Structuring your didactic curriculum

Residency Program Insider, December 15, 2016

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from The Residency Program Director’s Handbook, Second Edition. For more information about this book, click here.

The ACGME Common Program Requirements stipulate that the residency program must provide regularly scheduled didactics. The didactic curriculum should include medical knowledge topics recommended by the review committee of your specialty, as well as those covered by your specialty board examination. But, this curriculum should not be limited to medical knowledge and should make an effort to cover topics in other core competencies as well.

One way to provide structured, traditional didactics includes the traditional “noon conference,” in which learners attend a lecture during a one-hour session over the noon hour. This format offers the advantage of integrating learning into a period of time when residents would break to eat a meal, thus minimizing time away from patient care and providing shorter learning activities that are more consistent with adult learning theory. However, protecting this time for learning can often be challenging. Many programs will mandate that faculty, fellows, mid-level providers, or chief residents return pages and phone calls for residents during conference times to prevent nonemergent distractions.

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