Impact of Set-Day Clinic on Physician Continuity in a Family Medicine Residency Clinic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Continuity of care between patients and their primary care providers is associated with improved patient outcomes and experience, decreased health care costs, and improved provider well-being. Strategies to enhance continuity of care in residency programs involve electronic health record, scheduling, and panel management methods. Our study compared physician-patient continuity rates (pre and post) for one family medicine residency’s implementation of a set-day clinic (SDC) scheduling model. Methods: In July 2019, Bethesda Clinic switched from a rotation-driven scheduling (RDS) model to SDC. Physicians were divided into two scheduling groups: Monday, Thursday, or Friday; or Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday. We used visit data from two 6-month periods, October 2018 to March 2019 (RDS) and October 2021 to March 2022 (SDC), to calculate continuity using the continuity for physician formula. We used t tests to compare mean continuity rates between the RDS and SDC periods. In June 2022, faculty and residents were emailed a nine-question survey about SDC. Results: Adherence to the SDC model ranged from 65% to 76%. Postgraduate year (PGY) 3 residents’ continuity increased significantly (P<.001) from 44% (RDS) to 56% (SDC), while PGY2 residents’ continuity increased, nonsignificantly, from 38% to 43%. Among those that completed the survey, 94% of residents and 78% of faculty were in favor of SDC. Conclusions: We demonstrated that SDC is feasible and well received by residents and faculty alike. Continuity was highest for PGY2 and PGY3 residents during the SDC period. Predictable clinic schedules have the potential to improve continuity in family medicine residency clinics and may improve physician well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-615
Number of pages4
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.


  • ambulatory care facilities
  • continuity
  • graduate medical education

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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