ABSTRACT

Background

A novel patient-centered curricular experience was implemented in an internal medicine residency program in 2007. There is little published evidence that what is taught in residency affects practice after graduation.

Objective

We sought to evaluate whether graduates perceived any long-term effects of participation in this patient-centered curriculum.

Methods

From July to September 2015, a web-based survey with quantitative and qualitative components was sent to graduates of the program to assess self-reported effects of this curriculum on current practice. Graduates spent 2 to 8 weeks on the intervention team during their training. Responses to open-ended questions were independently coded by 2 investigators, using the editing analysis method. Emergent themes and representative quotes are reported.

Results

Of 150 residents who completed at least 1 year of training from 2007 to 2014, 94 of 110 (85%) with available email addresses responded to this survey. Of respondents, 21 (22%) were still in fellowship training, and 71 (76%) were in full-time practice. The majority responded “a great deal” when asked if the experience was valuable to their training as a physician (72 of 94, 77%) or influenced their practice (59 of 94, 63%). Free-text comments indicate that residents felt the experience enhanced their understanding of social determinants of health, communication skills, relationship building, and ability to tailor treatments to individual patients.

Conclusions

Internal medicine residency graduates reported that exposure to a curriculum focused on knowing patients as individuals had important enduring effects on their practice.

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