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Graduating US Physicians Feel Unprepared To Manage Some Common Conditions

The September 5, 2001 Reuters Health story leads with the statement that says "Many physicians completing their residency training feel unprepared to treat conditions common to their specialty." This report was based on a report in the September 5th Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. David Blumenthal from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston told Reuters Health, "One important lesson of our study is that objective data on the preparedness of residents to practice as they complete their training are scarce and that we have a professional responsibility to measure the outcomes of graduate medical education more thoroughly and carefully."

Dr. Blumenthal and colleagues surveyed 2626 graduating residents in primary care including internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics/gynecology and five other specialties to assess their self-perceived preparedness to provide common clinical services. The report said that the graduating residents felt ill prepared to manage many common situations. Dr. Blumenthal concluded. "Those who enter routine community practice should be aware that there may be gaps in their preparedness that they will need to remedy later in their practice lives, or that they will need to compensate for in some other ways."