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Given the discrepancy between men and women’s equal rates of medical school matriculation and their rates of academic promotion and leadership role acquisition, the need to provide mentorship and education to women in academic medicine is becoming increasingly recognized. Numerous large-scale programs have been developed to provide support and resources for women’s enrichment and retention in academic medicine. Analyses of contributory factors to the aforementioned discrepancy commonly cite insufficient mentoring and role modeling as well as challenges with organizational navigation. Since residency training has been shown to be a critical juncture for making the decision to pursue an academic career, there is a need for innovative and tailored educational and mentorship programs targeting residents. Acknowledging residents’ competing demands, we designed a program to provide easily accessible mentorship and contact with role models for our trainees at the departmental and institutional levels. We believe that this is an important step towards encouraging women’s pursuit of academic careers. Our model may be useful to other emergency medicine residencies looking to provide such opportunities for their women residents.
Few residency curricular interventions have focused on improving well-being and promoting humanism. We describe the implementation of a novel curriculum based on small-group reflection rounds—the Emergency Medicine Reflection Rounds (EMRR)—at a 4-year US emergency medicine (EM) residency. During the inaugural year (2010–2011), nine residents volunteered to take part in 1-hour monthly sessions with faculty facilitators. Residents were provided with a confidential environment to discuss difficult ethical and interpersonal encounters from their clinical experiences. Ongoing feedback from participants was solicited, culminating with a four-question survey in which all respondents remarked that the EMRR contributed to improving their own well-being and agreed that it provided an important forum for residents to discuss difficult issues in a safe environment. In this article, we describe our innovation as an example of a wellness initiative that has promoted reflective practice and fostered cooperative learning around the communication, professional, and ethical challenges inherent in EM practice. Our EMRR model may be useful to other EM residences looking to supplement their wellness curriculum.
The integration of simulation into a medical postgraduate curriculum requires informed implementation in ways that take advantage of simulation's unique ability to facilitate guided application of new knowledge. It requires review of all objectives of the training program to ensure that each of these is mapped to the best possible learning method. To take maximum advantage of the training enhancements made possible by medical simulation, it must be integrated into the learning environment, not simply added on. This requires extensive reorganization of the resident didactic schedule.
Simulation planning is supported by clear learning objectives that define the goals of the session, promote learner investment in active participation and allow for structured feedback for individual growth. Teaching to specific objectives using simulation requires an increased time commitment from teaching faculty and careful logistical planning to facilitate flow of learners through a series of simulations in ways that maximize learning. When applied appropriately, simulation offers a unique opportunity for learners to acquire and apply new knowledge under direct supervision in ways that complement the rest of the educational curriculum. In addition, simulation can improve the learning environment and morale of residents, provide additional methods of resident evaluation, and facilitate the introduction of new technologies and procedures into the clinical environment.
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