Preparing for the primary care clinic: an ambulatory boot camp for internal medicine interns

Med Educ Online. 2015 Nov 24;20:29702. doi: 10.3402/meo.v20.29702. eCollection 2015.


Introduction: Internal medicine (IM) interns start continuity clinic with variable ambulatory training. Multiple other specialties have utilized a boot camp style curriculum to improve surgical and procedural skills, but boot camps have not been used to improve interns' ambulatory knowledge and confidence. The authors implemented and assessed the impact of an intern ambulatory boot camp pilot on primary care knowledge, confidence, and curricular satisfaction.

Methods: During July 2014, IM interns attended ambulatory boot camp. It included clinically focused case-based didactic sessions on common ambulatory topics as well as orientation to the clinic and electronic medical records. Interns anonymously completed a 15-question pre-test on topics covered in the boot camp as well as an identical post-test after the boot camp. The interns were surveyed regarding their confidence and satisfaction.

Results: Thirty-eight interns participated in the boot camp. Prior to the boot camp, few interns reported confidence managing common outpatient conditions. The average pre-test knowledge score was 46.3%. The average post-test knowledge score significantly improved to 76.1% (p<0.001). All interns reported that the boot camp was good preparation for clinics and 97% felt that the boot camp boosted their confidence.

Conclusions: The ambulatory boot camp pilot improved primary care knowledge, and interns thought it was good preparation for clinic. The ambulatory boot camp was well received and may be an effective way to improve the preparation of interns for primary care clinic. Further assessment of clinical performance and expansion to other programs and specialties should be considered.

Keywords: ambulatory training; boot camp; internal medicine residency training; resident continuity clinic; resident primary care clinic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / therapy
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Self Concept