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Experiences with a Combined Residency in Internal and Preventive Medicine

      Background

      The importance of integrating preventive medicine training into other residency programs was reinforced recently by the residency review committee for preventive medicine. Griffin Hospital in Derby CT has offered a 4-year integrated internal medicine and preventive medicine residency program since 1997. This article reports the outcomes of that program.

      Methods

      Data were collected from surveys of program graduates and the American Boards of Internal and Preventive Medicine in 2005–2007, and analyzed in 2007–2008. Graduates rated the program in regard to job preparation, the ease of transition to employment, the value of skills learned, the perceived quality of board preparation, and the quality of the program overall. Graduates rated themselves on core competencies set by the Accreditation Committee for Graduate Medical Education.

      Results

      Since 1997, the program has enrolled 22 residents. Residents and graduates contribute significantly toward quality of care at the hospital. Graduates take and pass at high rates the boards for both for internal and preventive medicine: 100% took internal medicine boards, 90% of them passed; 63% took preventive medicine boards, 100% of them passed). The program has recruited residents mainly through the match.
      Graduates rated most elements of the program highly. They felt well-prepared for their postgraduation jobs; most respondents reported routinely using preventive medicine skills learned during residency. Graduates either have gone into academic medicine (31%); public health (14%); clinical fellowships (18%); or primary care (9%); or they combine elements of clinical medicine and public health (28%).

      Conclusions

      Integrating preventive medicine training into clinical residency programs may be an efficient, viable, and cost-effective way of creating more medical specialists with population-medicine skills.
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