To elicit the opinions of practicing internists who had graduated from a single internal medicine residency program about the adequacy of their training and its relevance to their medical practice, we mailed a survey to 1,342 physicians who had spent at least 1 year in the Mayo internal medicine residency training program. Of this group, 703 alumni (52%) responded to the survey, 532 of whom were currently practicing internal medicine. Our detailed analysis was based on responses from these 532 and, for some aspects of evaluation, on the 121 general internists who had completed residency training after 1970. Of the respondents, 42% spent more than 80% of their time in general medicine, and 53% had at least some subspecialty practice; 55% were involved in teaching, 20% in some research, and 37% in various administrative duties. In 27%, all patient-care activities involved primary care, an increase from 18% in a 1979 survey and 9% in 1972. Of those who were subspecialists, 67% spent more than half their time in subspecialty practice. Of those who were trained after 1970, 90% were board certified. Most respondents thought that their training in the internal medicine subspecialties was adequate, that additional procedure training was needed in joint aspiration, line placement, and flexible sigmoidoscopy, and that many allied medical areas were important to their practice and necessitated additional training. Although virtually all respondents assessed their inpatient training as adequate, only 42% were fully satisfied with their outpatient training. Alumni surveys can be useful in restructuring a residency program to meet the needs of the trainees.
ASJC Scopus subject areas