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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, applicants have asked us a lot of great questions. These queries, together with the answers we’ve provided, give you an excellent source of information on a range of important issues.

Q: How are residents’ requests for leave (maternity/paternity, sickness, vacation) handled?

A: Sick leave, short-term disability, maternity and paternity leaves and family hardship leaves are all available. Leave policies are listed clearly in the department’s “Policy and Procedure Manual.” For brief absences, residents are expected to cover each other’s ambulatory patients and, in some settings, cover inpatient responsibilities as well. In general, the impact of one resident’s leave on his or her colleagues is minimal. We make every effort to maintain the integrity of each resident’s experience.

Q: To what extent do your residents interact with each other over the course of the four years of training?

A: We strongly encourage interactions between residents across the four years of training. PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents now rotate together on the same inpatient service and a senior resident is often available to supervise and mentor. A senior resident is typically available to supervise and mentor during the PGY-3 rotation at Strong Ties, our long-term care program.

Weekly lunches rotate between a Journal Club, Program Director's Lunch, and case discussion. What's more, time is set aside once a month for residents to gather for lunch and reconnect without an agenda. Program Director's lunches are used to disseminate information to residents, overview policy changes and schedules, hear from residents involved in various committees, and discuss concerns and problematic issues.

The residents also have two day-long, off-site retreats each year. These time-honored gatherings are another important means for building cohesion among the group and providing the department’s administration with valuable feedback.

A resident resource room was created by the Department – solely for residents’ use – to provide a comfortable setting that fosters camaraderie and scholarship.

Q: To what extent do trainees have input into the organization, evaluation and evolution of the training program?

A: Residents are the key contributors to our Curriculum Committee, and are a part of other committees convened to examine educational issues. Feedback from residents is welcomed and sought in the course of daily work. Residents are aware of ways to submit feedback – anonymously if desired – regarding concerns about behaviors or unprofessional conduct, about clinical near misses or events, and other concerns.

Q: How are co-curricular activities supported by your program (i.e., research, policy training, organized medicine, off-site relations, and community service)?

A: Residents are encouraged to become involved in research sponsored by faculty members and supported by their grants. Residents can also develop their own research, and there is a 'research pathway' available for those who want to incorporate a substantial component of research into their careers. Residents can also apply to the Department Chair for funds to support specific, innovative projects. Plus, residents have the opportunity to take part in a variety of extra-curricular activities, such as volunteering at St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center Mental Health Clinic - a rewarding experience for residents and attendings for over 15 years.