A National Survey of Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency Program Directors

Paul O’Rourke, Eva Tseng, Karen Chacko, Marc Shalaby, Anne Cioletti, Scott Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The United States is facing a primary care physician shortage. Internal medicine (IM) primary care residency programs have expanded substantially in the past several decades, but there is a paucity of literature on their characteristics and graduate outcomes. Objective: We aimed to characterize the current US IM primary care residency landscape, assess graduate outcomes, and identify unique programmatic or curricular factors that may be associated with a high proportion of graduates pursuing primary care careers. Design: Cross-sectional study Participants: Seventy out of 100 (70%) IM primary care program directors completed the survey. Main Measures: Descriptive analyses of program characteristics, educational curricula, clinical training experiences, and graduate outcomes were performed. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between ≥ 50% of graduates in 2016 and 2017 entering a primary care career and program characteristics, educational curricula, and clinical training experiences. Key Results: Over half of IM primary care program graduates in 2016 and 2017 pursued a primary care career upon residency graduation. The majority of program, curricular, and clinical training factors assessed were not associated with programs that have a majority of their graduates pursuing a primary care career path. However, programs with a majority of program graduates entering a primary care career were less likely to have X + Y scheduling compared to the other programs. Conclusions: IM primary care residency programs are generally succeeding in their mission in that the majority of graduates are heading into primary care careers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019


  • medical education-career choice
  • medical education-graduate
  • medical student and residency education
  • primary care
  • survey research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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