Ambulatory Care Skills: Do Residents Feel Prepared?

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Bonds, Denise E ; Mychaleckyj, Josyf C ; Phil, D ; Watkins, Raquel ; Palla, Shana ; Extrom, Pam (2009)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Medical Education Online (issn: 1087-2981, eissn: 1087-2981)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/meo.v7i.4536
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: education

Objective: To determine resident comfort and skill in performing ambulatory care skills. Methods: Descriptive survey of common ambulatory care skills administered to internal medicine faculty and residents at one academic medical center. Respondents were asked to rate their ability to perform 12 physical exam skills and 6 procedures, and their comfort in performing 7 types of counseling, and obtaining 6 types of patient history (4 point Likert scale for each). Self-rated ability or comfort was compared by gender, status (year of residency, faculty), and future predicted frequency of use of the skill. Results: Residents reported high ability levels for physical exam skills common to both the amb ulatory and hospital setting. Fewer felt able to perform musculoskeletal, neurologic or eye exams easily alone. Procedures generally received low ability ratings. Similarly, residents? comfort in performing common outpatient counseling was also low. More residents reported feeling very comfortable in obtaining history from patients. We found little variation by gender, year of training, or predicted frequency of use. Conclusion: Self-reported ability and comfort for many common ambulatory care skills is low. Further evaluation of this finding in other training programs is warranted.
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