Our residency goal is to provide an outstanding learning environment for our residents while providing excellent care for our patients. Didactics - a formal curriculum as well as bedside and ED chalk talks - are an integral part of our resident's daily experience. We believe an excellent fund of knowledge is best achieved using varied and flexible teaching techniques. We are constantly introducing new and innovative approaches into our didactic curriculum, frequently based on house staff input.
The foundation of our didactic program is a 5 hour conference held every Wednesday morning. The format of the 5 1-hour blocks varies, but our relatively informal and always interactive case conference (M&M) is the highlight. There are usually 2 hours of core content lecture presented by residents, attendings and invited experts. The curriculum has recently been restructured into thematic blocks (Trauma, Cardiology, etc.) with varied teaching formats during conference time. The new curriculum is tailored to cover the entire practice of EM twice during the 4 years of training. Once a month we have interdisciplinary conferences with the trauma service and internal medicine. Time is also allotted for board review, focusing on topics covered on the inservice exam and written boards. We also have focused sessions on procedural skills, ECG and radiology interpretation medical legal and community Emergency Medicine and administrative issues. Our conference is famous for being not only extremely educational, but a forum for creativity and humor by the presenter and the audience.
Once a month, on the 3rd Thursday afternoon, there is a department wide journal club and follow-up case conference and Research in Progress meeting. Follow-up conference is a rapid fire series of interesting cases recently presenting to our ED, with emphasis on their final diagnosis and outcomes. It is presented by one resident and one attending. Journal club provides a forum for reviewing the latest practice changing research to affect Emergency Medicine. Three teams comprised of 1 residents and 1 attending select and present an article. A statistics mini-lecture presented by one of the attendings. Journal often takes place at a local restaurant or the home of an attending.
Aside from the formal curriculum, didactics are integrated into clinical ED shifts in a number of ways. Since bedside teaching has always been one of the corner stones of the residency, we have taken the additional step of creating dedicated teaching shifts in the ED. Monday through Friday, a 6 hour ED shift is assigned to a faculty member who serves as a dedicated teacher with reduced patient care responsibilities. The teaching attending focuses on interesting cases, coaches procedures, directly observes H & Ps, and reviews and teaches about interesting physical findings and radiologic studies. This new program, which nicely complements our everyday teaching in the ED, has been enormously successful.
Daily didactics also include three "mini conferences" in the ED, in which the attending physician presents an interesting or difficult case for analysis. All the staff and medical students working in the ED participate, with the goal of expanding differential diagnosis and management skills. These "mini conferences" are presented over breakfast, lunch, and dinner and make up a very important part of residency life.
A new simulation curriculum, under the direction of our Simulation Coordinator and our Educational Fellow, use a state of the art, high-fidelity simulator, to augment our traditional educational experiences. These simulator sessions are used throughout the year and at all levels of training.
The housestaff at Highland feel strongly that some of the best teaching comes from their peers. Each resident contributes to the formal curriculum by offering one core lecture per year, presenting at case conference (M&M), putting together a full follow-up case conference, presenting an article at journal club and contributing monthly to the medical student lecture series. Moreover, the Highland residency boasts a strong sense of camaraderie that is exemplified in the teaching and learning that takes place within the ED between the different classes and between the different levels of provider. Everyone benefits from the collective experience and knowledge of attendings, fellows, residents, medical students and physician assistants.
We are proud of our nurturing and interactive academic environment at Highland.