Preparation for Practice in Internal Medicine: A Study of Ten Years of Residency Graduates

Jeffrey H. Mandel, Eugene C. Rich, Michael G. Luxenberg, Michael T. Spilane, Donald C. Kern, Thomas A. Parrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


To evaluate the adequacy of preparation for medical practice, we surveyed 320 internal medicine program graduates. The 210 respondents gave their perceptions regarding preparation in training and importance in practice of eight clinical practice skills and 27 clinical procedure skills. The skills with highest preparation scores were venipuncture, intravenous line placement, and arterial puncture for blood gases. The skills rated as the most important in practice were history taking, physical examination, and selection of diagnostic tests. For 13 of the 27 clinical procedure skills, mean preparation scores were significantly higher than mean importance scores, suggesting “overpreparation.” In contrast, seven of the eight clinical practice skills had mean preparation scores significantly lower than mean importance scores, suggesting “underpreparation.” Furthermore, greater preparation during training was reported by more recent graduates for five of the overprepared skills. We concluded that skills emphasized in internal medicine training are not necessarily those important for practice and that recent changes in the training and practice environments may be increasing these discrepancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-856
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988


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