Physicians Taught as Residents to Conduct Smoking Cessation Intervention

A Follow-Up Study

Resident's training programs on preventive care are believed to have a beneficial effect on future practice patterns. This study examines the influence of residency training on the use of smoking cessation interventions (SCI) in a physician's future practice. Two hundred and ninety-one physicians from primary care disciplines were surveyed. All participated in SCI research during residency which included intensive intervention training. Half of the cohort was taught to use the training tools according to NCI physician training standards and half did not receive training. The survey results revealed that those who received training during residency were no more likely to report currently using best SCI practices with their patients who smoke than those who did not receive formal training. However, those who reported using best practices in residency were twice as likely to report doing so in their current practice, regardless of training exposure. Best practice was defined as:

  • identifying smokers;
  • advising cessation;
  • assisting with a cessation plan;
  • arranging follow-up.

Having more resources, in particular staff support, patient education materials, and clinical staff familiar with SCI was strongly related to physicians' use of best SCI practices.