Resident Physicians in Turkey: Results of a Survey of 1069 Residents from 11 Provinces


Abstract: Aims: To determine the problems, expectations and objectives of resident physicians in Turkey and to provide a contribution to the development and amendment of the residency program. Background: Residency varies considerably in accordance with factors like teaching staff, the institution and government policies. If characteristics, problems, expectations and objectives of resident physicians are stated and known, development and amendment of residency programs will be both easier and faster. Materials and Methods: A 50-question survey was completed by a randomly selected 1069 resident physicians from 15 university and 12 teaching hospitals in 11 provinces (İstanbul-503, Ankara-116, İzmir-86, Erzurum-71, Sivas-60, Bolu-49, Bursa-49, Şanlıurfa-46, Trabzon-38, Kocaeli-32, Van-20). The male / female ratio of the participants was 1.53, their mean age was 28.37 years (range, 23-48 years) and mean duration of residency was 19.7 months (1-66 months). Results: 83% of the participants were content with their current medical branch selection. The most common reason for preference of residency training was job satisfaction (80%). 84% of the participants had personal computers, 69% had personal internet connection and 90% had an e-mail address. 44% of them connected to the internet daily and 26% connected every other day. Knowledge of a foreign language was in English in 97%, and 5.6% of the assistants achieved competency in official examinations for their foreign language level. Regular departmental teaching meetings were reported by 78% of the participants, whereas 16% reported having no teaching meetings. The duration of the meetings was 1-2 hours per week in 53%, 3-4 hours per week in 34% and more than 4 hours in 13% of the hospitals. 67% of the resident physicians considered that the theoretical education level to be inadequate, whereas 33% considered the practical training inadequate. While 28% of the resident physicians were being evaluated by written examinations, 18% were evaluated orally, and 38% were never evaluated. 23% had no knowledge of Medline, 82% had no knowledge of Science Citation Index Expanded and 65% did not know how to prepare a specialty dissertation. 65% of them reviewed Medline at least once. 58% of them did not have any scientific publication, and only 3% had at least 10 scientific publications. 56% of them suggested that the duration of residency was adequate and 36% thought that it was long. 37% reported that the training during rotations in other sections was inadequate. 61% of junior residents reported having no communication problem with seniors and 65% of senior residents reported no communication problem with juniors. The most common complaints during training periods were excessive workload (56%), excessive number of on-duty shifts (45%), and economic problems (44%). When future objectives were considered, 30% wanted to work in private enterprise, 29% wanted an academic career, 22% wanted to work on their own and 19% wanted to work abroad. Conclusions: The percentage of residents with technological accessibility and use was relatively high, but reserved training time was low. Evaluation of education was low as well. Rotations of sections were not effective. Moreover, there were additional complaints like workload, on-duty shifts and economic difficulties. In conclusion, theoretical and practical information, competency in foreign languages and the number of scientific publications were not adequate. To prolong the duration of residency might increase displeasure and decrease motivation. More effective use of time by trainers might constitute a better approach.

Keywords: Resident, doctor, physician, questionnaire, survey

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