Background and objectives: Since July 2002, family practice residency program accreditation requires evidence of teaching and assessing residents in six competency areas. This study was conducted to obtain baseline information about family practice graduates' perceptions of the importance of specific competencies and the extent to which residency training prepared them to perform skills representative of the six competency areas.
Methods: A national, cross-sectional survey was conducted of family physicians who had graduated from residency programs from 1998 to 2000.
Results: The response rate was 54% (n=1,228). Graduates reported the most preparation in patient care skills, followed by interpersonal and communication skills and then professionalism. The least preparation was reported for skills pertinent to practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, and some areas of professionalism.
Conclusions: Areas of residency education that appear to warrant improvement include education about system aspects of care, practice-based learning and improvement, and selected professionalism issues.