Background: It is well established that group visits offer an appropriate alternative to individual care with respect to efficiency, clinical effectiveness, and patient and provider satisfaction and are feasible in the training setting. The purpose of this paper is to describe resident educational outcomes from participation in prenatal and well-child group visits over the last 6 years.
Methods: We surveyed the 48 physicians who graduated from the University of North Carolina Family Medicine Residency from 2006 through 2011 regarding their current scope of practice, the number of group visits they experienced, and the educational value of group visits.
Results: Thirty-four (71%) of graduates responded. Twelve respondents (35%) include prenatal care in their current practice, 29 (85%) include pediatric care, and five (15%) include group visits. As residents, all respondents participated in group visits. Respondents most valued what they learned in group visits from patient questions, from the exposure to a bolus of patients at the same stage of development, and from faculty role modeling.
Conclusions: Group visits are a potentially valuable adjunct to the standard training experience, with benefits for learning efficiency, scope of practice, and the promotion of patient-centered care that can be carried forward into practice.