• Journal Article

Factors associated with interest in subspecialty training among neurology residents


Teixeira-Poit, S., Halpern, M., Kane, H., Frost, A., Keating, M., & Olmsted, M. (2015). Factors associated with interest in subspecialty training among neurology residents. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 27(2), 138-146. DOI: 10.1080/10401334.2015.1011652


Phenomenon: Previous studies have not explored factors associated with decisions among neurology residents to pursue subspecialty training within neurology. Understanding career choices among neurology residents, particularly decisions regarding subspecialty training, is critical, as neurologists with specialized knowledge can help meet the needs of patients with specific disease conditions. This study addresses the knowledge gap about subspecialty training decisions by examining factors associated with neurology residents' interest in pursuing subspecialty training and the types of subspecialty training neurology residents consider. Approach: We surveyed a geographically stratified sample of neurology residents in U.S. training programs using a two-stage survey design. In Stage 1, we randomly sampled half of the accredited neurology residency programs stratified by U.S. census region; Stage 2 involved a survey of neurology residents within these programs. Findings: The majority (approximately 81%) of residents expressed interest in subspecialty training. Resident demographic characteristics and educational debt did not influence interest in pursuing subspecialty training. Residents were more likely to express interest in subspecialty training when they participated in any neurology research (odds ratio [OR] = 2.39), 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.13, 5.07], p = .02, and indicated more interest in careers involving teaching (OR = 8.33), 95% CI [1.64, 42.19], p = .01. Considering the 'medical content of subspecialty' as a more important factor approached but did not reach statistical significance (OR = 3.12), 95% CI [0.97, 10.06], p = .06. Insights: Participation in any neurology research and interest in careers involving teaching are associated with interest in subspecialty training among neurology residents. Further research is needed to determine whether exposure to research and teaching stimulates interest in subspecialty training and whether residents believe that subspecialty training is instrumental in pursuing an academic career