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.
Quality Improvement Project
Each cohort has an annual resident-run Quality Improvement (QI) project led by PGY-2 residents. Based on their clinical experiences, residents work together to create and carry-out a quality improvement project that takes place over the course of the academic year. These projects address potential areas for improvement across the hospital and outpatient settings. Examples of prior projects include Epic-based pop-ups regarding daily warfarin ordering, to eliminating ordering folate levels for hospitalized patients, to Hepatitis C screening reminders for clinic visits. The project culminates in a poster presented at the annual Camden Scholars’ Forum Poster Contest.
Global Health Elective
The Global Health Initiative allows residents to experience the healthcare system in Ghana. International Healthcare Volunteers Inc. (IHCV), a nonprofit organization that provides free healthcare to women and their families in underserved areas, funds this program. Two senior internal medicine residents work alongside other Cooper residents and attending physicians from obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, emergency medicine and pediatrics to care for patients in inpatient and ambulatory settings during a two-week visit to Ghana.
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.
The Research Curriculum enables residents to work with a research mentor in their field of interest. The curriculum occurs throughout the PGY-2 year and involves regular meetings with mentors, assistance from librarians and program leadership, and presentation updates during noon conferences. The curriculum culminates with a poster presentation or publication.