Critical care medicine programs must provide outpatient experience for their fellowship trainees. We have developed an unusual follow-up plan allowing critical care fellows to contact their patients months after their intensive care unit stay. We evaluated responses of 46 patients after a mean interval of 8.6 months since their initial intensive care unit stay. Patients were stratified by severity of disease by using the APACHE scoring system. Diagnostically, the patients represented the typical medical-surgical intensive care unit population. Patients were asked 11 questions concerning their health and socio-emotional status as it related to their hospitalization and intensive care unit stay. Our results established a practical method of providing outpatient follow-up that may fulfill residency review requirements for critical care fellowships, confirmed previously speculative ideas about ICU experiences, and suggested future research opportunities to study intensive care unit patients following discharge.

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