Background and Objectives — The primary goal of family medicine residency training is for graduates to provide high-quality, safe, and effective patient care for the population they serve when they enter practice. This study explores (a) the practice profiles, 5 years into practice, of residents who completed family medicine training in Ontario, Canada; and (b) relationships between performance on the College of Family Physicians of Canada's (CFPC) Certification Examination in Family Medicine and quality of care provided 5 years into practice.
Methods — We performed a retrospective study with secondary data analysis. We merged CFPC examination data sets with the ICES (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) administrative database. We included physicians who passed the examination between the years 2000 and 2010 and practiced in Ontario after graduation. Practice profile indicators included practice type, continuity and comprehensiveness of care, patient rostering and panel size, and rurality index. We explored 11 indicators related to management of diabetes and cancer screening.
Results — We included a total of 1,983 physicians in the analyses. Five years after the examinations, 74.3% of the physicians were working in major urban centers, and 67.3% of the physicians were providing comprehensive primary care. We noted significant differences across the six medical schools in multiple practice profile indicators, and three indicators showed significant differences across the examination score quintiles.
Conclusions — Graduates of Ontario family medicine residency programs were providing care to a broad spectrum of the population 5 years after passing the examination, and they performed similarly across quality-of-care indicators regardless of examination scores.
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