Gaps in Residency Training Should be Addressed to Better Prepare Doctors for a Twenty-First-Century Delivery System

Many observers have been concerned about a mismatch between the knowledge, skills and professional values of newly trained physicians and the requirements of current and future medical practice.

The researchers surveyed and interviewed Kaiser Permanente’s clinical department chiefs for internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology to ascertain their views of the perceived gaps in the readiness of newly trained physicians. Nearly half of those surveyed reported deficiencies among new physicians in managing routine conditions or performing simple procedures often encountered in office-based practice. A third of the chiefs noted deficiencies in coordinating care for patients.

Filling these and other training gaps will require changes at many levels—from residency programs to Medicare reimbursement policies—to better prepare new physicians for the challenges of working in a health care system evolving to emphasize accountability, quality outcomes, cost control and information technology.

This study was not funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but is being made available as an additional resource on this topic.