Medical EducationOriginal Article

Factors Associated With Osteopathic Primary Care Residency Choice Decisions

Godwin Y. Dogbey, PhD; Karen Collins, MPA; Ronald Russ, DO; Grace D. Brannan, PhD; Matt Mivsek, DO; and Sarah Sewell, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: July 16, 2017

Accepted: August 16, 2017

Published: April 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(4): 225-233

Context: The osteopathic medical profession traditionally emphasized the education of primary care physicians. A common thread for both osteopathic and allopathic residency matches, however, has been an increase in the interest in specialties outside of primary care.

Objectives: To determine whether there are critical points in medical school associated with residency selection decision-making, what factors affect residency selection decisions, and whether any identifiable shifts or trends exist.

Methods: This mixed-methods study sequentially used qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The study population was a convenience sample of osteopathic medical students, interns and residents, and practicing physicians from partner medical schools, associated hospitals, and a regional association of osteopathic physicians. In the first phase, interviews and focus group discussions were analyzed for codes, categories, and themes relating to factors that influence residency selection. In the second phase, a survey was created from the results of the first phase and administered to study participants.

Results: Of the 3450 potential participants, 282 completed the survey. Ninety-one of 209 participants (43.5%) indicated that the third year of medical school was the time they will or did decide what type of residency program to pursue. There were no significant differences in the mean scores between the respondent groups (ie, students, residents, and physicians) when ranking the importance of the 10 influential factors associated with residency selection decision-making (P>.05 for all).

Conclusions: The highest percentage of participants indicated the third year of medical school was the time that they made residency selection decisions regarding what specialty they were interested in entering. No shifts regarding the importance of specific primary care residency choice factors were found between training status of respondents.

Read Full Article