OBJECTIVE: To assess the status of office laboratory residency education and training in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatric residency programs. DESIGN: A single mailed survey to 1299 residency programs from December 1992 to February 1993. PARTICIPANTS: Primary care residency directors from 507 (39%) of 1299 programs. INTERVENTIONS: A 27-item survey of residency-based office laboratory practices, education, training, and resources. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Differences between specialties in provision and quantity of office laboratory education and training, presence of a residency-based office laboratory, laboratory classification under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, and available laboratory tests. RESULTS: Of those responding, office laboratories were present in 89% of family practice, 19% of internal medicine, 29% of obstetrics and gynecology, and 24% of pediatrics residency programs. Laboratory training was available at 60% of family practice, 16% of internal medicine, 15% of obstetrics and gynecology, and 30% of pediatrics programs. The median number of hours of formal skills training was 10 hours for family practice residency programs but less than 2 hours for the other specialties. Only 25% of the programs reported educational assistance from pathologists. Merely 4% of the programs had postassessment examinations and 2% awarded certificates of achievement. A majority of family practice programs performed waivered tests and physician-performed microscopy tests, but moderately complex tests were performed in less than 50% of family practice programs. CONCLUSIONS: Family practice residency programs provide more office laboratory training for residents than other specialties. There is a need for improved residency training in the basics of office laboratory practice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas