Self-assessment of medical students and young physicians in training : Self-confidence of clinical competencies and working or learning environment

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2020 Mar;132(5-6):155-160. doi: 10.1007/s00508-020-01623-y. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


Background: In 2015 medical training regulations have been restructured for postgraduate medical training in Austria resulting in a significant shortening of the training period. Furthermore, a restriction of working hours for physicians to 48 h per week was implemented affecting the framework of postgraduate medical training. The aim of this study was to obtain a self-assessment of students and young physicians in Austria regarding their self-confidence in clinical skills and their working and learning environment.

Methods: In this study 6th year medical students, physicians in their basic training (common trunk), physicians in family medicine training, and residents in their first 18 months of training were asked to participate in a survey. Self-reported data were collected for five different prespecified domains (communication, motor skills, knowledge, documentation, and emergency).

Results: In all domains, self-confidence increased significantly during medical training. Analysis further revealed better results of residents compared with all other groups in all domains, whereas physicians in family medicine training only rated themselves better in the documentation domain (p = 0.010); however, the interest in family medicine was low, even among physicians in family medicine training. The workload significantly increased during medical education, with the highest stress levels for physicians in family medicine training and residents (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Self-confidence of young physicians but also their stress levels increased during the medical training. Further studies are needed to answer the question why the interest in family medicine was so unexpectedly low in this cohort.

Keywords: Common trunk; Educational needs; Medical training regulations; Postgraduate medical training; Residency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Austria
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Self-Assessment
  • Students, Medical* / psychology