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August 2008 Issue

Eric Warm, MD, associate professor of medicine.
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Clinics Offer Better Patient Care Training

By Katie Pence
Published August 2008

Thanks to a new study by UC researchers, internal medicine residents may receive training that may be more beneficial in helping them develop patient relationships and improve patient care.

Eric Warm, MD, associate professor of medicine and lead investigator of the study, says research showed residents who spent most of their time in the clinic, as opposed to the hospital, learned more about patient care, were more prepared and performed better in their day-to-day duties.

This study was published in the July edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

“We essentially redesigned how the internal medicine residency runs,” says Warm. “With this new system, residents complete one year in the clinics actually doing the things patients expect from their primary care doctors.”

He says there are two overall problems with residency programs focused on inpatient care: not enough time spent in the clinics and no tool to assess the quality of work or ways to make it better.

The study is part of the Educational Innovations Project, sponsored through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, to facilitate competency-based education and outcomes assessment in programs needing innovation.
“By placing our residents in the clinic, it allowed them to focus on patient care,” Warm says. “Within the first year, both the patients’ and the residents’ satisfaction had increased. We utilized the Chronic Care Model—a tool that helps improve patient care—as our central operating force.”

Warm says there are other study legs to be completed, including research on the long-term impact on chronic disease control.

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