Harold C. Sox, MD, Editor
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Sox HC. Career Changes in Medicine: Part II. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145:782-783. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-145-10-200611210-00012
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(10):782-783.
We have known for some time that fewer medical students (1) and internal medicine residents (2) are deciding on careers in primary care. Of the several factors contributing to this trend, experiences during medical school and residency are probably important, but we have a limited understanding of which experiences are decisive. Experiences in practice also contribute. Earlier this year, Annals of Internal Medicine published an article showing that many board-certified internists were leaving general internal medicine (GIM) (3-4). As we try to transform primary care into a desirable career choice, we need to know more about when students and residents make their decisions and why they choose primary care (or why they do not). An article in this issue by West and colleagues (5) helps fill this important gap. It allows us to follow the career preferences of a large cohort of residents in each of the 3 years of residency. The findings suggest to me that GIM starts at a disadvantage but competes well over the 3 years of residency training.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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