Purpose: To compare medical students’ and physician residents’ satisfaction with Veterans Affairs (VA) training to determine the factors that were most strongly associated with trainee satisfaction ratings.
Method: Each year from 2001 to 2006, all medical students and residents in VA teaching facilities were invited to complete the Learners’ Perceptions Survey. Participants rated their overall training satisfaction on a 100-point scale and ranked specific satisfaction in four separate educational domains (learning environment, clinical faculty, working environment, and physical environment) on a five-point Likert scale. Each domain was composed of unique items.
Results: A total of 6,527 medical students and 16,583 physician residents responded to the survey. The overall training satisfaction scores for medical students and physician residents were 84 and 79, respectively (P < .001), with significant differences in satisfaction reported across the training continuum. For both medical students and residents, the rating of each of the four educational domains was statistically significantly associated with the overall training satisfaction score (P < .001). The learning environment domain had the strongest association with overall training satisfaction score, followed by the clinical preceptor, working environment, and physical environment domains; no significant differences were found between medical students and physician residents in the rank order. Satisfaction with quality of care and faculty teaching contributed significantly to training satisfaction.
Conclusions: Factors that influence training satisfaction were similar for residents and medical students. The domain with the highest association was the learning environment; quality of care was a key item within this domain.