Resident preparedness for practice: a longitudinal cohort study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Clinical Competence; Data Collection; Education, Medical, Continuing; Education, Medical, Graduate; Humans; Internship and Residency; Longitudinal Studies; Pediatrics; Professional Practice; United States


Medical Education | Pediatrics


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the perception of preparedness for practice changes over time.

DESIGN: Questionnaire survey of University of Massachusetts residents 5 years after an initial survey. Responses to individual questions in the 2 surveys were compared for each graduate and the Wilcoxon rank sum test applied. A supplementary questionnaire addressed current confidence in areas with relatively low scores in both surveys.

RESULTS: All 24 eligible graduates responded. The high rating of overall sense of preparedness was identical in the 2 surveys. Differences were statistically significant in only 3 categories: common illnesses, office gastroenterology, and office gynecology-all from a lower estimate of preparedness initially to a higher estimate in retrospect. Six areas continued to receive relatively low scores: nutrition, patient scheduling, cost-effectiveness, telephone management, office gynecology, and office orthopedics. Respondents feel more confident currently with nutrition, patient scheduling, and telephone management but not with cost-effectiveness, gynecology, or orthopedics.

CONCLUSIONS: Residents paired with office-based practitioners for their continuity experience report feeling well prepared for practice both on practice entry and 5 to 9 years later. In the 6 areas of relatively low preparedness, experience improved confidence with nutrition, patient scheduling, and telephone management, but not cost-effectiveness, gynecology, or orthopedics. The hypothesis that clinical areas of relative weakness at the end of residency may remain so years later deserves to be tested.


Ambul Pediatr. 2002 Mar-Apr;2(2):132-5.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Ambulatory pediatrics : the official journal of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID