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J Pediatr. 2003 Nov;143(5):564-9.

Research exposure during pediatric residency: influence on career expectations.

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American Academy of Pediatrics, Division of Health Policy Research, AAP Committee on Pediatric Research, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, USA.



To examine pediatric residents' research experiences during residency and to explore whether residents' attitudes toward research are related to their decision to pursue subspecialty fellowships.


A national random sample of 500 PL-3 pediatric residents completing training in 2001 was surveyed. Responses were obtained from 318 residents (64%). Resident research experiences and perceived competence were compared for residents planning to pursue subspecialty training (34%) and residents who were not (66%).


Residents interested in a subspecialty were more likely to have had formal research training (39% vs 27%) and to have assisted on a research project (26% vs 14%) during residency. Upon residency completion, residents in both groups rated their knowledge of most research skills as being fair or poor. A favorable rating toward research was the strongest predictor of whether residents have subspecialty rather than general pediatrics as their future clinical goal (OR=3.7).


Given residents' limited research exposure and the strong association found between residents' research attitudes and their plans to pursue subspecialty training, serious consideration should be given to the possible benefits of research promotion programs, which may lead to increased resident interest in pediatric fellowships and pediatric research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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