Traditional residency lectures focus on teaching facts and medical knowledge, often in slideshow format. Unfortunately, this is an ineffective approach to learning. In January 2016, our program launched a new model for learning in our Thursday afternoon protected half-day for residents. It has been a great success!
Our new case-based learning format has small groups of residents working together to diagnose and treat different clinical scenarios. Small groups gradually learn more information about the case from their own workups. Faculty use real patients from their own clinical practices. This allows them to teach more than the usual biomedical aspects of a particular situation. They have firsthand knowledge of the psychosocial impact of the illness, cultural issues related to the illness or treatment, and often the long-term impact on a particular patient or their family.
Clinical reasoning “mystery cases” are supplemented with:
- Didactic topics to provide medical knowledge in smaller, more manageable quantities with a higher likelihood of retention
- Invited “ask the specialist” speakers who provide some of their own didactic material, but mostly teach residents by answering their own frequently-asked questions about subject matter from their particular specialties
- Hands-on EKG interpretation and POCUS skill-building sessions
- 3-hour teaching workshops devoted to hands-on procedural skill training in dermatology, orthopedic, and gynecologic procedures and EKG interpretation.
- Additional 3-hour teaching afternoons spent on topical themes in areas of chronic disease management and preventive medicine.
- Resident retreats twice per year
- Global Health teaching day
Psychosocial Medicine Core Curriculum
A 12-month program of seminars held every 4 weeks for PGY-1 residents. The first half of the curriculum focuses on unique aspects of the patient's story at different times in their family life-cycle –childhood, adolescence, coupling, parenthood, middle age, and older age. The second half of the curriculum develops Advanced Interviewing skills including agenda setting, active listening, empathy, and negotiating a treatment plan.
This seminar series occurs throughout the third year of residency, every other Friday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. R-3 residents are excused from all other rotations (including inpatient rotations) to be able to attend.
The first part of the curriculum focuses on the practical aspects of finding the job that is right for you:
- Different career options within family medicine
- CV and cover letter preparation
- Licensure and credentialing
- Understanding the components of physician contracts
- Effective contract negotiation skills
The second part of the curriculum focuses on the financial aspects of healthcare:
- Billing and coding boot camp for the individual practitioner
- Charge entry process
- Practice level finances and budgeting
- Regional and national health care financing
- Understanding Medicare
- Personal financial planning
The remainder of the curriculum covers a variety of other important topics including:
- Development of leadership skills
- Medico-legal and risk management aspects of medicine
- Media relations skills for physicians
- Physician-patient electronic communication
- Medical ethics
Science of Family Medicine (EBM)
The "Science of Family Medicine" is our evidence-based medicine curriculum, designed to give residents the skills required to practice information mastery over the course of their professional lives. We are inspired by the idea that, "We do not have to know everything, but we have to know how to find it!" SOFM enjoys an inter-professional teaching team: Dr. Celeste Song, faculty physician with the Department of Family Medicine, Ms. Lorraine Porcello, Branch Librarian at Highland Hospital, and Dr. Brooke Levandowski, epidemiologist with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. We bring EBM to life! (Okay, the food helps, too.) This is a resident-driven curriculum, occurring cyclically over the course of the third year. As a participant, residents serve as leaders of one of twelve EBM cycles. Each leader proposes a clinical question, generated by their own practice. Over the course of the next four weeks, the R3 group collaborates to survey the secondary literature and select and analyze a primary paper that best answers the question. The leader then prepares a summary presentation, given during our Thursday teaching afternoons, tying together the clinical scenario, point-of-care literature, the chosen piece of primary literature, and an "EBM Pearl". They then relate it back to clinical care, and ask the group to reflect on how (or if) to utilize the results of the primary paper. Far from a dry academic exercise, each session helps us become better clinician-educators, for each other and for our patients.
The Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine sponsor a weekly Primary Care Grand Rounds for residents, faculty, community attendings and specialists at Highland Hospital. Our department chair, Dr. Colleen Fogarty, co-coordinates this series of presentations by both primary care physicians and specialists on a wide range of primary care related topics.
Medicine Noon Conferences
Noon conferences are held five days a week at Highland Hospital in conjunction with the internal medicine residency program. The conference series includes the following core topics:
- Inpatient medicine
- Geriatric medicine
- Bedside rounds for interesting physical exam findings
- EKG interpretation
- Palliative care
- Difficult hospital-to-home discharge planning
Lunch is provided.