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J Grad Med Educ. 2011 Dec;3(4):469-74. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-10-00227.1.

Educating generalists: factors of resident continuity clinic associated with perceived impact on choosing a generalist career.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fewer residents are choosing general internal medicine (GIM) careers, and their choice 5 be influenced by the continuity clinic experience during residency. We sought to explore the relationship between resident satisfaction with the continuity clinic experience and expressed interest in pursuing a GIM career.

METHODS:

We surveyed internal medicine residents by using the Veterans Health Administration Office of Academic Affiliations Learners' Perceptions Survey-a 76-item instrument with established reliability and validity that measures satisfaction with faculty interactions, and learning, working, clinical, and physical environments, and personal experience. We identified 15 reliable subscales within the survey and asked participants whether their experience would prompt them to consider future employment opportunities in GIM. We examined the association between satisfaction measures and future GIM interest with 1-way analyses of variance followed by Student-Newman-Keuls post hoc tests.

RESULTS:

Of 217 residents, 90 (41%) completed the survey. Residents felt continuity clinic influenced career choice, with 22% more likely to choose a GIM career and 43% less likely. Those more likely to choose a GIM career had higher satisfaction with the learning (P  =  .001) and clinical (P  =  .002) environments and personal experience (P < .001). They also had higher satisfaction with learning processes (P  =  .002), patient diversity (P < .001), coordination of care (P  =  .009), workflow (P  =  .001), professional/personal satisfaction (P < .001), and work/life balance (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The continuity clinic experience 5 influence residents' GIM career choice. Residents who indicate they are more likely to pursue GIM based on that clinical experience have higher levels of satisfaction. Further prospective data are needed to assess if changes in continuity clinic toward these particular factors can enhance career choice.

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