“Fellow of the Day”: A Novel Trainee Role to Improve Fellows’ Outpatient Continuity Clinics

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Abstract

Rationale:

The implementation of team-based care models in residency programs is one method to improve patient and provider outpatient satisfaction. However, to our knowledge, this has not yet been studied in fellowship programs.

Objectives:

We instituted a pilot project to test a team-based model of care in our pulmonary and critical care medicine (PCCM) fellows’ clinic by creating a new outpatient role called the “Fellow of the Day,” with the goal of reducing clinical disruption for the fellows, providing more educational value for medical students, and improving patient care.

Methods:

Data were collected over a 4-month time period from electronic surveys from medical students, fellows, and supervising faculty. We also used timestamp data to determine fellows’ response times to patient messages.

Results:

After implementation of the Fellow of the Day designation, (1) fellows were more engaged in teaching the medical student (P = 0.007); (2) fellows spent less of their personal time (P = 0.04) or time away from critically ill patients to focus on patient care-related messages (P = 0.04) and paperwork (P = 0.02); and (3) medical students had improved experience with more enjoyment (P = 0.03) and active engagement in clinic (P = 0.03). The Fellow of the Day role did not affect faculty workflow. Patients received responses to their postvisit messages in a more timely manner (P = 0.003).

Conclusions:

The Fellow of the Day role was successfully implemented at our institution with multiple benefits, not only to fellows but also to patients, medical students, and supervising faculty. Our education committee has recommended continuation of the role in our fellowship program.

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