Incorporating students into clinic may be associated with both improved clinical productivity and educational value

Research paper by Tanner, J. ATanner, J. ATanner, J. A, Rao, K. T, Salas, R. E, Strowd, R. E, Nguyen, A. M, Kornbluh, A, Mead-Brewer, et al.

Indexed on: 17 Dec '17Published on: 11 Dec '17Published in: Neurology. Clinical practice


Background: In this study, we aimed to evaluate ambulatory clinic responsibilities that neurology clerkship students perceive as having the highest educational value and to evaluate the association between a student's presence and level of responsibility and a preceptor's clinical and financial productivity during a clinic session. Methods: Physician preceptors (n = 43) and medical students (n = 67) in the Johns Hopkins Neurology clerkship from 2014 to 2015 were included. Students rated their experience and responsibilities in 291 neurology clinic sessions. Productivity metrics (e.g., relative value units [RVU]/clinic) were collected for each preceptor in the presence and absence of students. Results: A student's rating of a clinic as an effective learning experience increased with each additional patient the student interviewed (odds ratio [OR] 1.89, p < 0.001), presented (OR 1.86, p < 0.001), or documented (OR 2.00, p < 0.001). The mean RVU/session for preceptors also increased based on the number of patients interviewed (β = 2.64, p = 0.026), presented (β = 2.42, p = 0.047), and documented (β = 2.70, p = 0.036) by students. On average, preceptor RVU/session increased by 42% (mean 5.6 ± 1.2, p < 0.0001) when a student was present in clinic compared to sessions without students. In addition, preceptor invoices increased by 35% (mean 2.7 ± 0.6, p < 0.0001) and charges by 39% (mean $929 ± $210, p < 0.0001) when a student was present in clinic. Conclusions: This observational study suggests a mutual benefit to preceptor clinical productivity and student-perceived educational value when students have active responsibilities in neurology clinics. Despite concerns that students slow down preceptors in clinic, these results suggest that preceptors may have an overall boost in productivity, potentially by performing billable work while students independently see patients.