• reading habits;
  • ambulatory medicine;
  • graduate medical education;
  • internal medicine residency

OBJECTIVE: To assess the reading habits and educational resources of primary care internal medicine residents for their ambulatory medicine education.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional, multiprogram survey of primary care internal medicine residents.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: Second- and third-year residents on ambulatory care rotations at 9 primary care medicine programs (124 eligible residents; 71% response rate).

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Participants were asked open-ended and 5-point Likert-scaled questions about reading habits: time spent reading, preferred resources, and motivating and inhibiting factors. Participants reported reading medical topics for a mean of 4.3±3.0 SD hours weekly. Online-only sources were the most frequently utilized medical resource (mean Likert response 4.16±0.87). Respondents most commonly cited specific patients' cases (4.38±0.65) and preparation for talks (4.08±0.89) as motivating factors, and family responsibilities (3.99±0.65) and lack of motivation (3.93±0.81) as inhibiting factors.

CONCLUSIONS: To stimulate residents' reading, residency programs should encourage patient- and case-based learning; require teaching assignments; and provide easy access to online curricula.