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Assessment of residency program outcomes via alumni surveys

Authors Lüer S, Aebi C

Received 24 December 2016

Accepted for publication 30 January 2017

Published 27 April 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 307—315

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S131043

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Sonja Lüer, Christoph Aebi

Department of Pediatrics, Bern University Hospital, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Background: One trend in medical education is outcomes-oriented training. Outcomes usually refer to individuals’ acquisition of competencies, for example, during training in residency programs. However, little is known about outcomes of these programs. In order to fill this gap, human resource (HR) data were analyzed and alumni of a pediatric residency program were surveyed at the Department of Pediatrics, Bern University Hospital, Switzerland.
Methods: Residency program outcomes (demographics, career choices, part-time or full-time work status, competencies, feedback) were assessed through in-house HR databases, publicly available data on the Internet (physician directory and practice homepages), and 2 alumni surveys (S1, S2).
Results: In all, 109 alumni met the inclusion criteria. Retention rate at the hospital was low (14%). Forty-six alumni (42%) in private practice were eligible for alumni surveys. Response rates were 87% (S1) and 61% (S2). Time intervals between 2 career decisions (selecting specialty of pediatrics vs selecting setting of private practice) varied widely (late-training decision to enter private practice). Mean employment level in private practice was 60% (range 20%–100%). Most valued rotation was emergency medicine; most desired competencies in future colleagues were the ability to work in a team, proficiency in pediatrics, and working economically.
Conclusion: A broadened view on outcomes – beyond individuals’ competency acquisition – provides informative insights into a training program, can allow for informed program updates, and guide future program development.

Keywords:
medical education, career choice, pediatrics, private practice

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