Residency

Orientation basics

Residency Program Insider, June 5, 2007

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A comprehensive, well-planned and well-organized orientation for incoming house staff is invaluable both to the new trainees and to program personnel.  It will get your new residents off to a good strong start in their training and will save you much aggravation in the months to come. 

Usually the institution will have some sort of general orientation for all incoming house staff.  This house-wide orientation will generally cover such topics as hospital policies and procedures, mandatory training requirements, benefits enrollment, issuance of identification badges, parking, pagers, and the other miscellany common to all house staff.

In addition, programs should schedule their own orientation to supplement the general orientation with information new trainees will need as they begin training in a particular program. The department orientation is much more focused.  It may even continue for days or weeks with a variety of speakers until all topics are covered.  Typical orientation topics may include:

  • program policies and procedures
  • program goals and objectives
  • instruction on all information systems the trainees will be using (along with issuance of user ID's and passwords)
  • compliance and risk management training
  • rotation, call, and vacation scheduling
  • photographs
  • issuance of educational materials, radiation dosimeters, or other items needed by your trainees
  • documentation and portfolio instruction
  • evaluation process
  • specific orientation to the different services where they will rotate
  • Appropriate program personnel, including the coordinator and the chief residents, should participate in this program orientation.  

Along with all the required topics, it's also nice to have the department chair make some welcoming remarks, provide breakfast and/or lunch, hand out "freebies," etc. as they begin their training.   The house staff may want to arrange a welcome party or picnic of some type for their new colleagues as well.

All the best,

Dianna Otterstad, BA

Education Coordinator

Department of Radiology

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dallas, TX

Editor's Note: The above information is excerpted from HCPro's upcoming book, The Residency Coordinator's Handbook, by Dianna Otterstand, BA.



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