Objectives: To describe baseline perceptions of first-year pediatric residents of participating in community activities, to determine whether demographic factors are related to perceived benefits and constraints, and to identify factors associated with expected community involvement. Methods: Pediatric residents beginning their training in the fall of 2000 to 2003 participated in a 12-item self-administered written survey as part of the national evaluation of the Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative. Results: Of the 612 first-year residents surveyed (90% response rate), most reported they receive personal satisfaction (92%) and gain valuable skills and knowledge (83%) from their involvement in community activities. Less than a quarter felt peer support and professional recognition were benefits. Almost two thirds reported logistics and lost personal time as constraints to community involvement. Compared with their colleagues, older residents (>29 years) and underrepresented minority residents reported fewer constraints. Most residents (72%) expect moderate to substantial involvement in community activities after graduating. Those expecting greater involvement were more likely to report personal satisfaction, gaining valuable skills and knowledge, peer support, and the opportunity to spend time with like-minded peers as benefits. Conclusions: Pediatric residents beginning their postgraduate training perceive numerous benefits from their participation in community activities and most expect a moderate degree of future community involvement. Residency directors should: 1) consider their trainees' insights from prior community involvement and 2) integrate meaningful community experiences in ways that confront logistic barriers and time constraints.
- community involvement
- residency training
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health