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Graduating US Physicians Feel Unprepared To Manage Some Common Conditions

The September 5, 2001 Reuters Health story leads using the statement saying "Many physicians completing their residency training feel unprepared to treat conditions common to their specialty." This report was based on a study in the September 5th Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. David Blumenthal from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston told Reuters Health, "One important lesson in our study is always that objective data on the preparedness of residents to practice as they complete their training are scarce therefore we have a professional responsibility to measure the outcomes of graduate medical education more thoroughly and carefully."

Dr. Blumenthal and colleagues surveyed 2626 graduating residents in primary care including internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics/gynecology and five other specialties to evaluate their self-perceived preparedness to deliver common clinical services. The report stated that the graduating residents felt ill prepared to manage many common situations. Dr. Blumenthal concluded. "Those who enter routine community practice must be aware there might be gaps in their preparedness that they will need to remedy later in their practice lives, or that they will need to atone for in most other ways."

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