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Acad Emerg Med. 2000 Dec;7(12):1408-15.

Resident perception of academic skills training and impact on academic career choice.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Regions Medical Center, St. Paul, MN, USA.



1) To evaluate residents' perceptions of the quality of training in basic academic skills and the availability and quality of research resources during residency; 2) to evaluate the association between these attitudes and choice of an academic career; and 3) to assess residents' attitudes toward the importance of postgraduate fellowship training for success in an academic career.


A 15-item survey was administered to all U.S. emergency medicine (EM) residents in conjunction with the February 1997 American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) In-service Examination. The survey assessed resident interest in a career in academic EM, and resident perception of the general quality of training in academic (research and teaching) skills. Residents were also asked to rate the quality of their training in the following specific academic skills: medical and grant writing, bedside teaching, lecturing, the use of computers, study design, statistics, and the use of audiovisual aids. Resident perceptions of the availability of the following resources were also assessed: teaching and research role models, data collection and analysis support, laboratory facilities, financial support of research, research fundamentals lectures, and computers.


The response rate was 93%. Forty-four percent of the respondents were interested in academic EM, 36.6% were undecided, and 19.6% were not interested in an academic career. On a scale of 1 (unprepared) to 5 (well prepared), the residents rated their overall preparedness for an academic career fairly high (3.97 [0.86]). In contrast, they perceived the quality of their training in the specific academic skill areas assessed and research resource availability to be only fair. Despite resident perception of relatively inadequate training in basic academic skills, only 24% of the respondents indicated that they believed fellowship training was important for success in an academic career. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that participation in a research project in medical school, the length of the training program (4- vs 3-year), being a first-year resident, and a better perception of one's overall academic skill preparation were factors independently associated with having a greater interest in an academic career.


A relatively high percentage of residents initially express an interest in an academic career, but this interest wanes as residency progresses. A minority of residents believe that their training provides them with the specific skills needed to succeed in academics, or with adequate exposure to research resources or mentors. Emergency medicine may be able to increase the number of qualified academic faculty by recruiting medical students with prior research experience, and providing residents with better research training and role models.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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