University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Curriculum of the Internal Medicine Residency

Our comprehensive, nationally recognized internal medicine residency 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.


 

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.

Inpatient Didactic Curriculum

Didactics

  • Each summer we have a focused intern lecture series to introduce interns to common problems seen on the wards and on call.
  • We have a comprehensive Inpatient Lecture Series (ILS) for all residents that covers core topics relevant to the care of hospitalized patients. These lectures are live-streamed and recorded, and we have a large library of recent talks by experts in their fields.
  • 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.

Case-based learning

  • We offer Morning Report twice weekly for residents on UW or VA rotations. These are interactive sessions led by our chief residents focused on building your clinical reasoning skills.
  • 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.

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.

Academic Days

  • Every Friday during outpatient blocks is protected for resident learning. Didactics happen for the entire outpatient cohort throughout the day.
  • The morning conferences during academic days focus on core internal medicine topics focused on building your medical knowledge and sharpening your clinical reasoning skills. These sessions are led by chief residents and program leadership and involve a mix of didactics and case-based reports.
  • Our tracks and pathways have optional meetings at noon during many academic days to provide protected time to engage with your chosen pathway or area of interest.
  • Afternoons in our academic days are protected for simulation exercises (including numerous sessions at our simulation center), longitudinal curricular threads (including Race and Bias in Medicine, Social Determinants of Health, and Health Policy), well-being activities and our Empathy Course, and/or professional development workshops.

Education Innovation

  • Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) 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-2 Meriter QI rotation. All PG-2 residents have a two-week protected block to receive training in quality improvement and patient safety, participate in a Root Cause Analysis (RCA), receive QI and leadership-related didactics, and meet with institutional QI leaders.
  • PG-3 VA QI rotation. All PG-3 residents have a four-week protected block to further their quality improvement training, create a QI project with a team of residents, and work with institutional leadership to implement and evaluate the project. Historically, more than half of these projects have been successfully implemented and many turn into scholarly projects.

Simulations

  • All internal medicine 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.

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