Open Access Open Badges Research article

Survey and analysis of the current state of residency training in medical-school-affiliated hospitals in China

Hong Bo1, Dong-Hua Zhang1, Tian-Ming Zuo2, Dong-Bo Xue1, Jin-Song Guo1, Mei-Na Liu3, Jing-Zhu Dong1, Bao-Zhi Sun2* and Jin Zhou1*

Author Affiliations

1 The First Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China

2 Medical Center of Research and Development, China Medical University, Shenyang, China

3 Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:111  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-111

Published: 2 June 2014



Since the global standards for postgraduate medical education (PGME) were published in January 2003, they have gained worldwide attention. The current state of residency training programs in medical-school-affiliated hospitals throughout China was assessed in this study.


Based on the internationally recognized global standards for PGME, residents undergoing residency training at that time and the relevant residency training instructors and management personnel from 15 medical-school-affiliated hospitals throughout China were recruited and surveyed regarding the current state of residency training programs. A total of 938 questionnaire surveys were distributed between June 30, 2006 and July 30, 2006; of 892 surveys collected, 841 were valid.


For six items, the total proportions of “basically meets standards” and “completely meets standards” were <70% for the basic standards. These items were identified in the fields of “training settings and educational resources”, “evaluation of training process”, and “trainees”. In all fields other than “continuous updates”, the average scores of the western regions were significantly lower than those of the eastern regions for both the basic and target standards. Specifically, the average scores for the basic standards on as many as 25 of the 38 items in the nine fields were significantly lower in the western regions. There were significant differences in the basic standards scores on 13 of the 38 items among trainees, instructors, and managers.


The residency training programs have achieved satisfactory outcomes in the hospitals affiliated with various medical schools in China. However, overall, the programs remain inadequate in certain areas. For the governments, organizations, and institutions responsible for PGME, such global standards for PGME are a very useful self-assessment tool and can help identify problems, promote reform, and ultimately standardize PGME.

Residency training; Global standards for postgraduate medical education; Medical-school-affiliated hospitals; China