Family practice residency program directors' views on research

Fam Med. 1997 Jan;29(1):33-7.


Background and objectives: The culture of family practice training programs does little to convince residents that research is a worthwhile and important activity. The traditional dichotomy between research and clinical medicine persists today, despite an identified clinical mission for research.

Methods: As part of an effort to build the research capacity of family practice training programs, a telephone survey was administered in August 1995 to the program directors of all residency programs listed in the American Academy of Family Physicians 1995 Directory of Family Practice Residency Programs. The directors were asked about their program's research environment, features designed to promote research activity, and the level of resident research productivity.

Results: More than half (53.6%) of the program directors felt that their training program actively promotes research. Three out of four indicated that involving residents in research is a goal of their program. However, only four of 10 (40.8%) programs provide specific time for research, and family practice residents appear to be relatively inactive by conventional measures of research productivity.

Conclusions: Research appears to be developing a limited role in family practice training programs. Resident research productivity remains relatively low and may be a result of residency programs not providing specific time for participating in research. However, the program directors' supportive attitudes may contribute to research and scholarly activity becoming an integral part of a family physician's training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Data Collection
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Research*
  • United States