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Original Article

How Do Internal Medicine Residency Programs Evaluate Their Resident Float Experiences?

Sara L. Wallach, MD, Khursheed Alam, MBBS, Nancy Diaz, BA, Daniel Shine, MD
Volume: 99 Issue: 9 September, 2006

Abstract:

Objectives:We surveyed the nation's internal medicine residency training program directors to determine the range and frequency of existing methods by which float experiences are evaluated. Methods:We sent questionnaires to the program directors of all 396 internal medicine residency training program sites in the country. Information requested included program characteristics, months devoted to float experiences in each year of training, and the location and purpose of the rotation. Program directors were also asked to choose among descriptors characterizing the evaluative process. Results:There were 139 responding programs (39%), 134 with data that could be aggregated. Responding programs were similar to all programs nationally in the distributions of size and university sponsorship. Overall, 76% of programs employed a night float for any period of time, and 71% currently had one, on average for 6.7 years. Mean months of float experience during residency was 2.4 months, significantly longer in programs that were not university based. Float experiences were evaluated in 89% of those programs who employed them, with ten different methods reported. University-based programs were significantly less likely to use chart review as a method of evaluation, but no other differences in methodology were significant. Conclusions:Float rotations are common among internal medicine residency training programs. Evaluative methods vary, but one or more are applied in the vast majority of programs.

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