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Article
September 1996

Invited Commentary

Author Affiliations

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Arch Surg. 1996;131(9):922. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430210020003

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Abstract

The authors have evaluated the issue of continuity of care in the general surgery residency at Michigan State University. They have disaggregated the terms resident continuity experiences and patient continuity and found them not to be synonymous. The study evaluates the 4 essential phases defined by the Residency Review Committee of preoperative, operative, postoperative hospitalization, and postdischarge phases. Only 23.7% of the residents had perfect continuity, as evidenced by documentation of contact in all 4 phases. Fifty percent of the residents had 3 of 4 phases covered. Most of the discontinuity (12%) occurred with contact at the initial visit. There was surprising discrepancy between the postgraduate year of the residency and continuity. While continuity has been believed to be most crucial for the resident at the senior level who is performing the operation, and therefore subject to high expectations of continuity of care, the study seems to show that junior

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