Residency

Tip of the week: Brief residents before an ACGME site visit

Residency Program Insider, December 30, 2008

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Although the ACGME discourages preparation of residents for a site visit, you may brief them before the big day. It is essential to understand the subtle difference between preparing and briefing.

Preparing implies that you will provide residents answers to expected site visitor questions; whereas, briefing means you will provide residents with an overview of anticipated questions. Further, a proper, acceptable briefing includes the purpose and process of accreditation and reminds residents of key features of the program, including:

  • Implementation of the core competencies
  • Duty hour policies and monitoring
  • Location of policies


Convey to residents that you want them to answer all of the site visitor’s questions honestly and respectfully. You do not want to put words in their mouth or suggest that they should answer particular questions in a certain way.

Let the residents know that if they do not know the answer to a question, such as a first-year not knowing something that you program teaches residents in their third year of training, it is better for that first-year resident to defer to a more seasoned resident than to make up an answer.

This week’s tip comes from Insider’s Guide to the ACGME Site Visit, Second Edition, by Kathryn Andolsek, MD, MPH, and Shepard Cohen.



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