Preparatory Courses for Residency Examinations and the Avoidance of Practical Settings: Where Is the Clerkship Student That Was Here?

ABSTRACT Although not compulsory, medical residency is part through the physicians’ teaching and training process. It is considered the gold standard in the teaching modality of Lato Sensu Graduate Programs. However, the number of residency positions available has not kept pace with the expansion of medical undergraduate courses, resulting in high levels of competition for medical residency vacancies, and a proliferation of preparatory courses (PC) offering supervised postgraduate training. The evasion of clerkship students from their academic activities to take prep courses in order to apply for a residency position is a cause for concern among teachers. This study outlines a profile in the São José do Rio Preto (Famerp) School of Medicine internship programme regarding medical interns’ adherence to prep courses. The results indicate that the vast majority of the study sample (297 students) intended to apply for a medical residency program. Only 27 (84.4%) out of the 32 students, despite considering the prep course necessary, did not have the financial resources to attend these courses. The interviewees pointed out that the higher quality of prep courses is due to the didactics of the classes, but that the main disadvantage of these classes is the dissociation between the theoretical and practical content, also experienced during the internship. We conclude that the perceptions of the interns and medical students is well defined in relation to prep courses to get into a medical residency. Although they adhere to the practice of these courses, they know that there is a dichotomy between the theory and the practice that is offered in the internship, and that this hinders their professional training. The vast majority of the study sample intended to apply for the medical residency program after the internship, continuing their studies and learning. On the other hand, the current environment of the job market in the field of medicine, marked by fierce competition and constant requirements to update and improve, is leading students to view the medical residency as the only natural way to continue after the internship. They also see it as a way of making up for any shortfalls of the internship program. Changes in undergraduate courses, such as a better class didactics and the approach to theoretical content during the internship, reflect the deficiency of undergraduate courses and the internship program, but which can be remedied with a more assertive attitude on the part of teachers and preceptors.