Didactic Instruction and Curriculum

Over the last few years the Department of Surgery has made significant changes regarding the formal didactic curriculum for the residency program.

For quite some time now we have established Wednesday morning as our education day. All residents are protected from clinical duties to attend M&M, Grand Rounds and the Core Curriculum activities. We have restructured our M&M format to implement basic concepts of quality improvement. This includes a structured format (SBAR) of presentation, risk assessment based on the NSQiP risk calculator and a fish diagram for an initial root cause analysis. The presenting residents receive formative feedback on their presentation immediately after.

We aligned our core curriculum with SCORE External Icon, as the latter is now the main standardized didactic resource for General Surgery Residency Programs around the country. As the questions for the inservice exam (ABSITE) and the qualifying exam of the American Board of Surgery are based on SCORE we felt that this would make a lot of sense.

We have established a formal simulation curriculum with modules directed to junior and senior residents. We have integrated FLS External Icon (Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery) and FES External Icon (The Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery)into the residency educational program. We are in the lucky position that our VA Hospital obtained the state of the art colonoscopy and bronchoscopy simulator that is actually used for the practical portion of the FES examination.

We participate in adult and pediatric NSQIP, and have therefore begun the process to implement QITI External Icon (The ACS NSQIP® Quality In-Training Initiative) into our core curriculum.

For more than three years now we have a structured curriculum for robotic surgery in place. This allows residents to participate in robotic cases at various sites and should ease the process to obtain robotic privileges after completion of the residency program.

In addition, many divisions have their own teaching conferences that are held weekly, providing numerous opportunities to discuss service specific clinical problems.

We hold mock oral examinations twice a year to give our trainees the opportunity to experience the format and to prepare them for this part of the board certification process.