General Principles

Program Goals and Objectives

ICUThe ACGME defines Internal Medicine as the discipline encompassing the study and practice of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatment of men and women from adolescence to old age, during health and all stages of illness. Intrinsic to the discipline are scientific knowledge, the scientific method of problem solving, evidence-based decision making, a commitment to lifelong learning, and an attitude of caring that is derived from humanistic and professional values.

Our program's overall educational goal is to provide a learning environment which fosters the growth of young physicians into highly competent generalist physicians, across the six areas defined by the ACGME: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, and Systems-Based Practice.  Upon completion of our program, residents are confident internists, ready to pursue all the vast opportunities that internal medicine provides in today’s world, including academic general internal medicine, primary care practice, hospitalist medicine, and subspecialty academic fellowships.

Conceptual Framework

Unity’s educational program is built around the following conceptual framework:

Patient-Based Learning

Residency is essentially a patient-based learning experience.  The key to an excellent program is proper balance of service versus education, one that makes each patient encounter a learning opportunity.  To provide the optimal learning experience, duty hours regulations are strictly followed, resident teams are right-sized, and conflicts between inpatient and outpatient responsibilities are minimized.  Faculty focus on patient–based teaching, across all settings, from the outpatient clinic to the Intensive Care Unit and everything in between. Chief Residents and faculty conduct case-based Morning Reports in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.  

Active Learning

Although we have an outstanding array of didactic sessions and conferences, we realize that residents learn the most from their minute-to-minute experiences on the wards and in the clinics, while taking active responsibility for their patients’ care. Senior residents are expected to lead discussions during Attending Rounds, and all interns and students are given opportunities to educate the group.  Our state-of-the-art conference facility is designed to encourage maximum interaction between residents and faculty.  Resident lecturers are an integral part of our Noon Conference series, as each categorical resident prepares three case conferences, one Clinicopathologic Conference (CPC), and one Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) conference during the 3 years of training.  

Learner-Based Learning

Each of our residents is unique, so the training he/she receives must be individualized. Learner-based learning is an educational method that identifies the individual's strengths and weaknesses to tailor the educational program and to incorporate the interests of the resident in the context of his/her long-term career plans. The faculty are actively involved in all rotations so that a comprehensive evaluation of these strengths and weaknesses may be performed. At the end of each rotation, the resident reviews his/her performance with the faculty preceptor, and the information gathered is placed in the resident's permanent file. Every six months, each resident meets with the Program Director or an Associate Program Director to discuss his/her performance evaluations, scholarly activity, and career planning. In addition, the ABIM In-Training Examination is offered each year of a resident's term; this provides quantitative information regarding the resident's medical knowledge and offers insights on the resident's performance when compared with other trainees in internal medicine throughout the country.

Evidence-Based Learning

As medicine advances, and new scientific discoveries unfold, a practicing physician must have at his/her disposal methods to evaluate those advances.  EBM, at its core, provides a physician with a most important skill: To critically appraise what he/she reads and what he/she hears. As part of this competency, we expect residents to formulate questions as they arise during patient care and to seek evidence from the literature to support their decisions. This is essential to the life-long learning that is central to any physician’s career and is the concept that unifies the program’s structural elements of patient-based learning, active learning, and learner based learning.

As part of our ambulatory conference series, residents gain first-hand experience in analyzing peer-reviewed journals from the current medical literature. In the Noon Conference series, there is a monthly EBM presentation given by a second-year resident.  

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