OBJECTIVES: To survey a large group of residents from different institutions to delineate whether there are significant perceptive differences pertaining to the clinical and educational strengths and weaknesses of their continuity experiences by the 3 types of continuity sites. BACKGROUND: The residency review committee requires a 3-year continuity experience for pediatric residents. Residents receive this experience at a variety of practice sites: hospital-based sites (HBS), community health centers (CHC), and private practices (PP)/health maintenance organizations (HMOs). DESIGN/METHODS: Continuity clinic directors who attended the Ambulatory Pediatric Association Continuity Clinic Special Interest Group at the 1999 annual Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Thirty-six agreed and distributed a 60-item questionnaire to their residents at the end of the academic year. The questionnaire addressed quality and quantity of the educational and patient care experiences, overall satisfaction, and future career plans. RESULTS: Of the 1167 categorical residents (71%) who returned the questionnaire, 28% were postgraduate level (PL)-1s, 34% were PL-2s, and 37% were PL-3s. Ninety-four percent of the 36 programs had residents in HBS (n = 807 residents), 58% in CHC (n = 106), and 69% in PP/HMO (n = 254). Compared with other groups, residents in HBS were more likely to report having seen patients more than once, being involved during patients' hospitalizations, taking phone calls from patients, and perceiving that the parents identified them as the primary care provider. HBS and CHC residents felt more autonomous and were more likely to believe that they were advocates for their patients, compared with PP/HMO residents. The number of patients seen per session was greater in PP/HMO, whereas residents in PP/HMO were more likely to perceive that they had received the right amount of exposure to practice management and billing issues and the appropriate amount of nursing and office support. Although numbers of newborn visits were reported as adequate across sites, residents in HBS and CHC believed that they did not see enough adolescents. The majority of residents at all sites agreed that their preceptor was a good role model, was available for questions, and delivered the appropriate amount of teaching and feedback. Approximately two thirds of residents from all sites were satisfied with their experience and believed that it was preparing them for their future career. CONCLUSIONS: All 3 types of continuity sites have both strengths and weaknesses. No single type of continuity site met all expectations for clinical care or training. Most residents at all 3 types of sites reported overall satisfaction and believed that their continuity experience helped to prepare them for future career goals. The residency review committee, in collaboration with pediatric continuity educators, needs to prioritize what constitutes the essential experiences in resident continuity practices and to reemphasize that the ongoing relationship is an important component of the continuity experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health