Education Matters

Internal Medicine Residency…A Day in the Life

Not many people are aware of what goes into completing an internal medicine residency, let alone all the day to day education that occurs. Having just completed my internal medicine residency as Chief Medical Resident, I thought I would highlight a typical day at Sunnybrook for a trainee on internal medicine.

Time for Morning Report. Here, a staff physician teaches approximately 20 residents and med students about an interesting case that came in the previous night. It helps to be a morning person in this pressure-packed situation…you have to be able to answer questions on the spot in front of all your peers and staff!!!

Time to review newly admitted cases from the previous night with your staff and team. The entire history and reasons behind the patient’s illness are discussed…with lots of quizzing of med students and residents along the way (click here for an example from the TV show scrubs)

Time to start seeing patients! Each resident is the primary caregiver for 6-10 patients, who they take care of every day until they are well enough to be discharged

Lunch rounds…focused on a different medical topic each day. It is always a mad dash to try and attend these rounds and if you’re lucky squeeze in lunch.

Finish seeing your assigned patients…this is the best learning that we receive all day…it’s here that you learn you really must practice medicine in order to learn it properly (check out this interesting article on the topic of “practicing” medicine)

Time to review all of your team’s patients with the staff. These rounds are usually accompanied by another informal teaching session

One resident from each team is on-call each day. This resident will stay in the hospital until 8am the following day in order to take care of the patients already admitted to hospital, as well as admit new patients to their team from the emergency department. Sleep is a luxury on these nights, which happen once every 4 days
8am (the next day): 

Time for morning report again (see picture below). Hopefully, the on-call resident won’t get picked on and will get home to sleep!!!

An action packed day of teaching to say the least!!! Note the combination of teaching rounds with staff and patient care…seeing patients is the most important thing that residents do, and provides the best opportunity to learn. Thanks to all of our patients for helping to educate the next generation of Internal Medicine Specialists!!!
Samuel Silver
Chief Medical Resident 2011/12

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