November 11, 2013

The American Resident Survey

As our country anticipates challenges like the projected physician shortage and aging of the Baby Boomer generation, US medical residents are actively preparing to tackle those problems head-on. To better understand what American residents believe are the most important trends and pressing issues they and their colleagues face as they embark on a career in medicine, The American Resident Project surveyed residents from all across the country and asked for their thoughts on everything from public policy to patient engagement. Check out the results below for a glimpse into the future of health care.

Residents are concerned with the amount of time they spend with patients and view this time as an important way to help engage patients in their care.

  •  Residents cited reduced “face-time” with patients as the third most pressing issue facing the overall profession.
  •  Personally, many residents report their ability to manage time with patients and engage patients in their own care is more challenging than anticipated (62% and 53% respectively).
  • More than 80% of residents agree that care coordination can help them better manage chronic disease by allowing more time and touch points with their patients.

As the U.S. population ages and faces increasing incidence of complex and chronic illness, residents view patient education as an important way to help address and manage these issues.

  • 88% of residents view policy discussions about ways to educate and engage patients as important to their successful practice of medicine.
  • Residents report that the No. 1 benefit of coordinated care is the ability to better educate patients and caregivers about how to prevent and manage health concerns.

Residents are divided on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their own practice of medicine. However, nearly half (46%) agree that the pending physician workforce shortage will be the greatest challenge for the overall profession to help meet the needs of newly insured.

When considering current trends and issues in health care delivery, residents:

  •  Believe the adoption and use of health IT is among the most important to their personal practice of medicine;
  •  Report that financial incentives are an important performance motivator;
  • Appear relatively interested in alternative payment models to fee-for-service;
  • Believe care coordination can help manage chronic disease through better short- and long-term prevention strategies; and,
  • View patient incentives (e.g., reduced copays) as more promising than penalties to encourage positive health behaviors.

Most residents work in team-based settings and believe their medical school training prepared them well for working in this environment.

  • More than one-third of residents view policies that promote team-based models as critical for improving care coordination within the system.