Structuring your program's didactic curriculum

Residency Program Insider, April 17, 2019

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, The Residency Program Director’s Handbook, Second Edition. For more information about this book or to order your copy, click here.
The 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, midlevel providers, or chief residents return pages and phone calls for residents during conference times to prevent nonemergent distractions.

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