Objectives: To determine whether the level of presence of faculty in the afternoon or evening influences residents' perception of learning, "autonomy," or satisfaction, and if so whether the effect is positive or negative. Subjects and Methods: A survey of internal medicine residents was conducted from January 1 through June 30, 1999. Primary outcome was residents' satisfaction and its relationship to the degree of (resident-observed) faculty presence. Results: A total of 156 (86.7%) of the 180 surveys distributed were returned. Residents rated the individual faculty members' frequency of afternoon or evening presence as "most/all of the time" (47%), "occasionally" (32%), or "never/rarely" (21%). Increased faculty presence was positively associated with higher resident "satisfaction with faculty" (P<.001), "educational value of time spent with the faculty member" (P=.001), "team dynamics" (P=.002), "(quality of) overall medical care provided" (P=.03), and "sufficient autonomy" (P=.04). Residents were less likely to report concerns (difficulties) with teaching (P<.001) and efficiency (P=.008) of faculty whose level of presence was increased. Conclusion: Contrary to some concerns expressed, increased faculty presence is associated with higher resident satisfaction and a more favorable learning experience.
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