Family Practice Resident Attrition: Reasons and Rates by Sex

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A survey of all family practice residency programs in the country was done to determine resident attrition reasons and rate by sex. Of 383 programs mailed surveys, four returns were from programs too new to have data, and 238 returns were usable, for an effective response rate of 62.7%. The overall attrition rate was 12.4% (699/5,656), and varied by the type of residency program. The most frequent reason for attrition as identified by the survey respondent was switching specialties (41.0%), followed by private practice 16.4% and involuntarily released 11.9%. The remainder left for a variety of other reasons. There was a slightly higher attrition rate for women (14.2%) than men (11.9%). The odds ratio for this was 1.22 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.41). Women were more likely to leave for childbearing or rearing, or spouse relocation, although overall these numbers were small, and men also left for these same reasons.

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