantly associated with participation in research activity (odds ratio (OR), 1.5; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1–2.1); male gender (OR, 1.5; 95% CI: 1.1–2.2); satisfaction with residency compensation (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 2.6–5.0), and satisfaction with the residency curriculum (OR, 19.5; 95% CI, 13.7–27.7).
The majority of residents surveyed thought that research activity was worthwhile. Residents’ participation in research activity was associated with higher levels of satisfaction with residency training. Implementing measures to overcome existing barriers may have educational benefits for residents.