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Factors Predicting Initial Career Choices in Gastroenterology Fellows

Oxentenko, Amy S., MD*; Pardi, Darrell S., MD*; Schmoll, Jeffrey A., MSc; Gores, Gregory J., MD*

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: May-June 2007 - Volume 41 - Issue 5 - p 445-450
doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000225623.91791.34
Alimentary Tract: Clinical Research

Background and Goals As academic gastroenterology (GI) fellowship programs often gear trainee recruitment to those displaying potential for academic careers, the aim of the study was to determine whether predictive factors exist that determine whether GI fellows pursue academia versus private practice.

Study Educational file review was conducted on all GI fellows from Mayo Clinic-Rochester from 1990 through 2003, with demographic variables extracted. The outcome of interest was whether the first job after fellowship was in academics or private practice.

Results Of 92 fellows completing training, 60 accepted academic positions (65%) (P=0.005, 95% confidence interval: 0.55-0.74), whereas 32 (35%) pursued private practice. Those of Asian descent were significantly more likely to enter academics versus those of African American (P=0.02) or Hispanic (P=0.01) descent. There were nonsignificant trends of more women than men (85% vs. 62%), military than nonmilitary (86% vs. 63%), bachelors of arts than science degrees (70% vs. 50%) and advanced fellowship training than not (74% vs. 61%) going into academics. There was no significant difference in career choices between fellows entering the National Institutes of Health training tract versus the Clinical Scholar or Clinical Investigator tracts. There were no significant associations between age, marital status, hometown population, foreign medical degree, research mentor factors or type of research during fellowship and practice choice.

Conclusions Although there seem to be predictive variables in determining whether GI fellows enter private practice or academia, the initial practice choice likely results from multiple combined factors.

*Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Department of Health Science Research, Division of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN

Reprints: Gregory J. Gores, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (e-mail:

Funded by Research grant from the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Center for Digestive Diseases at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Received for publication April 11, 2006; accepted July 11, 2006

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.