Creating a Win–Win: Medical Students as Assets in the Ambulatory Clinic

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine whether exemplary OBGYN clinician educators maintain productivity with medical students in the ambulatory setting and if so, to design a clinic workflow to optimize medical student involvement in outpatient clinics.

BACKGROUND:

With the challenges of integrating clinical, documentation, and teaching responsibilities, it is not surprising that 40% of Hopkins OBGYN faculty feel that medical students decrease productivity (68% response). Yet recent research actually reports evidence of increases in physician productivity with medical student involvement in an outpatient Neurology clinic (Tanner et al, 2017).

METHODS:

Through a novel exemplary clinician educator program known as the “Osler Attending Preceptor in OBGYN,” six attendings were chosen based on student surveys and interviewed. Qualitative analysis was performed on interview data. Physician productivity data from the 2016-2017 academic year was obtained from department administrators.

RESULTS:

The six Osler Attendings (OAs) were generalists, and three are actively involved in the medical student clerkship. OAs at one suburban clinic billed on average 18-32% more work-adjusted RVUs when a student was present in clinic. Data analysis for OAs at two hospital-based clinics will be completed in the next month. Additionally, OA productivity with and without a medical student will be compared to non-OA designated faculty controls. Using an iterative feedback process, we designed ideal workflow models for OBGYN clinic and procedure-only visits, with a plan to pilot these workflows in the next year to determine efficacy.

DISCUSSION:

When utilized effectively, medical students are an asset to physician productivity in the outpatient setting.

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