To study abortion training in Canadian obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) residency programs.
An anonymous questionnaire was sent to all postgraduate year (PGY)-4 and PGY-5 ob-gyn residents (n=130) and residency program directors (n=16) in Canada. The questionnaires inquired about demographic information, details of abortion training, resident participation in training, and intention to provide abortions after residency.
Ninety-two of 130 residents (71%) and 15 of 16 program directors (94%) responded. Abortion training is considered routine in approximately half of programs and elective in half. The majority of residents (71%) participated in abortion training, and half plan to do elective abortions after residency. More than half of residents felt competent after training to perform first-trimester aspiration and second-trimester inductions but did not feel competent in first-trimester medical abortions or dilation and evacuation (D&E). Residents were more likely to participate in training if the program arranged the training for residents (P=.04) and were more likely to intend to provide abortions if the training was considered routine (P=.02), while controlling for all significant demographic and training variables.
Most Canadian ob-gyn programs offer some training in elective abortion, but only half include it routinely in training, and the minority of residents feels competent in D&E and medical abortion. Integrated abortion training was associated with greater resident participation in training and increased likelihood of intention to provide abortions after residency.
The academic half-day (AHD) appears to have become widespread in Canadian neurology residency programs, but there is little published information about the structure, content, or impact of the AHD.
A written questionnaire was sent to the directors of all active Canadian adult and child neurology residency programs.
All 21 program directors responded. An AHD was operating in 15/15 adult and 5/6 child neurology programs. The AHD typically lasts three hours, and occurs weekly, 10 months per year. Most of the weekly sessions are lectures or seminars, usually led by clinicians, with about 90% resident attendance. Course-like features (required textbook, examinations) are present in many AHDs. There is a wide range of topics, from disease pathophysiology to practice management, with considerable variation between programs.
Almost all Canadian neurology programs now have an AHD. Academic half-days are broadly similar in content and format across the country, and residents now spend a substantial portion of their training attending the AHD. The impact of the AHD on how residency programs are organized, and on the learning, clinical work, and professional development of residents merits further study.
The authors conducted a nine-item mail questionnaire of the 16 Canadian family medicine teaching programme directors to determine the accessibility and operation of palliative care education for their respective family medicine residents. All 16 faculties of medicine responded (100%). The survey revealed that while all universities offer elective time in palliative care only five out of 16 (31%) have a mandatory rotation. The median durations of the mandatory and elective rotations are limited to two and three-and-a-half weeks, respectively. The majority of the universities offer formal lectures in palliative care (12/16, 75%) and educational reading material (13/16, 81%), with the main format in 14/16 (87%) of the sites being case-based learning. The two most common sites for teaching to occur for the residents are the community/outpatient environment and an acute palliative care unit. Fifty-six per cent (9/16) of the universities have designated faculty positions for palliative medicine with a median number of two positions per site. Only one centre offers a specific palliative medicine examination during the rotation. Feedback from the residents regarding their respective palliative medicine programmes were positive overall. Findings from our survey indicate an ongoing need for improved education in palliative medicine at the postgraduate level.
Although essay questions are used in the admissions process in many medical schools, there has been little research on how applicants respond to essay questions.
The purpose of this study was to explore how applicants to medical school approach essay questions used in the selection process.
Qualitative analysis was conducted on 240 randomly selected essays written by individuals applying to a single Canadian medical school in 2007 using a modified grounded theory approach to develop a conceptual framework which was checked in interviews with applicants.
Three core variables were identified: "balancing service and reward," "anticipating the physician role," and "readiness." We described the overall approach of applicants as "taking stock," writing about their journeys to the selection process, their experiences of the process itself, and about their anticipated future in medicine.
Our findings suggest a disconnect between the approach of the applicants (to "show themselves" and be selected as individuals) and the stated intent of the process (to select applicants based on "objective" criteria). Our findings raise important questions about how applicants represent themselves when applying for medical school and suggest that it is important to understand the applicant's point of view when developing questions for selection processes.