Career Orientations of Medical and Pediatric Residents

Published In: Medical Care, v. 23, no. 11, Nov. 23, 1985, p. 1256-1264

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1985

by M. D Benson, Lawrence S. Linn, Nancy C. Ward, Kenneth B. Wells, Robert H. Brook, Barbara Leake

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Educators have expressed concern about the declining percentage of graduating residents who choose an academic career. This study identifies characteristics of postgraduate physicians that are associated with intentions to pursue an academic career or a full-time private practice. Data were obtained from 299 residents in pediatrics and internal medicine at five academic medical centers in Southern California, using self-report questionnaires. Preference for an academic career was strongest among residents who were most satisfied with their work, were frequently sponsored by faculty, had published, or who either lived alone or were married to another professional. The likelihood of full-time private practice was strongest among residents who were less frequently sponsored by faculty, had not published, lived with others, were from certain medical schools, or were females. Training programs may wish to consider some of these factors in the selection of residents and in program development.

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