Attitudes toward managed care and cost containment among primary care trainees at 3 training sites

Samuel A. Skootsky, Stuart Slavin, Michael S Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the attitudes of entering first year (Y1) and graduating third year (Y3) primary care physician trainees from 3 different training program sites (a university hospital system site [UHS], a large staff-model health maintenance organization managed care system site [MCS], and a large public hospital system site [PHS]) toward selected aspects of managed care. Design: A self-administered questionnaire was used in a cross- sectional study. Participants and Outcome Measures: Participants were all Y1 and Y3 primary care trainees in internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine programs from 3 training program sites. Survey questions dealt with attitudes toward health services, managed care cost containment, and the role of the physician in society. Results: Of eligible primary care trainees (n = 218), 91% completed the instrument. Trainees at the MCS generally held more positive views of managed care systems than trainees at the UHS or PHS. Internal medicine trainees held more negative attitudes towards managed care systems than trainees in pediatrics or family medicine. UHS and PHS trainees more often thought that managed care systems interfere with the doctor- patient relationship and that these systems are more concerned with economics than in providing quality patient care. Approximately one quarter of the Y1 trainees at all sites thought that reducing the cost of healthcare is beyond the control of doctors. No Y3 trainee at the PHS believed that reducing costs was beyond the control of doctors. The majority of trainees endorsed routine peer review of clinical decisions to control healthcare costs. Most trainees believed that managed care systems will eventually predominate and that physician independence is being impaired. Conclusion: The data suggest that attitudes of internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatric trainees toward various aspects of managed care vary not only by their year of training but also by their training environment. Thus, managed care educational programs for trainees should consider both the baseline attitudes of trainees and characteristics of the training site itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1404
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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