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Caveat Emptor? Caveat Lector (Reader Beware)!

Kenneth B. Roberts, MD; Susan Starr, MEd; Thomas G. DeWitt, MD; Lucy M. Osborn, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(9):959-960. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170460097022.
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Rice et al1 performed a survey of resident impressions regarding the different continuity experiences available to them at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex, and generated data that should be useful to their program in identifying areas that merit attention. As published, however, the article is troublesome. First and foremost, we believe that the analysis of the data and conclusions of the study are misleading. Rice et al report that the residents in private practices saw more patients per session than the residents in the hospital clinic or the public clinics, but they express concern that the proportion of visits for well child care and the proportion of repeat visits is lower in the private practices than in the other settings. By focusing on the proportion rather than the actual quantity, Rice et al do not acknowledge that the increased volume offsets the lower proportions: in absolute terms,


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