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Fam Med. 1996 Mar;28(3):214-9.

To stay or not to stay: factors influencing family practice residents' choice of initial practice location.

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Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, USA.



This study examined what factors influence US third-year family practice residents' choice of location of their first practice.


A survey was developed by the members of Northeastern Ohio Network to assess the influence of factors related to family, education, geography, finances, the medical community, and others on the selection of practice location. Surveys were sent to all program directors listed in the American Academy of Family Physicians 1994 Directory of Family Practice Residency Programs to be distributed to all third-year family practice residents. The program directors indicated the type of residency program, the number of surveys distributed, and the number returned, then forwarded completed surveys to the investigators.


Two hundred fifty-nine of the 380 programs (68%) with PGY-3 residents responded. Of the programs that responded, 1,012 residents (64%) of a possible 1,578 completed surveys. Estimated from the directory, 812 residents from non-responding programs did not complete the survey for an overall response rate among residents of 42% (1,012/[1,578+812]). Family-related items seem to have the most influence on choice of practice location and are more important to married people. More than 50% of residents want to practice in the same size community in which they grew up. Money-related factors were not rated as highly as expected.


Several factors appear to be important to family practice residents when selecting their first practice location. Hospitals interested in retaining their graduates can maximize their success by concentrating on these areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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