Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of pediatric residency training as preparation for primary care and make recommendations for improving residency training.
Method: Two surveys were sent to graduate of the pediatric residency at the University of Colorado from 1984 to 1991. The first survey requested information about practice patterns and ratings of preparedness in 45 areas important for primary care. The second survey requested ratings of importance for increasing training time in 25 areas judged as inadequate in the first survey.
Results: Of 147 surveys mailed, 103 graduates responded and rated themselves as less than adequately trained in 25 of 45 areas selected for relevance to primary care. Graduates of the primary care track rated themselves as significantly better trained than graduates of nonprimary care tracks in 10 of 45 areas; nonprimary care graduates had higher ratings in 2 of 45 areas. The second survey (completed by 70 of the 103 initial responders) indicated that the top 5 areas needing increased time in residency training were, in descending order, orthopedics, developmental and behavioral problems, learning disability, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and school difficulty. Graduates of the primary care track rated themselves as adequately trained in developmental and behavioral problems and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but they and nonprimary care graduates felt inadequately prepared in the other 3 areas.
Conclusion: Implications of these results change with different content areas, suggesting the need to improve training for all residents in some areas and extending to all residents some of the curriculum already implemented in the primary care track.