The service/education conflict in residency programs - A model for resolution

Steven A. Wartman, Patricia S. O'Sullivan, Michele G. Cyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Residency programs consist of a range of activities involving service to patients and education of residents. The observation that a conflict exists between the service and education components of residency is widespread and has been used to explain many of the problems afflicting such programs today. The authors believe that the service/education conflict is a significant barrier to change in residency programs. A model is presented for residency education that reorganizes the service and education components. First, they present a broad overview of the conflict. Then they provide a brief historical perspective and comment on some of the current recommendations for residency programs. Next, they discuss how principles of adult learning relate to residency and propose a new model of residency that adheres more closely to these principles. Finally, the proposed model is presented in some detail and its implications are discussed. Only if the service and education components of residency are carefully delineated can residency programs adapt to the changing and growing needs of postgraduate medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number1 Supplement
StatePublished - Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • ambulatory care
  • education
  • residency
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The service/education conflict in residency programs - A model for resolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this