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Acad Med. 2020 Mar;95(3):425-434. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003045.

Continuity With Patients, Preceptors, and Peers Improves Primary Care Training: A Randomized Medical Education Trial.

Author information

1
B.L. Henschen is assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0994-9725. D.T. Liss is research assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5505-2922. B.P. Golden is instructor, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0576-3894. K.A. Cameron is research professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3535-6459. J.A. Bierman is associate professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7534-8499. E.R. Ryan was associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, at the time of this work. She is currently associate dean and campus director, Northwest Campus, and professor, Clinical Family Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest Campus, Gary, Indiana; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8680-3741. L.A. Gard is research project coordinator, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. E.G. Neilson is professor and Lewis Landsberg Dean, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3723-8859. D.B. Wayne is Dr. John Sherman Professor of Medicine and Medical Education, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6468-0744. D.B. Evans is assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0760-3034.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Infusing continuity of care into medical student clerkships may accelerate professional development, preserve patient-centered attitudes, and improve primary care training. However, prospective, randomized studies of longitudinal curricula are lacking.

METHOD:

All entering Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine students in 2015 and 2016 were randomized to the Education Centered Medical Home (ECMH), a 4-year, team-based primary care clerkship; or a mentored individual preceptorship (IP) for 2 years followed by a traditional 4-week primary care clerkship. Students were surveyed 4 times (baseline, M1, M2, and M3 year [through 2018]); surveys included the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI); the Communication, Curriculum, and Culture (C3) survey assessing the hidden curriculum; and the Attitudes Toward Health Care Teams (ATHCT) scale. The authors analyzed results using an intent-to-treat approach.

RESULTS:

Three hundred twenty-nine students were randomized; 316 (96%) participated in surveys. Seventy percent of all respondents would recommend the ECMH to incoming first-year students. ECMH students reported a more positive learning environment (overall quality, 4.4 ECMH vs 4.0 IP, P < .001), greater team-centered attitudes (ATHCT scale, 3.2 vs 3.0, P = .007), less exposure to negative aspects of the hidden curriculum (C3 scale, 4.6 vs 4.3, P < .001), and comparable medical knowledge acquisition. ECMH students established more continuity relationships with patients (2.2 vs 0.3, P < .001) and reported significantly higher professional efficacy (MBI-PE, 4.1 vs 3.9, P = .02).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this randomized medical education trial, the ECMH provided superior primary care training across multiple outcomes compared with a traditional clerkship-based model, including improved professional efficacy.

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