First-Year Internal Medicine Residents' Reflections on Nonmedical Home Visits to High-Risk Patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Problem: Patients who are high utilizers of care often experience health-related challenges that are not readily visible in an office setting but paramount for residents to learn. A nonmedical home visit performed at the beginning of residency training may help residents better understand social underpinnings related to their patient's health and place subsequent care within the context of the patient's life. Intervention: First-year internal medicine residents completed a nonmedical home visit to an at-risk patient prior to seeing the patient in the office for his or her first medical visit. Context: We performed a thematic analysis of internal medicine interns' (n = 16) written narratives on their experience of getting to know a complex patient in his or her home prior to seeing the patient for a medical visit. Narratives were written by the residents immediately following the visit and then again at the end of the intern year, to assess for lasting impact of the intervention. Residents were from an urban academic residency program in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Outcome: We identified four themes from the submitted narratives. Residents discussed the visit's impact on future practice, the effect of the community and support system on health, the impact on the depth of the relationship, and the visit as a source of professional fulfillment. Whereas the four themes were present at both time points, the narratives completed immediately following the visit focused more on the themes of impact of future practice and the effect of the community and support system on health. The influence of the home visit on the depth of the relationship was a more prevalent theme in the end-of-the-year narratives. Lessons Learned: Although there is evidence to support the utility of learners completing medical home visits, this exploratory study shows that a nonmedical home visit can be rewarding and formative for early resident physicians. Future studies could examine the patient's perspective on the experience and whether a nonmedical home visit is a valuable tool in other patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • ambulatory education
  • home visit
  • professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'First-Year Internal Medicine Residents' Reflections on Nonmedical Home Visits to High-Risk Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this