I recently had the honor of presenting a faculty development lecture at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center San Francisco, entitled, “Teaching Senior Residents.”
My learning objectives for this talk were two-fold:
- Distinguish between junior resident and senior resident competencies
- Describe several techniques for clinical supervision and teaching of senior residents
Why are senior residents unique?
I believe there are two halves to residency training, with two distinct learner types: junior residents and senior residents.
Residency training is not a gradual progression of learning across a several-year continuum… residency is bumpy and erratic. It has starts and stops.
There is a point where one starts being a junior resident and stops being a junior resident. Similarly, at some point one starts being a senior resident. That transition from junior to senior is challenging, as the time of promotion is generally driven by an academic calendar rather than a competency assessment.
Starting over is never easy. Just when a trainee is successfully achieving ‘junior resident competencies,’ we push them into new roles and responsibilities – we make them novice learners of ‘senior resident competencies.’
Senior residents are, therefore, a special cohort of learners. Teach them differently.
But how? In anticipation of my presentation at Kaiser SF, I reached out to #MedTwitter to crowdsource some sage wisdom and help.
#MedTwitter never disappoints. I’m grateful to the 100+ individuals who responded with their teaching expertise in just 24 hours. I collated all the posts into 7 general themes, with a few illustrative Tweets below.
TIP: Teach the Senior Resident Competencies
TIP: Develop Senior Residents to be Great Teachers
TIP: Be Vulnerable with Your Senior Residents
TIP: Observe Your Senior Residents at the Bedside
TIP: Give Your Senior Residents Space to Grow
TIP: Challenge Your Senior Residents, Safely.
TIP: Treat Your Seniors as Your New Colleagues.
Summary: 7 Tips for Teaching Senior Residents
- Teach the Senior Resident Competencies
- Develop Senior Residents to be Great Teachers
- Be Vulnerable with Your Senior Residents
- Observe Your Senior Residents at the Bedside
- Give Your Senior Residents Space to Grow
- Challenge Your Senior Residents, Safely
- Treat Your Senior Residents as Your New Colleagues
Header photo via Pexels
About the Author: Michael A. Gisondi, MD is an emergency physician, medical educator, and education researcher who lives in Palo Alto, California. Michael currently holds a position as Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. Twitter: @MikeGisondi
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