Reading Habits of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Resident Physicians

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To investigate the focus and extent of the resident physician reading habits, to compare how these change over the years of their training, and to compare these habits with those of physiatrists in practice.


A total of 1,076 surveys were sent to 80 physical medicine and rehabilitation residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The questionnaire contained a list of 36 journals pertinent to the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Resident physicians were asked to indicate which journals they read during the past year and how extensively they read them. Respondents were also asked whether they participated in a journal club and if they read as much as they would like.


A total of 324 surveys (30.1%) were completed correctly. At least half of the surveyed resident physicians scanned or read six journals:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (85.2%), American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (80.6%), Journal of the American Medical Association (68.8%), New England Journal of Medicine (60.5%), American Journal of Sports Medicine (50.9%), and Rehab in Review (49.7%). Most resident physicians (93.9%) responded that they do not read as much as they would like, and 90.1% of resident physicians participate in some form of journal club.


Most resident physicians in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation tend to scan for important articles within one of six journals, with most of these physicians noting that they do not read as much as they would like. As the resident physicians advance in postgraduate-year level, the number of journals that they scan increases. The reading habits of the resident physicians were quite similar to those noted in our previous study of the reading habits of practicing physiatrists.

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