Conferences & Curriculum

Our didactic block is on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Ascension Medical Group Saint Thomas (Saint Louise Clinic).  Conferences may also be attended virtually if the resident is on a hospital rotation.  Conference time is protected.  Sometimes there are hourly lectures by a variety of speakers including core faculty, residents, or guest speakers and sometimes there would be a longer session or workshop.  We also utilize interactive podcasts, AAFP Board Review Videos, and have ultrasound training utilizing SonoSim.  The schedule will vary from week to week.  Some didactic sessions will include:

Journal Club is an hour-long session held monthly.  Journal Club consists of a resident critically reviewing a recent journal article, emphasizing the importance of evidence-based medicine.  A faculty member with expertise in critical literature analysis assists with the election and review of the journal articles.  All residents are required to participate in the journal club series.

AFP Journal Review is a monthly session to review the prior month’s journal articles.  Residents are broken into groups to discuss articles with core faculty.

Board Review is an hour-long session held several times a month with the goal to prepare residents for the ABFM certifying examination.

Grand Rounds is held monthly on Thursdays at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford in conjunction with the Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Grand Rounds today are an integral component of medical education.  The presenter is either a member of our faculty or a visiting faculty lecturer.  New information is taught, and clinical reasoning skills are enhanced.  They present clinical problems in medicine by focusing on current or interesting cases and are sometimes utilized for dissemination of new research information.

A Resident Faculty Meeting is held the first Tuesday of each month from 12:45 – 1:30 p.m. at Ascension Medical Group Saint Thomas (Saint Louise Clinic).  This is a good time to discuss any new policies or procedures, ask questions, notify faculty of any rotation or clinic issues etc.

An Office-Wide Meeting is held the second Tuesday of each month from 12:45 – 1:30 p.m.  Clinic staff, faculty, and residents attend.  Information is shared with the group by the Clinic Manager.  This is a good time for everyone to come together to get to know each other and discuss what is working well or what could be improved in the clinic.

A Resident-Only Meeting is held the third Tuesday of each month from 12:45 – 1:30 p.m. at Ascension Medical Group Saint Thomas (Saint Louise Clinic).  This meeting is run by the Chief Residents.  This is a protected time for the residents to share how things are going and discuss any problems they may be encountering or provide any ideas they have regarding the program.  The Chief Residents bring this anonymous information to the core faculty for review.

We also have morning report and attending rounds daily. Faculty and local volunteer specialists hold morning report at the hospital prior to rounds.  During this time residents will make case presentations and will have the opportunity to develop a plan of care for patients with different diagnoses.  This provides an interactive setting that enables residents to work closely with faculty and simulate a case scenario of a patient that has typically been admitted the night before. Regarding attending rounds, the residents will float throughout the facility and have the opportunity to see and discuss adult and pediatric patient management with faculty directly after morning report.  Rounds are conducted at the bedside but also extend to radiology where physicians can view CT scans, MRI’s, and ultrasound that may be applicable to their patients.  The roaming nature of rounds enables residents to gather the necessary details of each patient to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Residency is hard. It’s hard on the residents, it’s hard on their families, and it can take a significant physical and mental toll. However, we are committed to resident wellness to mitigate the challenges faced by our residents. We actively cultivate and seek to improve our resident wellness curriculum. Every month, we have a resident wellness meeting. Each meeting is centered around one of the four pillars of wellness: physical, psychological, professional, and social. We also have a resident representative on the wellness committee whose primary job is to be a resource for any resident that may be struggling. The resident wellness representative is also responsible for helping to plan the annual retreat, team building events, and the trainee appreciation event.

Wellness Pillars

  • Physical: Physical wellness covers a variety of healthy behaviors such as adequate exercise, proper nutrition, and refraining from harmful habits such as drug use and alcohol abuse.
  • Psychological: Psychological wellness involves understanding and respecting your feelings/values/attitudes, appreciating the feelings of others, and managing your emotions in a constructive way.
  • Professional: Professional wellness centers around preparing for and participating in work that provides personal satisfaction and life enrichment that is consistent with your values, goals, and lifestyle.
  • Social: Social wellness refers to developing good communication skills, developing intimacy with others, and creating a support network of friends and family members.

"Didactics are a big part of learning during residency, and our faculty do a great job of ensuring we make good use of that time. We cover various topics and I’ve been extremely impressed and grateful for the number of doctors in the community who are willing to commit their time to help teach us." ​-- Tyler Melson, Class of 2018
"The program’s didactics are robust and occur daily to supplement clinical experiences.”  
-- Thomas Thacker, Class of 2020

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