Perceptions of X+Y Scheduling Among Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Trainees: A Qualitative Program Evaluation

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OBJECTIVE: The study aims to elicit perceived benefits and downsides of X+Y scheduling for combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) residents via focus groups. METHODS: Five focus groups were conducted with Med-Peds residents in participating programs which utilized X+Y scheduling. Onefocus group was held per participating institution. Each focus group was facilitated by a chief resident from a different participating institution. Questions were developed by the study team after a review of the literature and local experience with X+Y scheduling and included open-ended questions. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed. Transcripts were reviewed by study team members, and representative themes and quotes were presented. The main outcome was to evaluate the perceived benefits and downsides of X+Y scheduling for Med-Peds. RESULTS: Results from four of the five focus groups were fully reviewed. Themes regarding the benefits of X+Y scheduling included (1) improved inpatient and outpatient experience, (2) predictability in schedule which improved wellness, and (3) longitudinal time for career exploration. Downsides of X+Y scheduling were highlighted as well including (1) condensing too many experiences into Y time and (2) challenges that exist when categorical medicine and pediatrics programs use different block schedules. CONCLUSIONS: X+Y schedules create potential solutions for longstanding barriers to medical education and notably conflict with inpatient and outpatient responsibilities. Our data shows similar benefits to X+Y scheduling for combined residents as for their categorical colleagues and sheds light on some unique considerations for combined programs and trainees. Additional studies should continue to assess the effect of X+Y scheduling on our combined trainees.



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