Educational Experience

The Internal Medicine Residency Program offers a professionally tailored educational experience. In our Categorical Program, residents are exposed to a variety of clinical experiences to become well rounded physicians and are given progressive and increasing medical responsibilities through the course of their three years of training. Our program prepares residents well for subspecialty training or primary care practice in the inpatient or ambulatory settings. Once a career path is established, residents have great flexibility in developing a curriculum centered around their career aspirations. Residents are offered their choice of electives every year to encourage them to explore different specialties in and outside of Internal Medicine. Cooper also encourages residents to apply for an outside elective during their PGY 2 and 3 years. In addition, our Global Health Elective allows two of our senior residents to travel to Ghana to serve patients in a rural setting.

Cooper also offers a Primary Care Track for two residents per year who are interested in a schedule that emphasizes outpatient, community-based, academic medicine.

Sample Schedule

PGY-1  
2.5 months Medical Teaching Service
2.5 months Ambulatory Medicine
2.5 months Electives, Subspecialties
1 month Night Medicine
1 month CCU
1 month ICU
0.5 months Cardiology Progressive Care Unit (PCU)
1 month Vacation and Holiday Week

   

PGY-2  
2.5 months Electives, Subspecialties
2.5 months Ambulatory Medicine
2.5 months Electives, Subspecialties
1.5 months CCU or ICU
1 month Night Medicine
0.5 months Oncology Teaching Service
0.5 months Hospitalist Service working one-on-one with Attending
1 month Vacation and Holiday Week

   

PGY-3  
2 months Electives, Subspecialties
2.5 months Ambulatory Medicine
1.5 months Medical Teaching Service
1 month Back Up Resident
1 month Emergency Medicine
1 month ICU or CCU
0.5 months Geriatric Medicine
0.5 months Palliative Care
0.5 months Oncology Teaching Service
0.5 months Hospitalist Service Working one-on-one with Attending

Primary Care Track

Please click here for more information.

Medicine Preliminary Year

One preliminary year position in medicine is offered this year. The block schedules are geared toward providing preliminary residents with an excellent global Internal Medicine experience while maintaining flexibility so that they are able to complete preferred rotations for their eventual career goals.

Anesthesia Transitional Year

We now have four positions dedicated to an Anesthesia Transitional Year. Transitional year residents rotate on our Medical Teaching Services, ICU and Night Medicine Services. Please click here to apply.

Neurology Preliminary Year

We have three Neurology Preliminary Year positions available. Residents that match into Cooper’s Neurology program will complete a preliminary year identical to the Medicine Preliminary Year, then complete their additional three years of Neurology training. Please click here to apply.

The 4+1 Schedule

Residents in our program are assigned to one of five resident cohorts (Cohorts 1-5) that consist of 10 to 12 residents who vary in their year of training. Each cohort is headed by a senior Co-Chief Resident. The academic year is divided into 10 five-week blocks. Four weeks of each block are devoted to traditional Internal Medicine clinical rotations such as the inpatient Medical Teaching Service, ICU, CCU, night medicine, elective, etc. During these experiences, residents do not partake in the continuity clinic, allowing for greater immersion and continuity on these services, which enhances education and patient care.

Ambulatory Experience

Within the 4+1 schedule, every fifth week is protected ambulatory training time where six to seven half-day sessions are dedicated outpatient continuity clinic experiences. The remaining sessions are dedicated to suburban clinic, didactic sessions, and completion of a cohort quality improvement project and simulation experiences. Having dedicated time devoted to the outpatient setting allows for improved continuity of care and the development of a group practice environment.

In addition, the 4+1 schedule allows for preservation of resident autonomy, providing minimal interruption during resident inpatient and outpatient rotations and promoting true immersion into each clinical training environment. To improve quality of care and patient satisfaction, we have created practice groups that include residents from each cohort. This ensures that patient issues may be addressed by a limited number of physicians who will promote teamwork and improve the continuity of care within the ambulatory practice.

Each resident spends the majority of their sessions in a designated primary site, the three primary sites are: The Resident Clinic at Three Cooper Plaza in Camden, Cooper Internal Medicine Office in Willingboro NJ, and The Camden VA Primary Care Clinic. In addition to their primary site, residents also have a 2-3 half sessions in a suburban clinic with attending supervision. There are also opportunities for residents to have a half session practicing in the HIV clinic or home nursing visits.

Finally, to enhance the educational experience of our residents, we have created a half-day didactic session that occurs every Tuesday afternoon each ambulatory week that is specifically devoted to pertinent topics in outpatient medicine. These sessions are run by our Resident Clinic Director, Dr. Alexandra Lane, to further augment our outpatient curriculum. During our Tuesday afternoon sessions, residents discuss updates to the group’s resident-run Quality Improvement (QI) project. The QI curriculum enables residents to collaborate with members of their cohort as well as other divisions to create and carry out their own projects. This year-long curriculum includes formulating a project as a cohort, assigning individual tasks, and collaborating with physicians from other specialties. It culminates with a poster presentation at the annual Camden Scholars’ Forum Poster Contest. The Tuesday afternoon didactic session ends with use of the SIM center to simulate advanced diagnostic and emergent cases. Our Chief Residents and PGY-3 senior residents are directly responsible for creating the simulation cases, as well as running the cases and providing teaching and feedback afterwards.

Sample Ambulatory Week Schedule

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM Primary Clinic Site Suburban Clinic Suburban Clinic Telephone Medicine (Admin) Primary Clinic Site
PM Primary Clinic Site Didactics/SIM/QI Primary Clinic Site* Suburban Clinic Primary Clinic Site

*this session is used for an additional Primary Care Didactics specifically for Primary Care Residents conducted by the Primary Care PD, Dr. Jenny Melli.

Medical Teaching Service

The Medical Teaching Service is where residents learn the core of inpatient medicine and treatment. Each inpatient team consists of a teaching Hospitalist, a PGY-2 or PGY-3 senior resident, a PGY-1 resident, and a variable number of medical students. The resident and intern work as a team to care for hospitalized patients under the supervision of the Hospitalist. Bedside teaching rounds are conducted daily and focus on clinical reasoning, physical examination skills, advanced communication skills, and evidence-based diagnosis and management. Each medical team complies with the ACGME required cap of 14 patients.

Daytime admissions to the service are performed by the teams during early (11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) and late (3:30-7:30 p.m.) shifts that rotate on a Q5 cycle. This process improves patient care, limits hand-offs and maximizes resident continuity. Nighttime admissions are performed by the Night Medicine Team and are distributed to the day teams the following morning.

Medical Teaching Service Daytime Schedule

6:30 a.m. Sign In
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Teaching Rounds
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Conference (topics vary each day)
4:30 p.m. Sign out 1
8 p.m. Sign out 2

Night Medicine

The Night Medicine System is established on our Medical Teaching Service, ICU and CCU rotations. To deliver optimal patient care, our residents have supervision from both attendings and fellows 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

To optimize the transitions of care, we have instituted a resident driven, evidence-based sign-out system. This process has been shown to improve patient care and minimize medical errors. Night float rounds are conducted each morning by a member of the program leadership to discuss challenging cases encountered by both the admitting and cross-covering teams.

Intensive Care

Cooper University Hospital has a state-of-the-art 30-bed medical/surgical intensive care unit (ICU). The ICU is staffed by nationally and internationally renowned academic intensivists. The Cooper ICU is a tertiary referral center for the entire South Jersey region, leading to a very complex and diverse patient population in the ICU. Internal Medicine residents work together with Emergency Medicine and Anesthesia residents and Critical Care fellows to provide the most advanced care to critically ill patients afflicted by septic shock, respiratory failure, and other medical emergencies.

Cardiology Experience

Cooper University Hospital has a 12-bed coronary care unit (CCU) and a 36-bed cardiology step down unit with telemetry called the progressive care unit (PCU).

For residents on the CCU rotation, the service is composed of two PGY-2 or PGY-3 residents and one PGY-1 resident. Daily bedside rounds in the CCU focus on protocol-driven management of acute coronary syndrome, cardiogenic shock, and arrhythmias.

Each PCU team is composed of one PGY-1 resident, a Cardiology fellow, and a Cardiology attending. Clinical instruction focuses on risk stratification of chest pain as well as evidence based management of congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, pericardial disease, and valvular disease. The Cardiology faculty and fellows instruct the residents on the nuances of cardiac auscultation as well as interpretation of electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and coronary angiograms.

The Cooper Heart Institute has undergone tremendous growth in the past decade. We have nationally recognized cardiologists on faculty, state-of-the-art technologies and the most advanced treatment options, providing an excellent cardiology experience to medicine house staff.