Primary care teaching clinics are essential in training the future primary care workforce as well as providing high-quality care to patients. At their best, teaching clinics provide excellent clinical care and patient experiences, while simultaneously providing training experiences that inspire students and residents to pursue careers in primary care. This is what we refer to as a “high functioning teaching clinic.”
High functioning teaching clinics provide excellent clinical care and patient experiences while simultaneously providing teaching experiences that inspire students and residents to pursue careers in primary care.
With that said, the dual missions of education and clinical care can often pose unique and significant challenges for teaching clinics creating high functioning primary care environments. For example, faculty and resident physicians are often only in clinic for a limited amount of time. This can lead to challenges with continuity, access, and team-based care for both physicians and patients. These disorganized clinic experiences can lead to low provider and staff satisfaction, and may cause trainees to abandon plans for careers in primary care.
The unique challenges of teaching clinics can sometimes lead to disorganized clinic experiences and result in a vicious cycle, leading to low provider and staff satisfaction.
To understand how to limit these challenges in creating high functioning teaching clinics, our team at the UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care has been studying primary care teaching clinics across the country to discover bright spots and best practices. Our mission is to develop models and resources for primary care teaching clinics to transform into high functioning practices that synergistically fulfill both missions of education and clinic care, in a way that invigorates the current and future workforce in primary care.
We are currently developing a set of clinic toolkits for transformation based on our findings from from visiting high functioning teaching clinics across the country. These toolkits will be available on this site in Fall 2017. In the meantime, please use the resources below to guide your clinic transformation initiatives.
Bodenheimer et al, High-Functioning Primary Care Residency Clinics
Gupta et al, Clinic First: 6 Actions to Transform Ambulatory Residency Training