To determine the perceptions of training, self-efficacy, and mentoring among veterinary clinical specialty trainees on the basis of their career interest.
207 veterinarians who were either in a residency training program or had recently (within 2 years) completed one in a specialty recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.
An online survey was used to collect data about the respondents' perceived preparedness for an academic career, training emphasis, and mentoring received during training and demographic information. Results were compiled and compared by professional career interest (ie, academic medicine or private practice) and gender.
Included respondents represented 20% (207/1,053) of those invited. Preferred career choice was academic medicine for 48% (93/194) of respondents and private clinical practice for 52% (101/194) and did not differ by gender. Respondents perceived their likelihood of success in an academic career as high, and these perceptions did not differ by gender or preferred career choice. Mean self-efficacy scores for teaching were high among all respondents for most but not all listed teaching skills and did not differ by gender or preferred career interest. Mean self-efficacy scores were low for formulating research hypotheses and designing studies. Perceptions of training emphasis indicated strong mentoring in the areas of clinical practice and teaching with less mentoring and training emphasis in multiple areas of research and academic activity.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Lower self-efficacy of veterinary clinical specialty trainees in aspects of academic career appeared to be related to training emphasis and mentoring. Enhancement of emphasis on the identified areas of weakness may improve the interest and success of trainees in an academic career.
To identify factors that individuals in clinical residency training programs consider when making a choice for or against a career in academic clinical medicine.
207 veterinarians in clinical residency programs.
An online survey was distributed to 1,053 veterinarians participating in clinical residency training programs overseen by organizations recognized by the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties. Results were compiled and decision factors were analyzed by means of principal component analysis to identify latent factors from the set of survey items. These factors were then used to construct a decision tree to predict respondents’ choice of whether to enter academic medicine or private clinical practice.
207 (20%) responses were analyzed. Ninety-three of 194 (48%) respondents reported a desire to pursue a career in academic medicine, and 101 (52%) reported a desire to pursue a career in private clinical practice. Principal component analysis identified 14 items clustered on research, clinical teaching, classroom teaching, and clinical practice. A decision tree was constructed that resulted in an overall accuracy of 82% in predicting a resident's career choice of academic medicine versus private clinical practice. The construct of professional benefits had a negative effect on desiring a career in academic medicine, whereas the construct of professional priorities and having had a positive residency training experience had a positive effect on desiring a career in academic medicine.
Understanding factors that attract and encourage residents who might have an aptitude and interest in academic medicine holds important implications for addressing the shortage of veterinarians entering academic medicine.