Purpose: To investigate the demographics and training experiences of internal medicine and pediatrics (med-peds) physicians.
Method: A cross-sectional survey addressing demographics, training experiences, and career plans of fourth-year residents graduating from combined internal medicine and pediatrics programs that were identified in the American Academy of Pediatrics database was initiated in May 2003. Questionnaires were mailed up to four times to nonresponders through August 2003.
Results: Valid responses were received from 212 of the 340 graduating residents (62% response rate). The majority (186/208 [89%]) reported that they would choose med-peds training again. Career planning (135/210 [64%]), office management (173/212 [82%]), and outpatient procedures (155/211 [73%]) were the only areas where the majority desired more training. Neonatal intensive care training was the only topic area that the majority of residents (142/212 [67%]) reported could have been carried out in less time. Nearly all residents (183/196 [93%]) planned to care for children and adults. Residents' self-assessment of their preparation was good to excellent for evidence-based medicine (192/210 [91%]), caring for patients with special health care needs (179/209 [86%]), and use of information technology (169/208 [81%]). Residents felt equally well prepared for postgraduate activities in internal medicine and pediatrics primary care (170/212 [80%] versus 163/211 [77%], p = .305, NS) and internal medicine and pediatric fellowships (186/207 [90%] versus 181/208 [87%], p = .058, NS). Only 112 of 209 residents (54%) felt their preparation for research was good to excellent.
Conclusions: The study findings suggest that med-peds residents are satisfied with their decision to train in med-peds and with their level of preparation. They feel equally well prepared to care for adults and children, and well prepared to care for patients that may transition to adulthood with complex needs, to assess evidence, and to use information technology.