According to the ACP, many residents in primary care track programs are no longer entering primary care. Many graduating residents are specializing.
Most internal medicine residents, even those in primary care residencies, don’t plan to practice general internal medicine, a recent survey found.
U.S. internal medicine residents were surveyed about their career plans while taking the Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE). Data were gathered from more than 57,000 residents who responded to the survey in 2009-2011. About a third of the responses came from third-year residents. Results were published in the Dec. 5 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Overall, 21.5% of the residents reported plans to practice general internal medicine (GIM). Residents in primary care residency programs were more likely to choose GIM than those in categorical internal medicine residency programs (39.6% vs. 19.9%), but a subspecialty career was the most common plan for both groups (52.5% of primary care residents, 65.3% of categorical residents). Among primary care residents, there was a significant difference between the plans of U.S. medical school graduates and international medical graduates (IMGs). More than half (57.3%) of primary care IMGs were planning to subspecialize, compared to only 27.3% of U.S. grads.
The study also found that female residents were more likely than male residents to ever report a plan of a GIM career (26.7% vs. 17.3%) and to stick with that plan over the course of their training (62.4% of women reporting a GIM plan in their first year also reported one in their third year vs. 47.2% of men). The study showed that many residents change their mind about career plans, both for and against GIM, the authors noted.
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Read the Full JAMA Study Here