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Conn Med. 2014 May;78(5):283-7.

Resident and fellow assessment of health policy attitudes and advocacy priorities.



House staff physicians (medical residents and fellows) represent a significant proportion of the physician workforce in the U.S. and are a potentially important force in health care transformation, but little is known about house staff health policy attitudes or priorities.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey of all house staff at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) and the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC). We calculated means of Likert-scale attitude response scores and rankings of health policy priorities. We then performed linear regression of postgraduate year (PGY) and surgical specialty on health policy priorities.


We received back 308 surveys (response rate of 19%). One hundred thirty-five responses (44%) were from UCHC and 173 responses were from YNHH (56%). Eighty-nine percent agreed that health policy was important to them, but only 21% felt confident in their knowledge of health policy. Thirty-two percent felt they had a good understanding of the Affordable Care Act. In terms of health policy priorities, malpractice reform and future salary were ranked the highest. There was a statistically significant positive association between PGY and malpractice reform as well as a negative association with Medicaid expansion and PGY after adjusting for surgical specialty.


House staff physicians feel that health policy is important to them, but they are not confident in their knowledge of health policy. Malpractice reform and future salary are policy priorities for house staff, and malpractice reform is increasingly important to house staff as they advance through their postgraduate training.

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