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Fam Med. 2017 May;49(5):339-345.

Factors Associated With Interest in Pursuing a Fourth Year of Family Medicine Residency Training.

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Oregon Health & Science University, Department of of Family Medicine.



The optimal length of residency training in family medicine, as with emergency medicine, is an ongoing debate due to several factors, but perceptions of graduating residents are missing from this debate.


We used data from 3,054 family medicine residents who registered for the American Board of Family Medicine certification examination in 2014. A practice demographic questionnaire was a mandatory component of registration. The survey included the question, "If another year of training were available in your residency program, how likely would you be to pursue that?" We examined several factors potentially associated with interest in additional training.


The sample was predominantly female (53.9%), white (65.7%), and non-Hispanic (91.7%), with a mean age of 32.5 years. Overall, 52.8% of respondents reported being not at all likely to pursue additional training if available, 26.4% reported being somewhat likely, and 21.4% reported being moderately or extremely likely to do so. Male respondents were more likely than females to express no interest in an additional year of training (57.7% versus 48.1%). As educational debt increased, the likelihood of interest in additional training decreased. Anticipated practice settings, planned scope of practice, and intention to perform specific procedures also influenced interest in pursuing additional training.


Slightly less than half of graduating family medicine residents expressed interest in a fourth year of training. Interest in a fourth year was associated with several characteristics that may help the discipline decide on the optimal length of training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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