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How Well Does the Continuity Experience Prepare Residents for Practice?

      Background.—The goal of the continuity experience (CE) is to prepare graduates for pediatric practice.
      Objective.—To determine graduates' perceptions of how well CE prepared them for practice; to measure their satisfaction with CE; and to identify associations between patient and preceptor characteristics and the outcomes of satisfaction and preparation.
      Design and Methods.—Questionnaire mailed to pediatricians (N = 130) who had completed pediatric residency at the University of Utah between 1985 and 1996. Information was collected regarding current practice data and information regarding their CE site, the number and types of patients seen at that site, their evaluation of their preceptor, their satisfaction with their CE, and their opinion regarding how well their CE prepared them for practice.
      Results.—Of the 130 surveys, 58% were returned. Respondents reported degrees of preparedness as follows: 26% rated themselves “very well” prepared, and 56% rated themselves “pretty well” prepared. Satisfaction with CE was 32% “very satisfied” and 57% “satisfied.” Graduates whose CE had been at a private practice (PP) reported higher degrees of preparedness than those whose CE had been at a university hospital clinic (UH) or a public health clinic (PH) (% reporting feeling “very well prepared”: PP = 53%, UH = 16%, PH = 19%). Seeing more patients per half day was associated with a higher rate of feeling well prepared. PP graduates reported seeing more patients than those at the other sites.
      Conclusion.—Though some differences were reported regarding the content of CE, the majority of graduates felt that their CE had prepared them well for practice.

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