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K.L. Hartley, S.J. Gedde, A. Venkatraman; Is It Safe to Get Sick in July? . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):1959.
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Purpose: To determine whether there is a difference in the quality of patient care delivered by first year ophthalmology residents at the beginning and end of the training year. Methods: A log book was used to identify all patients seen in the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute emergency room by a first year ophthalmology resident July 15–August 14, 2002 (first month of training) and June 1–June 30, 2003 (last month of training). We chose at random approximately 60 patients per resident for each of the six first year residents, 30 at the beginning of the training year and 30 at the end. Demographic data, initial and final diagnosis, show rate for scheduled follow–up appointments, and frequency of unscheduled return visits to the emergency room were extracted from the medical records. Results: The study included 353 patients with a mean (SD) age of 44 (± 19) years, and 51% were female. The show rate for scheduled follow–up visits was 63% (112/177) during the first month of training and 47% (83/176) during the last month of training (p=0.003). The frequency of unscheduled return visits to the emergency room was 5% (9/177) at the beginning and 5% (8/176) at the end of the training year (p>0.8). Among those patients seen in follow–up, the agreement between initial and final diagnosis was 95% (106/112) during the first month of training and 98% (81/83) during the last month of training (p=0.47). Conclusions: There was no significant difference in the quality of medical care delivered by first year ophthalmology residents in an emergency room setting at the beginning and end of the training year.
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