Comparison of primary care resident physicians' practice styles during initial and return patient visits

Klea D Bertakis, Rahman Azari, Edward J Callahan, John A Robbins, L. Jay Helms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


New adult patients (n = 212) were randomly assigned to 58 primary care resident physicians. Physician practice styles during initial and return visits were analyzed using the Davis Observation Code. Compared with initial patient visits, return visits were shorter, but more work-intensive. Return visits displayed significantly less technically oriented behavior (including history taking, physical examination, and treatment planning) and fewer discussions regarding use of addictive substances; however, there was more emphasis on health behaviors and active involvement of patients in their own care. These physicians' practice style differences between initial and return patient visits suggest that physician-patient familiarity affects what happens during the medical interview.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-498
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999



  • Interactional analysis
  • Physician practice style
  • Physician-patient relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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