Residency

Questions to ask for better residency program outcomes

Residency Program Insider, August 12, 2008

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It’s the start of August. In the medical education universe, that means the graduates have left. The new residents are losing the “deer-in-the-headlights” look, and the rotation, call, and academic schedules are finally in place. We’ve hit what many coordinators consider the least busy time in the program year. Use this quiet time to plan and incorporate changes for the rest of the year.

As a starting point, consider the events of the previous year, such as recruitment, graduation, orientation, and other department activities. Look at the schedules and program commitments on the calendar, like the didactics schedule, or the preparation for a site visit.

Now, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did we do right?
  • What did we miss?
  • How can we make it better?

For instance, look at your recruitment and Match process. If you match in your top ten year after year, you are doing it right! But is there something you can tweak to make it easier? Perhaps you can make reply templates in your ERAS mail program to streamline your communication with applicants, or run your rank order list meeting differently.

Or, if your residents track their patient encounters and procedures for accreditation, what can you do to make their data entry more timely and efficient?

Ideally, this questioning and planning process is constantly and consistently applied throughout the whole year by the program staff, and especially by the coordinator. This kind of questioning can identify those events and processes that are essential to running a smooth program and help to eliminate outdated actions and unnecessary paperwork.

What’s next? It’s time for a well-deserved vacation!


Anne O'Hearn, C-TAGME
Program coordinator
Obstetrics and gynecology
Albert Einstein Medical Center
Philadelphia



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