Professional Preferences and Perceptions of Cardiology among Internal Medicine Residents: Temporal Trends over the Past Decade

Meghan York, Pamela S. Douglas, Julie B. Damp, Ariane M. Fraiche, Linda D. Gillam, Sharonne N. Hayes, Anne K. Rzeszut, Melanie S. Sulistio, Malissa J. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Importance: Internal medicine residents' professional development preferences were discordant with their perceptions of cardiology in a survey circulated a decade ago; no contemporary data exist. This information is important for effective recruitment and retention of a highly talented and diverse future cardiology workforce. Objective: To identify residents' professional development preferences and cardiology perceptions, in relation to specialty choice, and compare the findings with those from a decade prior. Design, Setting, and Participants: The original survey from the 2010 study was updated and sent to US internal medicine programs. Respondents (ie, internal medicine residents) rated 38 professional development preferences and 20 cardiology perceptions. Data were collected in 2020 and compared with survey results from the prior 2010 study. Multivariable models were created for specialty choice using scaled independent variables dichotomized using the top 2 options; categorical variables were recoded into binary variables for analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Multivariable models were used to determine the association of demographic characterisitcs and survey responses with prospective career choice. Responses were examined by total group, by gender, by self-reported consideration of entering cardiology as a profession, and by comparison with a decade prior both as a group and by gender. Results: A total of 840 residents (mean [SD] age, 29.24 [2.82] years; 49.8% male; 55.4% White) completed the survey. The survey incorporated a 5-point Likert scale of 1 (not important) to 5 (extremely important) for some of the questions, with additional questions on demographic characteristics. The most important professional development preferences by descending Likert score were as follows: positive role models (4.56), stimulating career (3.81), and family friendly (3.78). The cardiology perception statements with the highest agreement were as follows: interferes with family life during training (3.93) and having met positive role models or having positive views of cardiovascular disease as a topic (3.85). Multivariable analysis yielded a 22-element model predicting cardiology as career choice. Compared with the 2010 survey, the findings of this survey indicated increased importance of work-life balance components for both male and female residents, with a greater change in male residents. Contemporary residents were more likely than their predecessors to agree with negative perceptions of cardiology. Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found that both male and female residents place a high value on support for optimal work-life balance; these preferences have intensified over the past decade and factor into career choice. Negative perceptions of cardiology persist and, in some aspects, are worsening. Improving the culture of cardiology may make this specialty a more attractive career choice for all..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1253-1258
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 14 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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