To define the role of the outpatient clinic in the teaching of surgery, third-year medical students participated in a pilot program of an entirely outpatient multispecialty clinic experience. Patient encounters (total 1, 532) were logged as inpatient or outpatient by established criteria. Overall, 61% of patient encounters in the outpatient clinic involved a surgical diagnosis currently managed entirely on an outpatient basis. Data illustrate the importance of the outpatient setting in providing a complete and broad exposure to surgery and the surgical specialties.
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