Physician Office Laboratory Education and Training in Primary Care Residency Programs

Daron G. Ferris, Harvey J. Hamrick, Phillip G. Pollock, Anita J. Stinson, John Crenshaw, Elmer F. Wahl, A. Samuel Koenig, Paul M. Fischer, J. Stephen Kroger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Family Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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