Comparing ambulatory care practices of primary care and traditional medicine residents

Susan E. Bennett, John D. Goodson, Judith E. Izen, William T. Branch, William C. Clark, Charles J. Hatem, Robert S. Lawrence, Thomas L. Delbanco, Allan H. Goroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although special residency programs preparing internists for primary care have been in existence for a decade, little is known about whether these tracks have achieved their goals. As part of a multicenter evaluation of ambulatory care at four university hospitals, 1,040 patient care encounters were reviewed for 16 primary-care and 41 traditional medicine residents. Using a chart-based audit, the authors examined 16 discrete items of patient care to assess resident management in the following areas: screening for colorectal carcinoma, management of hypertension, benzodiazepine drug prescribing, and management of chronic lung disease. Their hypothesis that primary care residents would score higher than traditional medicine residents in the areas of screening, prevention, and prescribing of drugs was not supported. There was no association between type of training and performance of a task with the following exception: second-year primary care residents screened for colorectal carcinoma in 86% (126) of patients whose charts were audited, while second-year traditional medicine residents did so in 77% (160) (P < 0.025). This difference was not maintained when the residents were reaudited 1 year later. Both groups of residents scored high in all areas with the following exceptions: documentation of the amount of sedative dispensed and immunization of susceptible patients against pneumococcus and influenza. The ambulatory practices of both groups of residents exceeded expectations, probably because of the wider influence of primary care training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-822
Number of pages7
JournalMedical care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory care audit
  • Benzodiazepine drug prescribing
  • Management of chronic lung disease
  • Management of hypertension
  • Primary care training
  • Screening for colorectal carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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