Length of Family Medicine Training and Readiness for Independent Practice: Residents’ Perspectives at One Canadian University

Kristyn Jewell, Christie Newton, Shafik Dharamsi

ABSTRACT

Objectives: There is ongoing debate in North America around the appropriate length of training for family physicians. This pilot study presents a qualitative exploration of the viewpoints of family medicine residents at one Canadian university. Residents were asked to reflect on their level of readiness for practice following the standard two years of training.
Methods: Twenty–three family medicine residents completed an online qualitative survey where they ranked their self–perceived level of preparedness around the key CanMEDs–FM roles and competencies. Six residents participated in a follow–up focus group interview. A qualitative analysis of written responses to the survey and focus group data provided insight into the residents’ viewpoints.
Results: Among the residents surveyed, there was a sense that two years of training was not enough to adequately prepare for independent practice. Residents reported feeling well prepared around competencies related to communication skills and psychosocial issues; however, they indicated that greater exposure to a broader spectrum of clinical domains and issues around practice management would better prepare them as generalists.
Conclusions: Lengthening training in family medicine continues to receive mixed reviews. Canadian family medicine residents need to master a wider breadth of knowledge within a shorter training period compared to their peers in other specialties. The new competency– based curriculum (Triple C) in family medicine may influence the residents’ sense of readiness for practice.

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Jewell, K; Newton, C; Dharamsi, S. Length of Family Medicine Training and Readiness for Independent Practice: Residents’ Perspectives at One Canadian University. UBCMJ. 2015; 6(2):15-19.