Objective: To compare continuity clinic experiences by practice setting and postgraduate level.
Design: Mailed questionnaire.
Setting: Baylor College of Medicine pediatric residents selected 1 of 3 continuity practice settings, including community-based private offices (n = 35) and university-based clinics in a private (n = 71) and a public (n = 12) hospital.
Subjects: One hundred eighteen pediatric residents, May 1993.
Outcome measures: Patient volume, continuity of care, type of patient visit, and faculty supervision.
Results: The response rate was 77% (91/118). Pediatric residents in community-based private offices reported seeing more patients per session than those in the university-based private and public clinics (88%, 10%, and 0% residents in the respective practice settings reported > or = 4 patients per session), but were less likely to see patients repeatedly (6%, 68%, and 40% residents in the respective practice settings had seen more than half their patients > 2 times). Residents in private offices provided a smaller percentage of well child care (16%, 61%, and 90% residents in the respective practice settings reported > 50% patients were well) and more acute care (68%, 15% and 0% residents in the respective practice settings reported > 25% patients were acutely ill). Residents in private offices reported a higher percentage of time spent observing only (33%, 0%, and 0% residents in the respective practice settings observed > 25% of the time) and less time managing patients independently (93%, 59%, and 40% residents, respectively, managed < or = 25% of the time). No significant differences among postgraduate levels were found for these variables.
Conclusions: Patient volume, continuity of care, type of patient visit, and faculty supervision were significantly different among continuity practice settings. Postgraduate level of training did not affect significantly these measures of continuity clinic experience. These differences need to be considered in curriculum development.