Easing the Transition: Pediatric Internship Readiness Elective

April 30, 2015 by

July is a scary month. Not because the kids are out of school and at fourteen different summer camps. Not because the July heat is scorching your garden. July is scary because in hospitals around the country a new class of interns is taking over and starting to care for patients.

Starting internship is a scary experience, but a new UVA School of Medicine elective is being offered to ease the transition from medical school to Pediatric Internship. For two weeks after “The Match,” twelve fourth year medical students participated in this new curriculum that used a variety of practice-based learning sessions emphasizing clinical decision-making, effective and efficient communication, critical thinking, and practical problem solving skills.

After consulting with Kathryn Mutter, a former UVA medical student and now on faculty with Emergency Medicine who started a similar course for students entering an Internal Medicine residency, the “Pediatric Internship Readiness” elective kicked off on March 23. Forty five faculty, fellows, residents, and nurses from the Departments of Pediatrics, Radiology, Emergency Medicine, and Public Health participated in this inaugural fourth year elective. Along with hands-on “mock code” sessions covering a variety of acute clinical scenarios new residents may experience on the floor, in the Emergency Room, at Continuity Clinic and during a delivery, students practiced several procedures including lumbar punctures, IV placements, and umbilical lines. There was also a focus on communication as students engaged in mock nursing pages, patient care sign out, and obtaining consent. After entering Julie Haizlip’s “Room of Errors” for a child with bronchiolitis, the students then proposed a resident quality improvement project under the guidance of Jon Swanson addressing some of the problems encountered. The final day focused on grooming our students to deliver superior morning reports and presentations free from “ums”, obnoxious power point slides, and the infamous vocal fry.

With the fourth year of medical school becoming saturated with long interview seasons and scattered time in the hospital and clinic, this new elective offers students a change to jump back into the clinical setting in March rather than waiting for the first day of Internship. Approximately one half of the total number of medical students entering a Pediatric Residency participated in this course with hopes of expanding the class size next year. After a successful first year well received by the students, we hope to use their suggestions to improve the elective for next year and beyond.

Here are a few photos from the Pediatric Internship Readiness Elective:



Filed Under: Features