Family medicine residents' risk of adverse motor vehicle events: comparison between rural and urban placements.

Fred Janke, Bonnie Dobbs, Rhianne McKay, Meghan Lindsell, Oksana Babenko


Background: Sleep deprivation and fatigue are associated with long and irregular work hours. These work patterns are common to medical residents. Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are a leading cause of injury related deaths in Canada, with MVC fatality rates in rural areas up to three times higher than in urban areas.

Objectives: To: 1) examine the number of adverse motor vehicle events (AMVEs) in family medicine residents in Canada; 2) assess whether residents with rural placements are at greater risk of experiencing AMVEs than urban residents; and 3) determine if family medicine residency programs across Canada have travel policies in place.

Methodology: A prospective, cross-sectional study, using a national survey of second-year family medicine residents.

Results: A higher percentage of rural residents reported AMVEs than urban residents. The trend was for rural residents to be involved in more MVCs during residency, while urban residents were more likely to be involved in close calls. The majority of Canadian medical schools do not have resident travel policies in place.

Conclusion: AMVEs are common in family medicine residents, with a trend for the number of MVCs to be greater for rural residents. These data support the need for development and incorporation of travel policies by medical schools.


Family Medicine Residents, Adverse Motor Vehicle Events; Resident Travel; Rural; Urban

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CMEJ ~ Canadian Medical Education Journal
Jennifer O'Brien PhD, Managing Editor, University of Saskatchewan; E-mail:

ISSN 1923-1202