Inpatient performance of primary care residents: impact of reduction in time on the ward

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The inpatient (ward/intensive-care-unit) performance of primary care medical residents was compared with that of their peers in the standard internal medicine residency program. The primary care residents spent half as much time on inpatient rotations as did their peers in the first two years of training. History-taking, physical examination, case presentation, record-keeping, patient management, and overall performance were assessed and scored by the attending physicians using the American Board of Internal Medicine's Clinical Performance Evaluation Form. The performances of the two groups were nearly identical, suggesting that substantial time in the first two years of residency can be devoted to ambulatory training without markedly compromising development of acute care skills.

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