Journal of General Internal Medicine

Moving forward in GME reform: A 4 + 1 model of resident ambulatory training

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BACKGROUND: Traditional ambulatory training models have limitations in important domains, including opportunities for residents to learn, fragmentation of care delivery experience, and satisfaction with ambulatory experiences. New models of ambulatory training are needed. AIM: To compare the impact of a traditional ambulatory training model with a templated 4 + 1 model. SETTING: A large university-based internal medicine residency using three different training sites: a patient-centered medical home, a hospital-based ambulatory clinic, and community private practices. PARTICIPANTS: Residents, faculty, and administrative staff. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Development of a templated 4 + 1 model of residency where trainees do not attend to inpatient and outpatient responsibilities simultaneously. PROGRAM EVALUATION: A mixed-methods analysis of survey and nominal group data measuring three primary outcomes: 1) Perception of learning opportunities and quality of faculty teaching; 2) Reported fragmentation of care delivery experience; 3) Satisfaction with ambulatory experiences. Self-reported empanelment was a secondary outcome. Residents' learning opportunities increased (p = 0.007) but quality of faculty teaching was unchanged. Participants reported less fragmentation in the care residents provide patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting (p < 0.0001). Satisfaction with ambulatory training improved (p < 0.0001). Self-reported empanelment also increased (p < 0.0001). Results held true for residents, faculty, and staff at all three ambulatory training sites (p < 0.0001). DISCUSSION: A 4 + 1 model increased resident time in ambulatory continuity clinic, enhanced learning opportunities, reduced fragmentation of care residents provide, and improved satisfaction with ambulatory experiences. More studies of similar models are needed to evaluate effects on additional trainee and patient outcomes. © 2013 Society of General Internal Medicine.