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Description of a combined internal medicine--pediatrics continuity clinic for combined program residents.


Background. We sought to examine the ambulatory Movable; revocable; subject to change; capable of alteration.

An ambulatory court was the former name of the Court of King's Bench in England. It would convene wherever the king who presided over it could be found, moving its location as the king moved.
 experience in our medicine-pediatrics clinic.

Methods. Data on patient visits were abstracted from the hospital's clinic utilization summary and charge sheets. A survey assessed resident satisfaction.

Results. Residents saw 63% adult and 37% pediatric patients pediatric patient Child, see there , with an average of 3.5 patients per clinic. There was no significant difference in the mean number of patients seen by residents when compared by postgraduate postgraduate

after first degree graduation, the registerable degree in veterinary science.

postgraduate degree
may be a research degree, e.g. PhD, or a course-work masterate with a vocational bias, or any combination of these.
 year. Half of all visits were coded for 2 or more diagnoses. Hypertension hypertension or high blood pressure, elevated blood pressure resulting from an increase in the amount of blood pumped by the heart or from increased resistance to the flow of blood through the small arterial blood vessels (arterioles).  and diabetes were the most common adult diagnoses, and well-child care and asthma were the most common pediatric pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.

Of or relating to pediatrics.
 diagnoses. Residents were satisfied with the clinic.

Conclusions. The adult and pediatric patient visits were well balanced, with broad complexity. Residents rated their satisfaction with the clinic highly. Our experience may provide valuable information to programs that have a med-peds clinic or are considering creating one.

RESIDENCY A duration of stay required by state and local laws that entitles a person to the legal protection and benefits provided by applicable statutes.

States have required state residency for a variety of rights, including the right to vote, the right to run for public office, the
 TRAINING in combined internal medicine and pediatrics pediatrics (pēdēă`trĭks), branch of medicine dedicated to the attainment of the best physical, emotional, and social health for infants, children, and young people generally.  (med-peds) is emerging as an important source of primary care physicians. (1-3) A survey of graduates of med-peds training programs found that 80% of recent medpeds graduates are practicing generalists who care for adults and children. (2) Assuring that residents are adequately trained to practice in an ambulatory setting has become a priority in both internal medicine and pediatrics. (4,5) One important source of experience in ambulatory training for residents is the weekly or in some instances twice weekly continuity of care clinic, where residents see patients with diagnoses similar to those they will see in practice after residency. (6) Thus, it is vital that residents training in internal medicine, pediatrics, med-peds, and family practice have substantial and consistent training in ambulatory settings such as their continuity clinics.7 The Guidelines guidelines, a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks.
 for Combined Training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics state that whenever it is feasibl e, joint medpeds experiences should be encouraged. (8)

Forty-six percent of med-peds programs report that they have combined internal medicine! pediatric continuity clinics (D. S. Miner, MD, Written Communication, November, 1999). This combined experience provides an opportunity for residents to care for families in one clinical setting, similar to how they will likely practice after residency, while working closely with other med-peds residents and faculty. Many studies have examined the content and quality of the ambulatory training in continuity clinics in internal medicine, pediatric, and family practice training programs. (19-14) We believe this is the first systematic analysis of a combined internal medicine/pediatrics continuity clinic. We describe our experience with a recently created combined med-peds resident continuity clinic in a large university hospital setting, detailing specifically our patients' demographics The attributes of people in a particular geographic area. Used for marketing purposes, population, ethnic origins, religion, spoken language, income and age range are examples of demographic data. , the relative percentage of adult and pediatric patients, the number of patients and complexity of cases seen by residents, and the residen ts' satisfaction with the experience.


The combined internal med-peds resident continuity clinic studied has been in existence for 18 months. It is located at a university-based, state-operated hospital in a medium-sized metropolitan area. Patients seen by a resident in the first year of training with alternating internal medicine and pediatric continuity clinics are transferred to the resident's care in the combined med-peds clinic in the second year.

We retrospectively ret·ro·spec·tive  
1. Looking back on, contemplating, or directed to the past.

2. Looking or directed backward.

3. Applying to or influencing the past; retroactive.

 collected data from December 1998 through April 1999 from our med-peds clinic. Data were drawn from the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans The Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (MCLNO) is the official name of two hospitals in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The two hospitals are Charity Hospital and University Hospital.
 Ambulatory Clinics Utilization Report. This monthly summary indicates the number of clinic visits, number of residents attending clinic, and number of new and return clinic visits. Data contained in this report were collected and reported after each clinic by the clinic nursing and office staff.

The charge sheets filled out by the resident at each clinic visit identify the number of diagnoses and the resident's postgraduate year. A list of 20 of the most common adult and pediatric diagnoses, identified by ICD-9, was used to record the frequency of diagnoses.

Resident satisfaction with the clinic was obtained from a survey including 10 questions on a 5-point Likert scale Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc . Questions were constructed to assess residents' satisfaction in 4 areas: (1) educational experience, (2) adequacy of staff supervision, (3) the distribution of adult and pediatric patients and degree of continuity, and (4) the quality of ancillary Subordinate; aiding. A legal proceeding that is not the primary dispute but which aids the judgment rendered in or the outcome of the main action. A descriptive term that denotes a legal claim, the existence of which is dependent upon or reasonably linked to a main claim.  staff and services. Overall satisfaction was taken from the mean Likert score, and a mean Likert score was calculated for each of the four areas.


Patient demographic data are reported in Table 1. Table 2 shows the average number of patients seen per resident per clinic and the number of diagnoses per visit. There was no significant difference in the average number of patients seen by residents of different postgraduate years (P = .16). Frequency of common diagnoses is shown in Table 3. All 14 residents completed the anonymous satisfaction survey, with the overall result that residents were highly satisfied with the combined continuity clinic experience (mean Likert value = 4.1). Residents were most satisfied with the educational experience (mean Likert value = 4.4) and highly satisfied with the staff supervision (mean Likert value = 4.2) and the patient distribution and continuity (mean Likert value = 4.0). Residents rated their satisfaction with the quality of ancillary services the lowest (mean Likert value = 3.7).


Development of a med-peds clinic in residency training programs has occurred nationally, as the med-peds training guidelines encourage the institution of combined continuity clinics (8) Justifying the creation of a clinic requiring space, staff, and preceptors able to meet the needs of all age groups can be difficult. Also, some faculty in training programs may argue that removing the med-pea resident from mainstream intensive training could jeopardize jeop·ard·ize  
tr.v. jeop·ard·ized, jeop·ard·iz·ing, jeop·ard·izes
To expose to loss or injury; imperil. See Synonyms at endanger.
 their training by decreasing their exposure to medicine and pediatric faculty.

Residents in our program saw 20% more adult patients than pediatric patients. Although in ideal circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
, there would be an equal number of adult and pediatric patients, it is not surprising that the numbers were not equal. The most recent National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS NHAMCS National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey ) found that approximately 34% of outpatient outpatient /out·pa·tient/ (-pa-shent) a patient who comes to the hospital, clinic, or dispensary for diagnosis and/or treatment but does not occupy a bed.

 department visits were by patients aged <24 years. (15) Thus, some inequality inequality, in mathematics, statement that a mathematical expression is less than or greater than some other expression; an inequality is not as specific as an equation, but it does contain information about the expressions involved.  in the relative proportion of adult and pediatric patients may well be expected after residents complete their training and move into practice. We have found no other data on the percentages of adult and pediatric patients seen in clinics that are similar to ours.

The average of 3.5 patients per resident per clinic day, though less than desirable, is comparable to other averages previously reported for either internal medicine or pediatric residency continuity of care clinics. One recent survey of pediatric residency program directors reported that first-year residents saw 4 patients per clinic visit on the average, while upper level residents saw an average of 5 patients. (4) However, these averages were based on estimation estimation

In mathematics, use of a function or formula to derive a solution or make a prediction. Unlike approximation, it has precise connotations. In statistics, for example, it connotes the careful selection and testing of a function called an estimator.
 by program directors rather than by actual numbers. Our estimation before this study would have been similar to the findings of that survey. A recent comparison conducted in a large pediatric residency program of a newly begun community outpatient practice experience with the program's existing hospital-based continuity found that the residents in the traditional setting averaged only 1.7 patients per clinic, compared with 6.2 patients in the new, practice-based setting. (12) However, the majority of cases in this study were acute and not follow-u p visits. (13) Our clinic does not regularly see acute visits.

Several other factors may also help explain the low average. These factors include poor compliance with scheduled follow-up follow-up,
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.



follow-up plan
 visits, long patient waiting times, a hand written scheduling system with single mailed clinic reminders, and the relative newness of our clinic. Because of our findings, we have successfully taken steps to increase the number of patients visiting our clinic. We have instituted a computerized computerized

adapted for analysis, storage and retrieval on a computer.

computerized axial tomography
see computed tomography.
 scheduling system, increased the number of newborn newborn /new·born/ (noo´born?)
1. recently born.

2. newborn infant.

Very recently born.

A neonate.
 and emergency room follow-up appointments, and made a wider range of time slots Continuously repeating interval of time or a time period in which two devices are able to interconnect.  available for appointments to decrease waiting time.

The five most common diagnoses in the NHAMCS were routine infant or child health check, normal pregnancy, essential hypertension essential hypertension
Hypertension without known cause or preexisting renal disease.

essential hypertension 
, diabetes, and upper respiratory tract infection upper respiratory tract infection URI Infectious disease A nonspecific term used to describe acute infections involving the nose, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx, the prototypic URI is the common cold; flu/influenza is a systemic illness involving the URT . (15) In our study, the vast majority of patients were seen in follow-up, with only 10% seen as new visits. This high percentage of return visits is comparable to the findings of 81% return and 16% new visits in the NHAMCS. (15) Also, while in training our residents encounter throughout their rotations a predominance pre·dom·i·nance   also pre·dom·i·nan·cy
The state or quality of being predominant; preponderance.

Noun 1. predominance - the state of being predominant over others
predomination, prepotency
 of "new" patients, and the continuity of care clinic is extremely valuable in allowing residents a unique opportunity to learn about both developmental stages and the progression of illness over time.

Half of the patients had two or more diagnoses, while 21% of patients overall had three or more diagnoses. We believe this implies that residents see an appropriate number of complex problems in their continuity of care clinic. Diagnoses representing an acute problem, such as an upper respiratory tract infection, are less frequent in our sample, likely because our clinic is available only on two afternoons a week.

Overall, residents were satisfied with their experience in the med-peds clinic, but these data must treated cautiously since we did not have a comparison group. Residents rated their satisfaction with the educational experience most highly. They were highly satisfied with the patient distribution and the staff supervision, and least satisfied with the quality of ancillary staff and services. One satisfaction survey of internal medicine residents found similar results, with residents rating their educational experience in continuity clinic highest and the ancillary services provided by nonmedical staff the lowest (10) An older survey of internal medicine residents showed that residents assigned as·sign  
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.

 a low ranking to their educational experience in continuity clinic. (16) One explanation for the difference in residents' satisfaction with educational experience may be partly explained by another study's finding that continuity of care was highly correlated cor·re·late  
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.

 with resident and faculty satisfaction with the outpatient e xperience. (17)

In conclusion, we describe our experience with a med-peds continuity of care clinic in a large, university hospital training program. As the number of med-peds graduates continues to increase, assuring that med-peds residents are well trained to perform in primary care ambulatory settings is vital. Combined med-peds clinics offer unique opportunities for resident training in a supportive setting with a patient population that is likely similar to future practice. We hope that our experience will help both those programs that already have a combined med-peds continuity clinic and those considering one.


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French bacteriologist. With Albert Calmette he developed (c. 1921) the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine for immunization against tuberculosis.
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A categorical imperative is a rule, command, or moral obligation that is absolutely and universally binding.

Categorical is also used to describe programs limited to or designed for certain classes of people.
 medicine residents' experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial  
Relating to or derived from experience.

 curriculum. Am J Med 1995; 98:7-12

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Medical care provided to outpatients.

ambulatory care,
n the health services provided on an outpatient basis to those who can visit a health care facility and return home the same day.
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1. A contemptible person.

2. An informer.

3. A hired strikebreaker.

intr.v. finked, fink·ing, finks
1. To inform against another person.
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in·tern or in·terne
 Med 1985; 102:250-257

(12.) Recchia KC, Pteros TM, Spooner Spooner is an English surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may represent people as well as certain places : People
  • Arthur Spooner, fictional character played by Jerry Stiller on The King of Queens television show
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NCHS is the United States' principal health statistics agency.
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Demographic Data on Patients Seen in a Medicine/Pediatrics Continuity
Clinic (December 1998 through April 1999)

Age (yrs)

  18-45      44 (14%)
  >45       164 (50%)

Total       208 (62%)


  <2         58 (18%)
  2 to 18    65 (20%)
Total       123 (37%)
Female      214 (64%)

Payor Mix

 Medicaid    67 (20%)
 Medicare    50 (15%)
 Free care   87 (26%)
 Other      127 (38%)

Clinic Visit Data (December 1998 through April 1999)

Total patients                  955
Total clinics                    39
Mean residents per clinic         7
Mean patients per resident per  3.5
Return visits                   857 (90%)
Total patients billed           331 (35%)
Number of diagnoses per visit
  [greater than or equal to]3    71 (21%)
  2                             101 (50%)
  1                             159 (48%)

Diagnostic Frequencies of Patient Visits (December 1998 through April

Adult diagnoses

 Hypertension              146 (72%)
 Diabetes                   68 (33%)
 Osteoarthritis             21 (10%)
 Congestive heart failure   20 (10%)
 High cholesterol           18 (9%)
 Chronic obstructive        16 (8%)
 pulmonary disease
 Thyroid disorders          14 (7%)
 Abdominal pain              9 (4.5%)
 Anemia                      8 (4.5%)
 Depression                  7 (3.5%)
 Coronary artery disease     6 (3%)
 Chest pain                  5 (2.5%)
 Back pain                   3 (1.5%)

Pediatric diagnoses

 Well child care            73 (58%)
 Asthma                     23 (19%)
 Upper respiratory tract     5 (4%)
 Otitis media                4 (3%)
 Atopic dermatitis           4 (3%)
 Developmental delay         2 (2%)
 Failure to thrive           1 (1%)


* Residents reported high satisfaction with the combined continuity clinic experience.

* Residents were most satisfied with the educational experience.

* Justifying the creation of a clinic requiring space, staff, and preceptors able to meet the needs of all age groups can be difficult.

* Removing the med-peds resident from mainstream intensive training could jeopardize training by decreasing exposure to medicine and pediatric faculty.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Southern Medical Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:Cummings, Terry L.
Publication:Southern Medical Journal
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
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