The role of partners in selecting a residency

Robert M. Arnold, Carol Landau, Julia C. Nissen, Steven Wartman, Seth Michelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To study the influence of medical students’ partners (that is, those to whom they are married or engaged, or with whom they are living as “significant others”) on students’ selections of their residency programs, the authors surveyed fourth-year medical students and their partners at 20 medical schools in 1986. Forty-six percent of 770 eligible couples responded to the questionnaire; data from 314 couples were used in this study. Sixty-five percent of the medical students were men. Eighty-five percent of the partners were employed outside the home. The partner was the most influential person in the students’ choice of a residency. Twenty-six percent (81) of the couples mutually made the decision and over 50% (186) tried to satisfy equally both partners’ needs. However, the women medical students had less influence over the decision and were more apt to sacrifice their needs for their partners’ (p <.05). The women students were also significantly less satisfied with their role in the decision-making process (p <.05). Attention to these issues by both medical students and residency programs could help couples deal with the stresses involved in choosing a residency location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)


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