Why Residents Quit

National Rates of and Reasons for Attrition Among Emergency Medicine Physicians in Training

Dave W. Lu, MD, MSCI, MBE; Nicholas D. Hartman, MD, MPH; Jeffrey Druck, MD; Jennifer Mitzman, MD; Tania D. Strout, PhD, RN, MS


Western J Emerg Med. 2019;20(2):351-356. 

In This Article


National rates of EM resident attrition are the lowest among similarly-sized specialties. Among EM residents who do leave their programs, women were more likely than men to leave. Women were also more likely to cite health or family reasons as the primary reason for their attrition. In addition, Hispanic/Latino residents were more likely to leave than their White counterparts. Future studies that qualitatively investigate the factors that contribute to more female and ethnic minority residents to prematurely leave their training are necessary. This work should also examine what interventions programs can take to mitigate attrition among all residents.