Original Article

Initial Experience of a Primary Urgent Care Clinic Curriculum and Subspecialty Lectureship Series Implementation in a Los Angeles County Hospital

Authors: Harsh Agrawal, MD, Anna Martinez, MD, Elizabeth R. Volkmann, MD, Oleg Melamed, MD, Soma Wali, MD


Objectives: Urgent care clinics are extremely busy in the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) County hospital system. We determined that residents and medical students in the internal medicine residency program who are rotating through these clinics did not receive enough teaching during their rotation. We decided to create and implement an urgent care curriculum and lectures to help achieve structure for the rotation. The goal of this series was to educate and assist residents in the primary care setting to comfortably manage subspecialty conditions, help reduce the already-overwhelmed county subspecialty referral system, and promote learning.

Methods: The Olive View-UCLA Medical Center internal medicine residency program has a total of 74 residents, which includes postgraduate year-1 (PGY-1) to PGY-4, with PGY-4 being combined internal medicine–pediatrics or emergency medicine–internal medicine residents. We used core curriculum topics as provided by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to design the curriculum. We sent e-mails to the stakeholders whom we identified as the residents and the attending physicians working in urgent care, inquiring after topics they wanted to discuss during the rotation. Using these responses we compiled a list of all of the topics that could be discussed and reviewed during the rotation. These topics were broken down into short 10- to 15-minute-long lectures. During the lectures, we provided a retrospective post- then prequestionnaire to the residents for evaluation of the program and the lectures. A benefit of the post-then-pre design is that participants answer the postquestions and the prequestions together after the lecture, thereby reducing the possibility of response shift bias.

Results: Of the 74 residents in the program, 25 responded; the response rate was approximately 33%. Regarding content, 92% (23) said it was appropriate, 4% (1) said it was too low a level, and 4% (1) did not respond. Overall, 36% (9) said the lecture was excellent, 52% (13) said it was very good, 8% (2) said it was good, and 4% (1) did not respond. We also looked at the number of referrals made pre- and postcurriculum implementation and found that the overall referral percentage was down, from 34% to 31%.

Conclusions: We designed an urgent care curriculum and lecture series for the primary urgent care clinics to promote learning and education in a structured, succinct, and systematic manner. This will help triage and manage subspecialty conditions in the scope of primary care settings and thus initiate appropriate and timely referrals to subspecialists.

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