Role-Modeling Cost-Conscious Care--A National Evaluation of Perceptions of Faculty at Teaching Hospitals in the United States

J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Sep;30(9):1294-8. doi: 10.1007/s11606-015-3242-5.


Background: Little is known about how well faculty at teaching hospitals role-model behaviors consistent with cost-conscious care.

Objective: We aimed to evaluate whether residents and program directors report that faculty at their program consistently role-model cost-conscious care, and whether the presence of a formal residency curriculum in cost-conscious care impacted responses.

Design: Cost-conscious care surveys were administered to internal medicine residents during the 2012 Internal Medicine In-Training Examination and to program directors during the 2012 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine Annual Survey. Respondents stated whether or not they agreed that faculty in their program consistently role-model cost-conscious care. To evaluate a more comprehensive assessment of faculty behaviors, resident responses were matched with those of the director of their residency program. A multivariate logistic regression model was fit to the outcome variable, to identify predictors of responses that faculty do consistently role-model cost-conscious care from residency program, resident, and program director characteristics.

Participants: Responses from 12,623 residents (58.4 % of total sample) and 253 program directors (68.4 %) from internal medicine residency programs in the United States were included.

Main measures: The primary outcome measure was responses to questionnaires on faculty role-modeling cost-conscious care.

Key results: Among all responses in the final sample, 6,816 (54.0 %) residents and 121 (47.8 %) program directors reported that faculty in their program consistently role-model cost-conscious care. Among paired responses of residents and their program director, the proportion that both reported that faculty do consistently role-modeled cost-conscious care was 23.0 % for programs with a formal residency curriculum in cost-conscious care, 26.3 % for programs working on a curriculum, and 23.7 % for programs without a curriculum. In the adjusted model, the presence of a formal curriculum in cost-conscious care did not have a significant impact on survey responses (odds ratio [OR], 1.04; 95 % Confidence Interval [CI], 0.52-2.06; p value [p] = 0.91).

Conclusions: Responses from residents and program directors indicate that faculty at US teaching hospitals were not consistently role-modeling cost-conscious care. The presence of a formal residency curriculum in cost-conscious care did not impact responses. Future efforts should focus on placing more emphasis on faculty development and on combining curricular improvements with institutional interventions to adapt the training environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Faculty
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / trends*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States