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The day the residents left: lessons learnt from COVID-19 for ambulatory clinics
  1. Benjamin R Doolittle1,
  2. Bradley Richards2,
  3. Amerisa Tarabar2,
  4. Matthew Ellman2 and
  5. Daniel Tobin2
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Benjamin R Doolittle; benjamin.doolittle{at}


As the COVID-19 pandemic began, the residents from our ambulatory clinics were pulled to cover the increasing numbers of hospitalised patients. To provide care for our 40 000 patients, without resident support, we needed to develop quickly a new culture of communication and innovation. We accomplished this by regular, transparent meetings with senior leadership and key stakeholders who were empowered to make rapid decisions. We then convened regular meetings with clinic leadership and frontline providers to receive feedback and implement new practices. These rapid meeting cycles allowed for a nimble response to a changing landscape. We optimised our video-conferencing and telehealth services, reached out to our most vulnerable patients and engaged other providers and medical students who were not engaged in patient care due to social isolation practices. We discuss the implications of these innovations on our future practice.

  • physicians
  • primary care
  • primary health care
  • urban health
  • chronic disease
  • community health planning

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  • Contributors All authors participated in the preparation of the manuscript. This paper is not under consideration elsewhere and has not been previously published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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