Exploring resident perspectives on family medicine enhanced skills training


  • Elise Azzi University of Ottawa
  • Edward Seale University of Ottawa
  • Douglas Archibald University of Ottawa




Background: Third-year enhanced skills programs, also known as family medicine (FM) PGY3 programs, have always been an area of debate. Their exponential growth does not stem from a strong body of academic evidence or public health needs assessment. This qualitative descriptive study explores the current perspectives of second-year FM residents at the University of Ottawa on extended training programs through semi-structured interviews.

Results: Of the fifteen participants, eight were applying to PGY3 FM programs, six were not and one was unsure. Themes generated included: developing generalist niches within primary care, increasing confidence of FM graduates, allowing generalists to fill in healthcare gaps to meet community needs, meeting the pressures of workplace competition and employability requirements, and creating alternate paths to five-year specialties. 80% would extend their core FM training, with self-design and options of shorter time frames as preconditions.

Conclusion: FM residents are interested in furthering their training, whether through extending core residency period or via enhanced skills programs. The demand for these programs will continue rising. Capitalizing on residents’ interests to catapult the profession forward and optimize the quality of healthcare should be the priority for licensing bodies and medical educators.

Author Biographies

Elise Azzi, University of Ottawa

Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine

Edward Seale, University of Ottawa

Assisstant Professor, Postgraduate Director, Department of Family Medicine

Douglas Archibald, University of Ottawa

Associate Professor, Director of Research and Innovation, Department of Family Medicine University of Ottawa


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How to Cite

Azzi E, Seale E, Archibald D. Exploring resident perspectives on family medicine enhanced skills training. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2022 Aug. 22 [cited 2022 Dec. 4];13(6):57-63. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/72657



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