A prospective study to assess the effect of ambulatory teaching on patient satisfaction

Patrick G. O'Malley, Deborah M. Omori, Francis J. Landry, Jeffrey Jackson, Kurt Kroenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


Purpose. To assess the effect of ambulatory teaching on patient's satisfaction. Method. In 1996, 103 adult patient's presenting to the Walter- Reed General Medicine Walk-in Clinic completed a patient-satisfaction questionnaire immediately following their visits, during which they were initially seen by a trainee (third-year medical student or intern) and then seen by a faculty preceptor. The questionnaire includeed five items from the validated Medical Outcomes Study (MOS)-9 questionnaire as well as two open- ended questions. Fourteen staff physicians, 13 students (49% of the visits), and 11 interns (51% of the visits) participated in the study. Satisfaction was analyzed by level of training, and the responses from the study patients were compared with the responses from 372 usual-care (i.e., non-teaching) patients from the same clinic, using the chi-squared test. Results. The study patients were typically pleased with their encounters, rating their overall satisfaction as excellent (61%), very good (29%), or good (9%). Nearly two thirds of the patients rated their satisfaction with waiting time to be very good or excellent. Compared with the usual-care patients, the study patients reported equal or greater satisfaction for all five MOS-9 items. Ninety-five percent of the study patients said they would be willing to be seen by a trainee-staff team on the future visits. There was no difference in patients satisfaction by trainee level. The study patients cited enhanced interaction (45%), enhanced education (34%), and improved care (26%) as benefits of trainee-involved care, and increased waiting time (18%) and worse care (5%) as drawbacks. Conclusions. The results of this study suggest that ambulatory teaching does not adversely affect patient satisfaction, regardless of trainee level, and that patients who have been seen by trainee-staff teams are willing to experience such encounters again.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1017
Number of pages3
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

O'Malley, P. G., Omori, D. M., Landry, F. J., Jackson, J., & Kroenke, K. (1997). A prospective study to assess the effect of ambulatory teaching on patient satisfaction. Academic Medicine, 72(11), 1015-1017.