Residency

Tip of the week: Use alumni surveys to improve your program

Residency Program Insider, December 17, 2007

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Assessing your graduates' performance is one of the best ways to measure the quality and success of your program. Alumni surveys are a popular way to find out what graduates think about the training they received from you. The results can give program administrators insight into which areas need improvement so current residents will be better prepared. Equally important, the survey may highlight the areas where your program excels. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating an alumni survey:

  •  Allow respondents to remain anonymous-you'll usually get better data
  •  Use Scantrons and Web sites that electronically generate surveys to make taking the survey easier for alumni, and to simplify gathering and analyzing the results
  • Consider combining the survey with an offer for the graduate to update their alumni database, so they will continue to stay connected with your program
  • Send the survey one and five years after graduation
  • Ask graduates' employers to fill out a survey about how well equipped graduates were for their current position

More information about alumni surveys can be found in Insiders' Guide to ACGME Site Visit, Second Edition, by Kathryn Andolsek, MD, MPH, and Shepard Cohen, available here.



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