General Medical Care and the Education of Internists in University Hospitals

An Evaluation of the Teaching Hospital General Medicine Group Practice Program

Published In: Annals of Internal Medicine, v. 102, no. 2, 1985, p. 250-257

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1985

by Jacqueline Kosecoff, Arlene Fink, Robert H. Brook

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Fifteen general internal medicine group practices in university teaching hospitals were studied to evaluate their primary care services and education. Data were collected over 9 months from physicians, patients, and medical records, and by observation. All institutions had closed their general medical clinics. Many patients being treated in group practices were very sick; 57% had hypertension; 21% were diabetic; and 45% could not work. Most were satisfied with their care. Care for acute problems from a health care provider in the practice was available quickly; regular physicians were harder to see. House staff and faculty spent little time in the practices. Few practices used teams; most used traditional attending and house staff models. Practice physicians could not easily determine when patients were seen in the institution's emergency department or were hospitalized. Quality of care standards were not uniformly met. Finally, the structure of academic centers appeared to inhibit the practices' performance, suggesting a need for further appraisal of relationships between university hospitals and their ambulatory care units.

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