Family medicine residency educational characteristics and career satisfaction in recent graduates

Fam Med. Jul-Aug 2008;40(7):484-91.


Background and objectives: Career satisfaction among family physicians has declined over the last 15 years. The purpose of this study was to determine what aspects of residency training are associated with family medicine career satisfaction in recent graduates.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional national survey of 1000 family physicians who graduated within the last 10 years. Questions were primarily Likert type. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify retained factors. Bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to identify residency characteristics, demographics, and current work characteristics that were associated with career satisfaction.

Results: The response rate was 55.8% (558/1000). Exploratory factor analysis found three factors that explained the majority of the variance in career satisfaction: overall work life, rigorous residency training, and demographic factors. Many features of residency training were associated with career satisfaction on bivariate analysis. Multivariate analysis found that training that was exceptionally broad and in-depth was independently associated with career satisfaction. The factors with the largest association with career satisfaction were medical career satisfaction and current work satisfaction.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that residency education that was broad and in-depth was associated with early family medicine career satisfaction. This construct reflected rigorous training that included hands-on procedural experience, breadth of experiences with patients and illness, and care for complex hospitalized patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Professional Practice