Study Investigates Debate Over Length of Family Medicine Residency Training

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Using data collected from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) as part of the resident certification examination application, the authors, Tomoko Sairenji, MD, MS, Mingliang Dai, PhD, Aimee R. Eden, PhD, Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD, and Arch G. Mainous, III, PhD, assessed the proportion of family medicine residency graduates intending to pursue fellowship training or another year of residency training if it were available.

Results from the 6,235 questionnaires completed by family medicine residents indicated 17% intended to enroll in a fellowship, while 54.2% were “not at all likely” to extend residency training. Forty-six percent of those intending a fellowship were “not at all likely” to extend training.

The study found a disconnect between fellowship intention and desire for another year of residency training, furthering the existing debate over the ideal length of family medicine residency. The discussion on length of training centers mostly on whether family medicine training should be expanded from three to four years, or shortened to two. Fellowships offer a different strategy for obtaining specific skills and expertise; however, some graduates of family medicine fellowships then disappear from the primary care workforce.

The complete article, Fellowship or Further Training for Family Medicine Residents?, may be found at: http://www.stfm.org/FamilyMedicine/Vol49Issue8/Sairenji618

Inquiries and correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Sairenji, 1959 NE Pacific St, Seattle, WA 98195-6390. 206-685-7942. Fax: 206-543-3821. sairenji(at)uw(dot)edu

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Jane Ireland

Jane Ireland
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