Conferences are a core aspect of our resident training. Planned conferences help residents perfect their clinical problem solving skills and also learn the critical background information and evidence that will help them become outstanding internists.
This weekly conference highlights recent advances in Internal Medicine and draws accomplished speakers and investigators from within the University as well as around the world. Topics range from comprehensive updates on common clinical problems to pioneering research in Internal Medicine. Faculty, trainees, medical students and community physicians attend.
One case from an inpatient service is presented at each of these popular conferences. A program director or other attending physician and the chief resident facilitate an in-depth discussion about the presentation, physical exam, differential diagnosis, diagnosis, and patient management of a particular disease process. The application of evidence-based medicine is role modeled, including a focused question of the day. This highly educational conference remains a favorite among housestaff.
The current interns present a case and with one of the program directors facilitate an in-depth discussion geared towards the needs of the interns. This is a popular conference among the interns and allows each of them the opportunity to expand their differential diagnosis and management plans as well as become comfortable with presentations to a group of their peers.
Housestaff gather between outpatient clinics or continuity clinics daily at noon (except Tuesdays). They are introduced to a variety of outpatient patient care topics, such as hypertension management, outpatient diabetic care, the approach to evaluation of headache in an outpatient setting, etc. Ambulatory Journal Club is a highlight each month.
Three hours of educational activity are held in a block on Tuesday afternoons following a housestaff lunch. Residents on elective and CPB months are free of clinical duties on Tuesday afternoons to attend this conference. Tuesday inpatient rounding schedules are adjusted so that residents can finish most of their clinical work by noon (similar to a weekend day).
The content of the conference varies from session to session. Incorporated lectures include core topics in general and subspecialty medicine and:
Morbidity and Mortality
The traditional conference has been replaced with a resident peer review conference where residents use the tools of medical error root cause analysis and quality improvement to identify and correct problems that led to suboptimal outcomes for our patients. An emphasis is placed on systematic problem solving and prevention.
Journal Clubs/Evidence Based Medicine
Journal clubs take several formats. One intent of this journal club is to teach skills of critical appraisal. We have a “rapid” fire journal club in our outpatient clinic that reviews a select group of recent journals and how they will impact on our practice of medicine.
Clinical Teaching Skills
A one day retreat is held for interns preparing to be senior residents each Spring. Leadership, supervision and teaching skills are addressed, including skills in evaluation, feedback, and bedside teaching. Residents are invited to attend monthly Clinician Educator Lectures delivered by Fellowship Program Directors.
Death and Dying
This conference is led by faculty from our Program in Palliative Care. This conference provides a forum for the residents to discuss difficult death and dying issues they face in their practice on the wards and in the outpatient arena. Example topics discussed are:
Approaching end of life discussions
Use of analgesics for comfort care
Use of supplemental oxygen in the dying patient
Approaching death and dying discussions with patients/families of different cultural or religious backgrounds
Personal perspectives on the loss of a patient
Death and Dying is one component of a communication curriculum that is incorporated throughout the residency and also features training in End of Life discussions during the Rising Resident Retreat.
Special Tuesday afternoon sessions that allow further coaching of clinical and procedural skills using simulation tools, models, and standardized patients/clinicians. Popular sessions have included a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer and breast cancer detection and a communication skills workshop focusing on patient communication and patient handoffs. Critical Care and Ambulatory Procedural Training sessions are facilitated by faculty and specialty fellows.