Introduction: Career preparation in residency training is not standardized. Scholarly tracks have emerged in emergency medicine (EM) residencies to allow specialized training in an area of focus. The characteristics of these tracks and their value and impact on resident career choice are unknown. We aim to describe the current state of scholarly tracks in residency training programs and their association with pursuit of an academic career.
Methods: Program leaders at EM training programs completed an online survey consisting of multiple-choice items with free-text option. Additionally, participants completed a matrix of dropdown items identifying the immediately chosen post-residency position and applicable track of each member of their graduating class. Descriptive statistics were calculated and reported for multiple-choice items. We performed comparative statistics using chi-squared and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Free-text responses were analyzed using a thematic approach.
Results: 113/157(72%) programs participated, 51 with and 62 without tracks. Tracks were more common in four-year programs (odds ratio [OR]=4.8;[2.0-11.9]) and larger programs (chi-sq, p=0.001). Perceived benefits of tracks from programs with them included advanced training (46/50; 92%), career guidance (44/50; 88%), mentorship (44/50; 88%), and preparation for an academic career (40/50; 80%). Residents often participated in a single track (37/50; 74%) usually during their later residency years. Programs with tracks were more likely to graduate residents to an academic career, OR 1.8;[1.3-2.4].
Conclusion: This study describes the current characteristics and perceptions of scholarly tracks in EM residencies. Scholarly tracks are associated with an academic position immediately following residency. The results of this study may inform the development and use of scholarly tracks in residency training programs.