Revising your resident manuals/handbook

Residency Program Insider, May 11, 2018

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Resident Recruitment: From ERAS to Match. For more information about this book, click here.

The program manager, in conjunction with the education committee, will be responsible for updating all resident manuals and handbooks before the start of the new academic year in July. This process should start immediately after the annual Program Evaluation and Improvement meeting, as the focus of this meeting should be on what can be done to improve the program.

Just as programs vary in size and format, so do the documents that are distributed to the residents. However, one time is constant with all programs: the academic lecture calendar. Regardless of size and specialty, all programs offer didactic sessions. The difference may lie in how the content is delivered. Methods may include the following:

  • PowerPoint lectures
  • Podcasts
  • Handouts
  • Online modules
  • Lecture and discussion format (e.g., faculty in front of the classroom leading a discussion)

In this technological age, documents may be distributed electronically and stored on a shared drive that is accessed by the program personnel and residents. Alternatively, the program may prefer the old method of creating handbooks for distribution. The downside of distributing hard copies is that when revisions are made midyear, program personnel must work much harder to ensure that all residents have a copy and that each handbook is updated (provided that the resident can still locate the handbook). Electronic revisions are faster, more accurate, and more easily accessed by the resident (plus fewer trees are destroyed). Such versions also allow the resident who is postcall and not available for the lecture to have access to the information.

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