• To ascertain whether a rheumatology elective (RE) increases the ability of house officers (HOs) to treat patients with rheumatic disease, 109 encounters involving patients with rheumatoid arthritis were audited. This permitted a comparison of 12 HOs who had had an RE with 55 HOs who had not. Results suggested that the RE led to better reporting of history and physical findings and increased the frequency with which relevant laboratory studies were ordered. During the 30-month period of the study, no increase was apparent in audit scores of HOs who had not had the elective, nor was any deterioration noted in scores of HOs who had participated in the elective with increasing length of the interval between the RE and the subsequent encounters.
(Arch Intern Med 140:1449-1452, 1980)