The code curriculum kicks off at the beginning of each academic year with a week-long "Boot Camp", consisting of a combination of didactic and hands-on experiences focusing on the topics of sepsis, vascular access, establishment of an airway, and use of ultrasound. Subsequently, monthly multidisciplinary Mock Code Sessions are held with a combination of residents, nurses, and respiratory therapists. These scenarios help residents develop the skills for managing patients who are acutely decompensating and in need of immediate attention. Residents get exposure to the Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center to augment their learning with hands-on experiences. This code curriculum has been met with great enthusiasm, and our residents are becoming increasingly comfortable with leading code scenarios.
The curriculum was developed by one of our 2011 graduates, Dr. Chrystal Rutledge under the mentorship of Dr. Benny Joyner, a faculty member in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. This year, the curriculum is energetically led by Gene Hobbs, the Associate Director of Simulation and Drs. Erica Bjornstad, Amy Jones, Chris Nassef and Whitney Stern, third year pediatric residents.
In addition to developing procedural skills during their rotations, residents are given several discrete opportunities for procedural skills training. All residents receive neonatal and pediatric resuscitation training during orientation. Specific neonatal procedural skills training is also provided during a half-day NICU course focused on team training in neonatal resuscitation which all residents will participate in once during their NICU rotation. Our code curriculum, as mentioned above, offers ongoing opportunities to work in the Simulation Lab and practice procedural skills in a controlled setting.
To foster scholarship within the UNC Pediatrics Residency Program, each resident will be required to complete a Scholarly Project during their residency (Preliminary residents excluded). The purpose of this requirement is to equip residents with the skills necessary to research a specific topic, to organize the latest data on this subject and to present this information to ones colleagues. This activity addresses several of the Core Competencies established by the ACGME – Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Systems-Based Practice and Interpersonal/Communication Skills. All physicians will utilize these skills in their future practice.
As part of their advocacy experience, PL-1s will choose an advocacy-related topic of interest to them and then develop a project to help support the community. They will then develop a presentation to share their work and what they learned with the residency program.
Pediatric Subspecialty Fellowships
At the North Carolina Children's Hospitals, a wide variety of fellowship opportunities are provided in fields such as Critical Care Medicine, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Endocrinology, Pulmonology, Hematology/Oncology, Allergy/Immunology, Nephrology, Infectious Disease and Preventative Medicine. Additionally, a 2 year residency in Medical Genetics is available. Fellows participate in the education of residents and enhance resident exposure to subspecialty fields. Program Leadership maintains that residents will gain experience as team leaders on subspecialty teams with direct interactions with attendings and have opportunities to perform ample procedures.
Advisor Program and Mentorship
Each class is assigned a formal advisor to assist in their career development. The advisor will meet with each resident at least twice a year to review evaluations, develop individualized learning plans, consider In-Training Exam performance and board preparation, and assess progress in meeting RRC requirements. In addition, the advisor can assist the resident in identifying an individual mentor who can further help the resident in achieving their career goals.
Our Continuity Clinic experience is superb. Consistent general pediatric attending presence provides stability in the curriculum, allowing residents to progress in their independent care of children as they gain knowledge and skills. In addition to attending and nursing staff, our clinic staff includes a Community Liaison and a Child Development Educator. We have a Reach Out and Read program and a medical home program called CATCH for children with complex medical conditions. Also, we are one of the few resident-staffed clinics that has been recognized as a Primary Medical Home. All residents have continuity clinic one half-day per week, assuring a strong generalist foundation.