Intern Survival Series
Intern survival series focuses on fundamental concepts taught by our chief residents to the new interns during the months of July and August. The objective of the lecture series is to teach interns how to medically manage acute scenarios that they will often come across during their day and night shifts. Examples of lectures include work up and management of Altered Mental Status, Hypoglycemia & Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Fever, Shock and Gastrointestinal Emergencies. Additional lectures include Transitions of Care and Antibiotic Choice. We often will have guest lecturers who are typically fellows from various subspecialties. The sessions are made to be interactive in an effort to make interns feel more comfortable and confident approaching these medical scenarios.
Intern Boot Camp
During the first ambulatory week of intern year, each cohort meets for Intern Boot Camp, an immersive week-long experience filled with didactics and simulation work to prepare interns for residency. Interns receive lectures about topics such as clinical reasoning, quality improvement and patient safety, basic EKG interpretation, approach to acid-base, CXR interpretation, intro to ICU medicine, and “bugs and drugs.” During the afternoons, interns engage in hands-on simulation sessions to practice cardiac auscultation, central line insertion, lumbar puncture, and arthrocentesis. Finally, each group participates in daily interactive simulation cases to review the approach to common clinical scenarios.
Our addiction medicine “selective” adds a unique experience to training at Cooper University Hospital. Unlike other electives, a selective is an integral part of our curriculum that is built into all resident schedules. Working in Camden, NJ exposes us to an underserved population, many of whom are active drug users who frequently present to the hospital with withdrawal or overdose symptoms. As medical students and residents, our exposure to and understanding of these situations often only grazes the surface. The Addiction Medicine selective at Cooper allows us to delve further into the pathophysiology behind these addictions, the various options for treatment, and—equally important—the social barriers that can alter what treatment options are appropriate for each patient. Our addiction medicine training allows us to become more effective and empathetic physicians towards patients affected by the opioid epidemic.
Fundamental Critical Care Support Course (FCCS)
Society of Critical Care Medicine, led by our Senior Critical Care Attending, Dr. R. Phillip Dellinger, created a Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) Course that is now taught worldwide. The course is provided to all Internal Medicine house officers during the first few months of internship. It prepares them for the intensive care unit, focusing on the first 24 hours of management and the recognition and management of sudden clinical deteriorations in the critically ill patient. Skills learned during morning didactic lectures are applied during afternoon interactive stations. This course has been given to thousands of trainees in dozens of countries and the text has been translated into seven languages.
Bedside Ultrasound Course
Through a partnership with the Division of Critical Care Medicine, our residency began a novel bedside ultrasound course in the fall of 2011. Believing that the ultrasound machine is an extension of the physical examination, house officers undergo a series of didactic hands-on sessions in order to perform diagnostic techniques used to direct bedside diagnosis and management. Residents are trained in central venous access, diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis, visual detection of thoracic and intra-abdominal pathology, and bedside echocardiography.
The Simulation Lab Experience
Cooper Internal Medicine Residents regularly use the Simulation Lab located in Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. This includes simulated medical emergencies, complex medical cases led by senior residents during didactic sessions of Ambulatory weeks, practice using ultrasound on standardized patients, and the use of Harvey, an advanced simulation mannequin to improve knowledge of cardiac murmurs. Repetition, when combined with formative teaching and feedback, leads to sustained improvements in the knowledge, skills and attitudes of our residents that further enhance patient care, communication skills, and systems-based practice throughout the hospital.
Recognizing the importance of senior residents in the education of interns, medical students, and patients, the program has developed a formal teaching curriculum to prepare residents to be instructors in medical education (PRIME). PRIME reflects the development of medical knowledge: professionalism, recorder, interpreter, manager, and educator. This curriculum is incorporated into real-time clinical care on the wards and is supplemented by formal didactic sessions. It covers a range of topics including team leadership, bedside teaching, leading effective rounds, and giving and receiving feedback. Resident-led work rounds are frequently observed by senior medical educators, after which residents are provided with brief and focused feedback designed to foster leadership and management skills that would otherwise not be addressed in any formal curriculum.
Medical Humanities Courses
Cooper University Hospital has been a leader in exploring the use of literature and music as a tool to help instruct residents in the medical humanities. We have a very successful Literature and Medicine course, funded by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.