Continuity of care in a family practice residency program. Impact on physician satisfaction

J Fam Pract. 1990 Jul;31(1):69-73.


One of the primary benefits of continuity of care is its influence upon patient and physician satisfaction. This prospective pilot study involved a cohort of 14 second- and third-year family practice residents and 4 full-time faculty at a community hospital-based family practice residency in Cleveland, Ohio. Rates of continuity that physicians experience were calculated using the usual provider continuity (UPC) measure of continuity, and were correlated with physician satisfaction with outpatient care using a practice satisfaction scale (PSS) developed specifically for this purpose. Residents and faculty were also asked to rank order the importance of several aspects of outpatient care, including continuity of care. The results indicate that both residents and faculty value continuity of care highly compared with other aspects of outpatient care. The average continuity rates were 59% for second-year residents, 54% for third-year residents, and 82% for faculty. The UPC continuity measure correlated highly with the PSS scores (corrected r2 = .55; P less than .001). The data support the hypothesis that continuity of care with patients is an important determinant of resident and faculty physician satisfaction with their outpatient experience.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Child
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Ohio
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies