Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 16–20

Ambulatory-Based Education in Internal Medicine: Current Organization and Implications for Transformation. Results of A National Survey of Resident Continuity Clinic Directors

  • Mohan Nadkarni
  • Siddharta Reddy
  • Carol K. Bates
  • Blair Fosburgh
  • Stewart Babbott
  • Eric Holmboe
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1437-3

Cite this article as:
Nadkarni, M., Reddy, S., Bates, C.K. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2011) 26: 16. doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1437-3



Many have called for ambulatory training redesign in internal medicine (IM) residencies to increase primary care career outcomes. Many believe dysfunctional, clinic environments are a key barrier to meaningful ambulatory education, but little is actually known about the educational milieu of continuity clinics nationwide.


We wished to describe the infrastructure and educational milieu at resident continuity clinics and assess clinic readiness to meet new IM-RRC requirements.


National survey of ACGME accredited IM training programs.


Directors of academic and community-based continuity clinics.


Two hundred and twenty-one out of 365 (62%) of clinic directors representing 49% of training programs responded. Wide variation amongst continuity clinics in size, structure and educational organization exist. Clinics below the 25th percentile of total clinic sessions would not meet RRC-IM requirements for total number of clinic sessions. Only two thirds of clinics provided a longitudinal mentor. Forty-three percent of directors reported their trainees felt stressed in the clinic environment and 25% of clinic directors felt overwhelmed.


The survey used self reported data and was not anonymous. A slight predominance of larger clinics and university based clinics responded. Data may not reflect changes to programs made since 2008.


This national survey demonstrates that the continuity clinic experience varies widely across IM programs, with many sites not yet meeting new ACGME requirements. The combination of disadvantaged and ill patients with inadequately resourced clinics, stressed residents, and clinic directors suggests that many sites need substantial reorganization and institutional commitment.New paradigms, encouraged by ACGME requirement changes such as increased separation of inpatient and outpatient duties are needed to improve the continuity clinic experience.


clinicresident educationACGMEprimary care

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohan Nadkarni
    • 1
  • Siddharta Reddy
    • 2
  • Carol K. Bates
    • 3
  • Blair Fosburgh
    • 4
  • Stewart Babbott
    • 5
  • Eric Holmboe
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Virginia Health System (UVAHS)CharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.American Board of Internal MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary CareBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  4. 4.Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  5. 5.University of KansasKansas CityUSA
  6. 6.(UVAHS)CharlottesvilleUSA