Assessment of an innovative instructional program to return non-practicing physicians to the workforce

Med Teach. 2012;34(4):285-91. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.660215.


Introduction: Few formal educational programs are available in the United States to assist physicians wishing to return to medical practice after clinical inactivity. Little published data on physicians who complete these programs exist. We describe the Drexel Medicine Physician Reentry/Refresher course and present our findings on participant demographics, performance, and goal attainment following course completion.

Methods: Physician self-assessment, future career goals, recommendations of referring organizations, and a quantitative assessment of knowledge and skills were used to create individualized learning objectives and physician's curriculum. Initial assessment included demonstration of clinical skills using standardized patients and medical knowledge using the National Board of Medical Examiners Comprehensive Clinical Medicine Self-Assessment Examination. Progress in knowledge and clinical skills was measured by repeat assessment at course completion. We questioned physicians 3 months after course completion to determine if initial goals were attained.

Results: Thirty-six physicians completed the program from November 2006 through November 2010. Most physicians demonstrated significant improvement in core clinical skills and knowledge at the end of the course. All physicians who sought employment, hospital privileges, and refreshing skills as initial goals were successful.

Conclusion: The Drexel Medicine Physician Reentry/Refresher course provides a unique model for successfully returning inactive physicians to clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Distance / methods
  • Education, Professional, Retraining / methods
  • Education, Professional, Retraining / organization & administration
  • Education, Professional, Retraining / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Licensure, Medical
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Philadelphia
  • Physicians / standards*
  • Preceptorship
  • Schools, Medical / standards
  • Schools, Medical / trends
  • Self-Assessment*
  • United States