Motivation and support provided on training: a longitudinal study of a cohort of family medicine residents.

Dina Gaspar, Saul Neves de Jesus, José Pestana Cruz


Having as main goal the development of a culture of professional excellence, the Family Medicine residency currently intends to correspond to the principles of adult learning approach, in which motivation for practicing is essential.(1) To analyze the variability of Family Medicine residentes professional motivation, throughout the residency training; (2) To characterize Family Medicine residents perception about the support provided on training, during the residency; (3) To analyze the variability of Family Medicine residents perception about the support provided by the supervisor, throughout the residency.Observational, quantitative and longitudinal study (2005-2008) of Family Medicine residents who participated in a survey on professional motivation. At the beginning of the residency in 2005 (N = 109) in Portugal, they were submitted to three assessment moments (n = 69) by a postal survey using a questionnaire with 57 Likert scale items, representing motivational variables--professional project, professional commitment, initial motivation, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy expectations, self-control expectations, assertiveness and perception of the support provided on training program. Descriptive statistics and analytic tests (ANOVA--GLM repeated measures) were used to study the variability of the cognitive dimensions (a = 0,05).Although motivated to Family Medicine practice (response rate = 47.8%, at the study entry), the physicians professional motivation variability along the residency has presented slightly positive, at the end of the study, but not statistically significant. The physicians of our cohort responded by assigning a relatively high average levels in almost all items of the scale support provided on training during the residency, and its variation showed a positive trend, at the end of the study.This study produced results of an important phenomenon on which there is no published information in Portugal. It provides substantial evidence on the progression of professional motivation of this physicians` cohort and on their perception about strategies used by the supervisor. The structuring of residency program may include individual strategies aimed to increase the Family Medicine residents` motivation, with benefits for their performance.

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