Increased Scholarly Activity: A Benefit of 4-Year Family Medicine Residencies

Mil Med. 2021 Jul 9;usab284. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usab284. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The optimal length of Family Medicine Residency is unknown. As part of the American Board of Family Medicine 4-year Length of Training (LoT) pilot project, Naval Hospital Jacksonville (NHJ) maintained a dual-track 3- and 4-year Family Medicine Residency, graduating seven 4-year residents over consecutive 4 years of the LoT program. One measure of success regarding the impact of 4-year residents on program outcomes is scholarly output during residency.

Materials and methods: Cumulative scholarly activity points are tracked for all NHJ residents. Cumulative scholarly activity points, points per year per, and raw percentile USMLE/COMLEX scores from academic years 2016-17 to 2019-20 were compared between PGY3 and PGY4 graduates using one-way ANOVA to 95% confidence with post hoc Tukey honestly significant difference pairwise comparison to evaluate pairwise significance between groups where multi-group differences were found.

Results: During the 2016-17 through 2019-20 academic years, NHJ had 28 residents complete 3 years of training without interruption (3 Years), 11 residents complete 3 years of training interrupted by general medical officer tours (Resiterns), and 7 residents complete 4 years of training without interruption (4 Years). There were no significant differences in average raw USMLE and COMLEX scores between 3 Year (71%), Resitern (68%), and 4 Year (76%) residents (P = .335). 4-Year residents had significantly more cumulative scholarly points (103) than 3-Year residents (32.6, P < .001) and Resiterns (18.7, P < .001) and also had more cumulative scholarly points per year of residency (27.8) than 3-Year residents (9.8, P < .001) and Resiterns (7.0, P < .001).

Conclusions: An observed benefit of a 4-year Family Medicine Residency was a marked increase in scholarly output at this program.