University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Curriculum

Our comprehensive, nationally recognized curriculum emphasizes active learning, case-based learning, simulation and role play to stimulate residents' various styles of learning. Formats range from traditional didactic lectures given by leading experts in the field, to case-based learning in both large and small groups, to self-directed learning at conferences given completely by residents on various topics. 

Our learning environment is guided by residents' voices. You'll serve on our program committees as an agent of change, keeping our program dynamic and current. Town halls, focus groups, and resident feedback lead to program enhancements that leave a strong legacy for future generations of learners.

Resident at white board

Orientation

  • A detailed, week-long Department of Medicine-specific orientation before the PG-1 year allows interns to get to know one another and the program leadership, and plan approaches for the first few rotations.
  • Full-day professional development days before the PG-2 and PG-3 years emphasize leadership, professionalism, teaching and a positive work environment.

Conferences and Lectures

Sample weekly conference schedule (PDF)

Didactics

  • Each summer we have a focused intern lecture series to introduce interns to common problems seen on the wards and on call.
  • We also have a comprehensive Internal Medicine didactic lecture series for interns that takes place 2 hours per week over the course of the entire year at a time when the senior residents can stay on the wards.  These are video captured.
  • Department of Medicine Grand Rounds occurs weekly and is given by both prestigious visiting speakers as well as UW faculty who are leaders in their field.
  • All didactic sessions are video captured and stored on the department's intranet for future reference.

Case-based learning

  • We offer Morning Report four times weekly at UW and also at the VA hospital. They are interactive sessions led by the chief resident, and while there are faculty present every day, most of the contribution comes in the form of discussion among residents. Residents from all three classes attend and participate in morning report.
  • Intern Morning Report occurs once weekly. It is an intern-only discussion, allowing for a comfortable environment to enhance learning and question-asking, and is led by the program director.
  • Tissue Conference is a monthly "unknown", case-based, clinical pathological conference given by residents, a fellow, a faculty member, and the Radiology and Pathology departments.
  • M&M Conference has cases presented by well-coached interns and discussed in small group break out sessions with a focus on patient safety and a systems-based approach to improving the quality of care we provide.
  • We have a three-year comprehensive primary care curriculum which occurs weekly before continuity clinic. It is a case-based, small group discussion among residents and the continuity clinic attending. The cases are on the web and fully referenced.

Residents Teaching Residents

  • Residents perform a review of the literature in their selected area of interest and give a didactic presentation of the topic to their peers and faculty in our weekly Advances conference. All residents do this once as a PG-2 and once as a PG-3, and receive targeted feedback from an experienced faculty member. This allows them practice and training to deliver an effective teaching presentation, which most of our residents will do throughout their future careers.
  • Interns give a well-coached Journal Club conference. This is supplemented with evidence based medicine preparatory sessions given by faculty and health science library experts, and provides a basis for the Advances project above.
  • During the PG-3 year, all residents will give one conference on a quality improvement project that they selected and performed as part of our QI program. This faculty-mentored program assures each resident that she or he graduates with the skills needed for lifelong clinical performance improvement in patient care outcomes.

Workshops

  • Basic and Advanced Life Support 
  • Acute Situations Workshop Simulations 
  • Empathy, Self-care, Humanism, Communication Workshops 
  • Pap and Pelvic Workshop [annual for interns] 
  • Research in Residency Curriculum
  • Buprenorphine Waiver Course 
  • Mock Code Simulation 
  • Central Line Simulation 
  • Interprofessional Mock Code 
  • Bias literacy (race and gender) 
  • Domestic violence training course

Education Innovation

  • Point-of-Care Ultrasound workshop and clinical rotation. The four-hour session for interns includes hands-on time with the ultrasound probe and standardized patients, and practical and knowledge-based assessment. Residents incorporate PoCUS skills into their evaluation of patients on wards, with guidance from well-trained mentors, using pocket and portable ultrasounds. UW and VA offer PoCUS training on specific rotations. 
  • PG-1 Introduction to continuity clinic, patient panels and transitions in care 
  • PG-2 Systems-Based Practice (SBP) and Patient Safety Rotation 
  • PG-3 Quality Improvement Project Rotation 
  • Evidence Based Medicine Program 
  • Continuity Clinic QI Program 
  • Quality of work life and job satisfaction monitored on all rotations 
  • Mentorship for Individual Learning Plans and career development

Research

We have a unique SWIFT (Speed Workshop for Interns and Faculty to Talk about research) program for PG1s to introduce them to our key faculty researchers in the department in a "speed dating" format.

  • There is an annual research seminar on writing grants and manuscripts.
  • The Department of Medicine sponsors an annual Research Day dedicated for residents, fellows, and faculty to showcase their research to others within the department.
  • Individual intern discussions with program directors in September / October and December / January and with chief residents and research faculty in February / March help assure all our trainees of a mentored research experience.
  • View a list of national and regional resident publications and presentations.

Simulations

  • All residents participate in multiple simulation-based experiences including: Pap/Pelvic Workshop, Acute Situation Management, BLS/ACLS, mock code, patient-doctor communication and critical care skills.
  • All residents prior to fellowship and job interviewing have training in interviewing skills and mock interviews with experienced faculty members who offer them important feedback.

Electives

  • Women’s Health Rotation 
  • Hospice 
  • Palliative Care Service 
  • Bone Marrow Transplant 
  • Heart Failure 
  • University Student Health Service 
  • Hepatology 
  • Hospitalist Medicine (urban and rural settings) 
  • Neurology ICU 
  • Neurostroke 
  • Transplant Infectious Disease 
  • Transplant Nephrology 
  • Exercise Treadmill, Echocardiography 
  • Global Health 
  • Subspecialty (Infectious Disease, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Rheumatology, Endocrine, Pulmonary, Allergy, Hematology, Addiction Medicine, Geriatrics) and General Medicine Clinics 
  • Addiction Medicine 
  • Procedures Service 
  • Dermatology 
  • Radiology 
  • Oncology Clinics, Consults, Ward 
  • Other customized electives available, including creation of your own 

Professional Identity Development and Program Feedback Days 

  • Career Week annually to assist house staff in career choices and financial planning 
  • PG-1 professional development day (PDD) at year end to learn leadership, teaching and PG-2 skills 
  • PG-2 PDD: professionalism, leadership and PG-3 skills 
  • PG-3 PDD to garner feedback about the program from those who know it best 
  • Town Hall quarterly meeting 
  • Mock interviews for fellowship and jobs 
  • Research in Residency Curriculum 
  • Board prep course 
  • Yearly in-training exam to gauge readiness for ABIM board exam