The role of curriculum in influencing students to select generalist training: a 21-year longitudinal study.
To determine if specific curricula or backgrounds influence selection of generalist careers, the curricular choices of graduates of Mount Sinai School of Medicine between 1970 and 1990 were reviewed based on admission category. Students were divided into three groups: Group 1, those who started their first year of training at the School of Medicine; Group 2, those accepted with advanced standing into their third year of training from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, a five-year program developed to select and produce students likely to enter primary care fields; and Group 3, those accepted with advanced standing into the third year who spent the first two years at a foreign medical school. All three groups took the identical last two years of clinical training at the School of Medicine. These were no significant differences with respect to initial choice of generalist training programs among all three groups, with 46% of the total cohort selecting generalist training. Of those students who chose generalist programs, 58% in Group 1, 51% in Group 2, and 41% in Group 3 remained in these fields rather than progressing to fellowship training. This difference was significant only with respect to Group 3. However, when an analysis was performed among those students providing only primary care as compared to only specialty care, there were no significant differences. Analysis by gender revealed women to be more likely to select generalist fields and remain in these fields without taking specialty training (P < .0001). Differentiating characteristics with respect to choosing generalist fields were not related to either Part I or Part II scores on National Board Examinations or selection to AOA. However, with respect to those specific specialties considered quite competitive (general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and ophthalmology), total test scores on Part I and Part II were significantly higher than those of all other students. The analysis indicated that, despite the diverse characteristics of students entering the third year at the School of Medicine, no one group produced a statistically greater proportion of generalists positions than any other, and academic performance while in medical school did not have a significant influence on whether a student entered a generalist field. (+info)
Introducing managed care to the medical school curriculum: effect on student attitudes.
In order to assess the effect of clinical training and didactic instruction on medical student attitudes toward managed care, we conducted a survey of all medical students at the midpoint of their third year clerkships at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The students were exposed to clinical training in managed care settings and a 2-day required course on the principles underlying managed care. The main outcome measures were student attitudes toward the concepts of managed care, managed care organizations, and future careers in managed care. Students also assessed the attitudes of medical faculty toward managed care. Attitudes of students with previous clinical training in managed care settings did not differ from those of students without such exposure toward the concepts underlying managed care or managed care organizations and were less positive about careers in managed care. Student responses before and after the 2-day course on managed care demonstrated that attitudes moved in a significantly positive direction. Seventy-one percent of students reported that the opinions they had heard from medical faculty about managed care were negative. Preparing medical students to practice medicine effectively in managed care settings will require focused attention on managed care issues in the medical school curriculum and the combined efforts of academic health centers and managed care organizations. (+info)
The career outcomes for doctors completing general practice vocational training 1990-1995.
BACKGROUND: While much has been published about the career outcomes of doctors who completed general practice vocational training prior to 1990, no evidence is currently available about those who have qualified since that time. AIM: To obtain information about the career paths of doctors who had completed general practice vocational training since 1990, and to compare the results with previously published data. METHOD: Postal questionnaire survey of all doctors completing vocational training during the period 1990-1995 in three regions of the United Kingdom. The study examined current work status, career path since completion of training, desire for and experience of part-time training, degree of difficulty in choosing and following a career, and the degree to which certain factors impeded career choice. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 64.8%, although there was a significant difference between the response rates for men and women. While virtually all responders were employed, with the majority working in general practice, women were significantly less likely than men to be working as principals in general practice, for all cohorts. These results were very similar to those cohorts described in earlier studies. The career paths of doctors only became stable after about four years. Of those working in general practice, about 20% found it difficult to choose their career, and about 10% found it difficult to follow their career. Out-of-hours work was the major factor impeding career choice. CONCLUSION: Although they are taking longer to reach, the final career destinations of doctors completing vocational training since 1990 are no different from those of earlier cohorts. (+info)
Rural background and clinical rural rotations during medical training: effect on practice location.
BACKGROUND: Providing health care services in rural communities in Canada remains a challenge. What affects a family medicine resident's decision concerning practice location? Does the resident's background or exposure to rural practice during clinical rotations affect that decision? METHODS: Cross-sectional mail survey of 159 physicians who graduated from the Family Medicine Program at Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., between 1977 and 1991. The outcome variables of interest were the size of community in which the graduate chose to practise on completion of training (rural [population less than 10,000] v. nonrural [population 10,000 or more]) and the size of community of practice when the survey was conducted (1993). The predictor or independent variables were age, sex, number of years in practice, exposure to rural practice during undergraduate and residency training, and size of hometown. RESULTS: Physicians who were raised in rural communities were 2.3 times more likely than those from nonrural communities to choose to practise in a rural community immediately after graduation (95% confidence interval 1.43-3.69, p = 0.001). They were also 2.5 times more likely to still be in rural practice at the time of the survey (95% confidence interval 1.53-4.01, p = 0.001). There was no association between exposure to rural practice during undergraduate or residency training and choosing to practise in a rural community. INTERPRETATION: Physicians who have roots in rural Canada are more likely to practise in rural Canada than those without such a background. (+info)
What do general practice receptionists think and feel about their work?
BACKGROUND: Although there is some published work acknowledging that the general practice receptionist's role is both important and difficult, receptionists' own views have rarely been sought. AIM: To explore general practice receptionists' ideas and feelings about their work. METHOD: A questionnaire was distributed to all 150 receptionists in a representative sample of 26 practices in the area covered by Leeds family health services authority. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a representative group of 20 receptionists selected from the questionnaire sample. RESULTS: All responders were women, 60% were over 40 years old, and about half had been in the post for more than five years; four-fifths worked part-time. They had chosen the job because it dovetailed with the rest of their lives. Responders derived satisfaction from helping patients, meeting people, having good relationships with colleagues, and doing varied work. Sources of stress included difficult patients, work pressure, problems finding appointments for patients, and feeling caught between doctors' and patients' demands. Responders' experiences and views of training were diverse. Practice managers were important in making them feel consulted and supported. All had a sense of teamwork with colleagues, but many did not perceive the whole practice as a team. Many felt doctors failed to appreciate the pressure and complexity of their work. CONCLUSIONS: Receptionists' work is complex, demanding and intense, involving a high level of commitment to patients, colleagues, and the practice. Recommendations include improved appointment systems, a positive role for practice managers in relation to reception staff, and individual planning of receptionists' training. Effective teamwork among receptionists should be recognized and developed. General practitioners (GPs) are recommended to develop a greater understanding of receptionists' work. (+info)
Educational and career outcomes of an internal medicine preceptorship for first-year medical students.
OBJECTIVE: Medical educators have attempted in recent years to provide quality clinical experiences for medical students early in their medical training. We questioned whether participating in a preceptorship in internal medicine (PIM) resulted in better performances on subsequent clinical rotations and increased interest in internal medicine. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-four students have participated in the PIM to date, with control groups consisting of students who applied for it but were not selected (n = 36), students participating in a preceptorship in family medicine (n = 168), and the remaining students (n = 330). DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: University medical center and community practices. INTERVENTION: A 2-month, clinical preceptorship following the first year of medical school. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The following outcomes were assessed: scores in the introduction to clinical medicine course; grades in the medical ethics course; scores from the internal medicine clerkship; and choosing a career in internal medicine. In their second year, PIM students scored higher in both semesters of the introduction to clinical medicine course (87% and 86% vs 84% and 84%, p's <.01) and were more likely to receive honors in ethics (50% vs 29%, p <.01) than non-PIM students. During the internal medicine clerkship, PIM students' scores were significantly higher on an objective structured clinical examination (79% vs 76%, p =.05), ambulatory clinical evaluations (80% vs 76%, p <.01), and overall clerkship scores (78% vs 75%, p =.03) but not on inpatient clinical evaluations or on the National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Examination. Preceptorship students were more likely to receive honors grades in the medicine clerkship (33% vs 10%, p <.01), and they were more likely to match into internal medicine residencies than control students (54% vs 27%, p <.01). CONCLUSIONS: The PIM course is an intervention, early in students' careers, which appears to benefit them academically and increase their interest in internal medicine as a career. (+info)
Transplant surgeons in training: is anybody out there?
There is a long-standing recognition that there is an organ donor shortage in the United Kingdom and Ireland (UK&E) that limits transplant activity. However, the fact that, at present, there are several unfilled consultant vacancies would suggest that a shortage of trained surgeons may soon be an equally important limiting factor. The aim of this current study was to identify all transplant trainees in the UK&E and to determine their career aspirations. A list of all trainees intending to practice as transplant surgeons was compiled. A combination of postal questionnaire and telephone interview was used to construct a database on past and present training in transplantation, and preferred type of consultancy was assessed both by direct questioning and by using a visual analogue scale to grade desirability of various posts. Of 110 potential trainees identified, 50 (45%) replied and indicated a desire to pursue a career in transplant surgery. Thirty-one intended practising in the UK&E (19 UK&E graduates and 12 overseas). The preferred consultancy (27/31) was transplantation (Tx) together with a second specialty while only four wanted a multivisceral practice. The mean score (0-10) for desirability of a multivisceral transplant post was 4.7, for renal transplant and vascular access it was 3.6 and for transplantation and a second specialty it was 8.4. We conclude that the majority of trainees do not wish to apply for pure transplant posts, either single organ or multivisceral, and that the majority wish to practice transplantation with a second specialty. In addition, there is still a major shortage of trainees and further studies are required to identify reasons why trainees fail to pursue a career in transplantation. (+info)
Square pegs in round holes: has psychometric testing a place in choosing a surgical career? A preliminary report of work in progress.
Methods of selection of candidates for training in surgery has long been regarded as lacking explicit criteria and objectivity. Our purpose was to discover the aptitudes and personality types of applicants for surgical posts at the outset, in order to discover which were most likely to result in a satisfactory progression through training and which were associated with career difficulties. This longitudinal predictive validation study has been undertaken in a London Teaching Hospital since 1994. After short-listing, but immediately before interview, all candidates for senior house officer posts in basic surgical training and in geriatric medicine were asked to undertake psychometric tests of numerical (GMA) and spatial (SIT7) reasoning, personality type (MBTI), and self-rating of competency. There were no differences in ability scores between surgeons or geriatricians. Personality differences were revealed between the surgeons and the geriatricians, and between male and female surgeons. This study suggests that while there are no differences in ability between surgeons and geriatricians at the start of training, there are differences in personality. Long-term follow-up of the career development of this cohort of surgical SHOs is required to determine whether the psychometric measures described correlate with achievements of milestones in their surgical careers. (+info)