Research participation, protected time, and research output by family physicians in family medicine residencies

Fam Med. 2006 May;38(5):341-8.


Background and objectives: The Future of Family Medicine project concluded that research must become a greater part of the culture of the specialty. We examined the participation of family physician residency faculty in research, their protected time, and their research output and how these varied by program type.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of all family medicine residency programs in the United States. The response rate was 66% (298/453).

Results: The majority of programs reported at least one family physician who participates in research, though the medical school-based (MSB) programs reported a higher total number of faculty than the community-based, medical school affiliated (MSA) programs (9.53 versus 2.72) and percentage of faculty (56% versus 37%). Substantially more MSB programs reported that they had at least one family physician with significant protected time for research (48% versus 7% for > 25% protected time) or any protected time (69% for MSB versus 45% for MSA). MSB programs and MSA programs reported similar success at producing at least one poster or paper for national meetings within the last 3 years (63% versus 41%) but not for published papers (86% versus 43%).

Conclusions: We found that only about half of the family medicine residencies produced any nationally recognized research over a 3-year period and that this represents only a small improvement over the last 10 years. Our findings suggest that more support is needed if research is to become an integral part of the culture of family medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Research / trends*
  • Time Management
  • United States