Life as a Resident

Innovation in Our Residency Program: A Resident's Perspective

Being the first class of any residency program can be intimidating but being told by your Program Director on the first day, that this is "Your program and you will shape it the way it suits your educational needs" landed us in a different gear. My Program Director tapped into our intrinsic motivation and what it really did was pushed us as a class into a whole new world, where we found ourselves running not to compete against each other but to create, to learn and shape the way we wanted things.

While I was running around on the floors and answering the pager with a proud "this is the Internal Medicine Resident on call" or whether it was pumping energy into morning reports and noon conferences---my entire class felt the energy and passion everyday. Changes happened and we ran with it. People worked as teams and teams built solutions---everybody found their specific skill set that they brought---the dreamer, the realist and the absolutist.

To start off, our Program Director told us to question everything (in a nice way) and not let anything stick to us unless we were convinced ourselves. Then, he got us new iPads which made us really happy. But what the iPads really did was create a common digital platform for content delivery---be it the electronic medical record, test questions, audience response systems. But having a medium is as good as having technology and not doing anything with it---so creating a closed social network where learning could be fostered by a little nudge was next. Then, we went about creating our own signout system. Next, we created a common online space to share lectures, morning reports and subspecialty talks and now, we're creating this website.

None of us really were "rockstars" at writing. Our attendings literally walked us through few abstracts and basic case reports and lo and behold, we ran with it submitting abstracts after abstracts---mobbing local conferences with our posters.

So, what really works here everyday? I am convinced it's the environment and people. We eat lunch together, work together, have picnics together and really are a family here. We let people rock our boats enough to keep the new ideas flowing but at the core of the program we're a dedicated, passionate group of residents who'd do anything to keep this nebulous energy alive.