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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2010 Mar;24(3):159-64. doi: 10.1089/apc.2009.0302.

A multicenter study of internal medicine residents' perceptions of training, competence, and performance in outpatient HIV care.

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National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Routine HIV screening is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but it is unknown how well internal medicine residents are trained in HIV risk assessment, testing, counseling, and initial management of HIV patients. We sought to determine internal medicine residents' attitudes about HIV training and the factors that influence their HIV care performance utilizing a cross-sectional survey of 321 second- and third-year internal medicine residents from four programs in Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, and New York City between March and June 2006. Measurements included HIV care experience; attitudes, competency, and adequacy of HIV training; and basic HIV care performance and factors impacting performance. Two hundred twenty-three residents (69%) completed the survey. While 50% of residents reported over 30 HIV inpatient encounters in the past year, the majority of residents had limited outpatient exposure providing care for only 1-5 HIV outpatients. Managing HIV patients was rated an excellent educational opportunity by 89% of residents and 77% planned to care for HIV patients in the future. However, 39% stated that they did not feel competent to provide HIV outpatient care. Higher rates of residents reported deficiency in outpatient HIV training compared to outpatient non-HIV training (p < 0.05) or inpatient HIV training (p < 0.05). Residents reported substandard HIV risk assessment, testing, counseling, and initial management performance. Self-reported proficiency correlated with the number of HIV outpatients cared for and perceived training adequacy. Current residency training in HIV care remains largely inpatient-based and residents frequently rate HIV outpatient training as inadequate.

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