Utilization of primary care physicians by medical residents: A survey-based study

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Whelan, KZ
Levy, K
Voit, JH
Razon, AN
Chopra, V
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2018
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Abstract

Objective: Existing research has demonstrated overall low rates of residents establishing care with a primary care physician (PCP). We conducted a survey-based study to better understand chronic illness, PCP utilization, and prescription medication use patterns in resident physician populations. Methods: In 2017, we invited internal and family medicine trainees from a convenience sample of U.S. residency programs to participate in a survey. We compared the characteristics of residents who had established care with a PCP to those who had not. Results: The response rate was 45% (348/766 residents). The majority (n = 205, 59%) of respondents stated they had established care with a PCP primarily for routine preventative care (n = 159, 79%) and access in the event of an emergency (n = 132, 66%). However, 31% (n = 103) denied having had a wellness visit in over 3 years. Nearly a quarter of residents (n = 77, 23%) reported a chronic medical illness and 14% (n = 45) reported a preexisting mental health condition prior to residency. One-third (n = 111, 33%) reported taking a long-term prescription medication. Compared to residents who had not established care, those with a PCP (n = 205) more often reported a chronic condition (P < 0.001), seeing a subspecialist (P = 0.01), or taking long-term prescription medications (P < 0.001). One in 5 (n = 62,19%) respondents reported receiving prescriptions for an acute illness from an individual with whom they did not have a doctor-patient relationship. Conclusion: Medical residents have a substantial burden of chronic illness that may not be met through interactions with PCPs. Further understanding their medical needs and barriers to accessing care is necessary to ensure trainee well-being.

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Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management

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25

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8

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Health policy

Epidemiology

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Whelan, KZ; Levy, K; Voit, JH; Razon, AN; Chopra, V, Utilization of primary care physicians by medical residents: A survey-based study, Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management, 2018, 25 (8), pp. 357-366

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