The aims of the study were (1) to assess whether a knowledge disparity existed between physical medicine and rehabilitation residents from community hospitals versus those from medical centers, before the introduction of short-term elective training at the end of 2008 and (2), if such disparity existed, to determine whether 1-month short-term elective training was associated with minimizing such disparity, as reflected in the self-assessment examination scores.Design
Self-assessment examination scores from 2007–2016 were analyzed in each of the following three topics: (a) cardiac rehabilitation, (b) pulmonary rehabilitation, and (c) orthotics. Student's t tests were used to identify score discrepancies between both groups.Results
(1) At baseline (2007–2008), trainees from community hospitals scored lower in all three topics (P < 0.05). (2) After the short-term elective training, follow-up comparisons showed no differences in either cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation for 2009–2016. Regarding orthotics, trainees from both groups showed no significant differences for 2009–2010 and 2011–2012. Interestingly, for 2013–2014 and 2015–2016, trainees from medical centers scored higher again, but only in orthotics.Conclusions
(1) In 2007–2008, a knowledge disparity existed between physical medicine and rehabilitation residents from community hospitals and medical centers in Taiwan. (2) Short-term elective training was associated with minimizing such disparity from 2009–2016, especially in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.