Teaching clinical medicine in the ambulatory setting: An idea whose time may have finally come

New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 02/1986; 314(1):27-31. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM198601023140105
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A resurgence of general interest in teaching clinical medicine in ambulatory-care settings has occurred for several reasons, including changes in the case mix in teaching hospitals, the new responsibilities of house officers and attending physicians brought about by the current payment systems for health care, the increased expectations of patients that medical care will be "personal," the progressive limitations imposed on the education of medical students by the shorter lengths of stay sought by hospitals under the diagnosis-related-groups system of payment, and the growing need for well-trained primary care physicians that has resulted from the increase in medical care organizations. In this paper, I review earlier attempts to emphasize ambulatory care, to identify the pitfalls that new efforts in this direction should avoid. I also compare inpatient and ambulatory-care teaching to provide a basis for understanding the educational goals that can be achieved more easily in each setting. In addition, I suggest major changes in the flow and use of clinical-practice funds and hospital payments so that they can become possible sources of the financing and organization of an expanded effort to teach clinical medicine in ambulatory-care settings.

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