Residents values in a rational decision-making model: an interest in academics in emergency medicine


Academic physicians train the next generation of doctors. It is important to understand the factors that lead residents to choose an academic career to continue to effectively recruit residents who will join the national medical faculty. A decision-making theory-driven, large scale assessment of this process has not been previously undertaken. To examine the factors that predict an Emergency resident’s interest in pursuing an academic career at the conclusion of training. This study employs the ABEM Longitudinal Survey (n = 365). A logistic regression model was estimated using an interest in an academic career in residency as the dependent variable. Independent variables include gender, under-represented minority status, survey cohort, number of dependent children, possession of an advanced degree, ongoing research, publications, and the appeal of science, independence, and clinical work in choosing EM. Logistic regression resulted in a statistically significant model (p < 0.001). Residents who chose EM due to the appeal of science, had peer-reviewed publications and ongoing research were more likely to be interested in an academic career at the end of residency (p < 0.05). An increased number of children (p < 0.05) was negatively associated with an interest in academics. Individual resident career interests, research productivity, and lifestyle can help predict an interest in pursuing an academic career. Recruitment and enrichment of residents who have similar values and behaviors should be considered in programs interested in generating more graduates who enter an academic career.

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Correspondence to John Christian Burkhardt.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Burkhardt, J.C., Smith-Coggins, R. & Santen, S. Residents values in a rational decision-making model: an interest in academics in emergency medicine. Intern Emerg Med 11, 993–997 (2016).

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  • Medical education
  • Career interest
  • Academic career choice
  • Decision-making