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More Than Half of Internal Medicine Graduates Choosing Primary Care

Programs with a majority of graduates entering primary care less likely to have X+Y scheduling

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — More than half of internal medicine graduates in 2016 and 2017 pursued a career in primary care, according to a study published online April 8 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

In a cross-sectional study, Paul O’Rourke, M.D., M.P.H., from the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, and colleagues characterized the current internal medicine primary care residency landscape in the United States. Seventy percent of internal medicine primary care program directors completed a survey assessing program characteristics, educational curricula, clinical training experiences, and graduate outcomes.

The researchers found that in 2016 and 2017, more than half of internal medicine graduates pursued a primary care career upon residency graduation. For most of the program, curricular, and clinical training factors that were assessed, no correlation was found with programs that have a majority of graduates pursuing a primary care career path. Programs with a majority of program graduates entering a primary care career were less likely than other programs to have X+Y scheduling, where X refers to hospital training time treating inpatients and Y refers to time spent in clinics outside hospitals treating ambulatory patients.

“Even in light of these results, just this one study wouldn’t convince me to forgo X+Y,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “The most important thing is to provide quality outpatient training to better prepare trainees for a career in primary care.”

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