Medical residents perceptions of the need for management education in the postgraduate curriculum: a preliminary study

Judith W. Brouns1, Lizanne Berkenbosch1, Fraukje D. Ploemen-Suijker2, Ide Heyligers3 and Jamiu O. Busari4

1Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

2Coordinator of Medical Programs, Leerhuis Atrium Medical Centre, Atrium Medical Centre, The Netherlands

3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Atrium Medical Centre, The Netherlands

4Medical Residency Program, Department of Paediatrics, Atrium Medical Centre, The Netherlands

Submitted: 12/09/2010; Accepted: 08/11/2010; Published: 12/11/2010

Int J Med Educ. 2010; 1:76-82; doi: 10.5116/ijme.4cd8.43f1

© 2010 Judith W. Brouns et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: The curriculum of the new post-graduate medical training program in the Netherlands is comprised of seven competencies that residents should possess upon graduation. In this new curriculum however, the competency as manager receives relatively little attention. In this preliminary study we investigated the residents' need for management training and tried to identify the preferred form of intervention to develop these management skills.

Methods: A survey was designed to investigate the perceived needs of residents for management training and the preferred form of training intervention. A total of 506 residents in four Dutch teaching hospitals were invited to participate in a web-based survey. Results were using descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests and Fisher's exact tests.

Results: A total of 177 residents responded to the survey. Of the respondents, 85% (n=146) reported a need for management training. The preferred management topics included negotiation skills, practice partnerships, knowledge of the health care system and career planning. The preferred training method was a workshop given by medical specialists or extramural content experts. The best timing for training was determined to be during residency.

Conclusions: Dutch medical residents reported a need for management training. While this study justifies an intervention for training management skills in residents, more research is required to design appropriate programs that consider the preferences of residents.