Objective: To gather information from combined internal medicine-pediatric residents about their application process for residency, their perceptions of the stressors during residency, and their future plans.
Design: Survey of all combined internal medicine-pediatric residents-in-training in the 1989-1990 academic year.
Participants: Fifty-four percent of residents-in-training responded to the survey, representing 70% of the programs.
Results: Combined residents often investigate and rank other generalist residences. However, internal medicine is significantly (P < .005) considered more often than pediatrics or family medicine. Sixty percent of combined residents do not anticipate further training beyond the 4 years and expect to practice both specialties. The majority of those interested in a subspecialty expect to continue to combine internal medicine and pediatrics in their subspecialty practice. Switching services during the residency engenders stress. Factors that decrease stress include more frequent switches and increasing seniority. Switching from pediatrics to internal medicine is more stressful (P < .0001) than switching to pediatrics from internal medicine. The residents considered ambulatory training sites and a specific coordinator for the program to be the most important features of the residency.
Conclusions: Combined internal medicine-pediatric programs continue to attract a small cohort of well-qualified US medical school graduates, the majority of whom intend to practice as generalists in both pediatrics and internal medicine.