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J Grad Med Educ. 2017 Feb;9(1):90-96. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-16-00249.1.

Training Family Medicine Residents to Perform Home Visits: A CERA Survey.



Home visits have been shown to improve quality of care, save money, and improve outcomes. Primary care physicians are in an ideal position to provide these visits; of note, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education no longer requires home visits as a component of family medicine residency training.


To investigate changes in home visit numbers and expectations, attitudes, and approaches to training among family medicine residency program directors.


This research used the Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance (CERA) national survey of family medicine program directors in 2015. Questions addressed home visit practices, teaching and evaluation methods, common types of patient and visit categories, and barriers.


There were 252 responses from 455 possible respondents, representing a response rate of 55%. At most programs, residents performed 2 to 5 home visits by graduation in both 2014 (69% of programs, 174 of 252) and 2015 (68%, 172 of 252). The vast majority (68%, 172 of 252) of program directors expect less than one-third of their graduates to provide home visits after graduation. Scheduling difficulties, lack of faculty time, and lack of resident time were the top 3 barriers to residents performing home visits.


There appeared to be no decline in resident-performed home visits in family medicine residencies 1 year after they were no longer required. Family medicine program directors may recognize the value of home visits despite a lack of few formal curricula.

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