Background and objectives: Both predoctoral directors and residency program directors are invested in the education of students in family medicine. However, the perspectives and goals of each group can be diverse. Improved collaboration between these groups of educators would be anticipated to enhance the education of students in family medicine, allow for greater interaction between family medicine resident and faculty physicians and students, and eventually entice more students to enter family medicine as a career.
Methods: We conducted a survey of family medicine residency program directors and predoctoral directors to assess the views of the members of each group on how they could be useful to the other group, how the other group could be more useful to them, and what the barriers are to successful collaboration. The survey was open for 1 month, and the response rate was a little over one third from both groups.
Results: We found that each group values its counterpart and finds them important in enhancing the success of family medicine, improving students' perceptions of family medicine, and attracting students to the field. The amount of contact between program directors and predoctoral directors is directly related to their geographical proximity.
Conclusions: A collaborative effort between family medicine residency programs and predoctoral directors could increase medical students' interest in family medicine. The biggest barrier to an effective relationship is the perception of a lack of sufficient time to devote to improving the relationship.