Background and objectives: As research has become an increasingly important activity in family medicine, so the teaching of research skills has become an important part of family practice residents' training. The purpose of the study was to determine the attitudes toward research and related topics of a family practice program's graduates who had participated in a required academic project during their residency training.
Methods: A questionnaire using Dillman methodology was mailed to graduates of the University of Toronto family practice program. Graduating years surveyed were 1987-1992.
Results: There were 321 (78%) responses from the 427 graduates. Most projects completed during residency had been literature reviews. Ninety percent of respondents felt that critical appraisal skills were important to them as practicing physicians, but only 39% felt they had been sufficiently educated about these skills. Other research-related skills (writing, presenting, data analysis) were learned more thoroughly. The majority (58%) felt neutral or negative about their projects, and 79% would not have done a project if it had been optional.
Conclusions: This cohort of family practice graduates felt negatively about the teaching of research skills during residency. Providing more support and developing a curriculum may improve resident satisfaction.