The percentage of graduating internal medicine residents planning a career in general internal medicine decreased by almost half for 2019 to 2021 versus 10 years earlier, according to a research letter published online Aug. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Neha Paralkar, M.D., from the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, New York, and colleagues used national data from the Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (2019 to 2021) surveys to evaluate career choice plans among 61,991 internal medicine residents. The researchers also compared results to a similar 2012 analysis that showed 19.9 percent of internal medicine residents planned to enter general internal medicine.
The researchers found that during the study period, 9.4 percent of residents planned on a career in general internal medicine, 15.1 percent in hospital medicine, and 67.9 percent in a subspecialty.
Among categorical year 3 residents from 2009-2011 and 2019-2021, there was a decrease in general internal medicine career plans of 10.4 percent and an increase in hospital medicine career plans by 11.4 percent, with minimal change in subspecialty career choice, but for primary care residents, there was a 7.8 percent decrease in general internal medicine career choices, a 20.1 percent increase in hospital medicine career choices, and an 11.7 percent decrease in residents desiring a subspecialty career.
“The Internal Medicine In-Training Examination data, along with the projected shortages in primary care providers, suggest that more needs to be done to encourage residents to pursue careers in general internal medicine,” the authors write.
Neha Paralkar et al, Career Plans of Internal Medicine Residents From 2019 to 2021, JAMA Internal Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2023.2873
JAMA Internal Medicine
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