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Mil Med. 2004 Jul;169(7):522-5.

The effects of residency on physical fitness among military physicians.

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Department of Medicine, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96859-5000, USA.



Demands of medical residency training would be expected to result in physical deconditioning. This study determined the effects of residency on physical fitness.


A prospective cohort study of the change in physical conditioning during residency using the Army Physical Fitness Test as a standardized measure of fitness was conducted. Ninety-four active duty U.S. Army physicians were followed during their medical residency training from July 1999 to June 2002. Army Physical Fitness Test results from interval tests performed throughout residency were compared to baseline results at matriculation. Changes in total score, number of push-ups and sit-ups completed in 2 minutes, 2-mile run time, and weight were recorded. Correlations between initial and final scores were evaluated.


All measured parameters worsened with statistical significance noted in the weight (p < 0.01), push-ups (p < 0.05), and 2-mile run (p < 0.01). Statistically significant negative correlations between initial and subsequent tests were noted in push-ups (p = 0.004), sit-ups (p = 0.0003), and total score (p = 0.0192).


Physical fitness declines during medical residency training. This effect is most notable in residents with higher levels of fitness at the start of medical education. Further studies are necessary to evaluate for a similar decline among civilian residents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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