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Mil Med. 2000 Aug;165(8):633-5.

Family practice career attrition, 1969 to 1993: a comparison of 336 civilian and military graduates of one medical school.

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Department of Family Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20007-2197, USA.


Instability of specialty choice and career after initial residency entry will affect health personnel projections. Military physicians may differ from civilian physicians in their specialty choice behaviors during their careers. A cohort of 336 graduates who chose family medicine residency training was identified from the graduating classes of 1969 through 1993 at a large private medical school. Current specialty identification was determined, and attrition from family medicine was computed. As of 1997, 275 graduates (82%) were still in family medicine careers, defined by American Academy of Family Physicians membership or current American Board of Family Practice certification. Of graduates who entered military programs, 22 of 77 (28%) had left family medicine careers; 39 of 259 (15%) of the graduates who entered civilian programs had left. This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.007). Family medicine career retention is lower for males in military programs compared with males in civilian programs or females in military programs.

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