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The Foreign Medical Resident Training in the United States

MICHAEL M. DACSO, M.D., F.A.C.P.; LAWRENCE ANTLER, PH.D.; and HOWARD A. RUSK, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Ann Intern Med. 1968;68(5):1105-1113. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-68-5-1105
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SUMMARY:

Fifty foreign and 50 U. S. internal medicime residents from medical school-affiliated teaching hospitals were randomly selected for participation in this investigation. Information was elicited concerning the residents' educational, professional, and social background, motivation, adjustment to the training program and to personality structure in the United States, attitudes toward U. S. and foreign doctors, and expectations about the United States. Each of the resident's supervisors was asked to rate his trainee's performance and facility with the English language on a specially designed rating form.

Although there were some similar motives between the two groups, foreign residents attributed more importance to nationalism as a reason for choosing internal medicine as a career than did their U. S. counterparts. Most foreign residents reported satisfaction with their training programs and with the United States, although they were relatively dissatisfied when they were compared with U. S. residents. The most satisfied foreign residents reported more frequent social and intellectual contacts with their U. S. colleagues. That foreign residents obtained less favorable scores on standardized, objective, self-reporting personality measures reflects the difficulty in adjusting to a new environment. Finally, the supervisors found the foreign residents' performance less adequate in comparison with that of their U. S. counterparts, although their performance was satisfactory.

While a number of theoretical interpretations were made on the basis of individual results, an overview suggests that the degree of Americanization of foreign residents was an important factor in their supervisors' evaluation of their performance and in their personal and professional adjustment to both the United States and their training programs.

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