Child advocacy is a key component of the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado. All residents complete a one month rotation in child advocacy and community pediatrics during intern year. The rotation focuses on advocacy at three levels: patient, community and legislative (policy) advocacy. The curriculum is partially individualized, allowing residents to pursue advocacy activities that relate to personal and career interests. For residents who desire additional advocacy training, several other electives are available, including the resident LEADS (Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Development, Scholarship) elective, a Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention elective (through the nationally-known Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse) and a Legislative Advocacy elective.
We believe that international experiences are extremely valuable to residents’ clinical training, providing our residents with the opportunity to be immersed in another culture and to experience medical practice in an entirely different environment. The Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Global Health (CGH) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus coordinates health activities across the University of Colorado campuses and forms partnerships with other groups in Colorado dedicated to creating advances in global health. CGH is intricately connected to Children’s Hospital Colorado. CGH’s director, Dr. Stephen Berman, is a Professor of Pediatrics and a past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Maternal and Child Health Division at CGH was recently designated by the World Health Organization as a Collaborating Center for Promoting Family and Child Health, one of only two programs in the Americas to receive this designation. CGH has also newly developed a Fellowship in Pediatric Global Health. CGH offers many opportunities for residents to participate in research and clinical work. Each year 4 interns are selected to have a global health focus during their training. As part of this training, these residents spend two months at our affiliated site in Guatemala. Other global health opportunities are availbe to all residents.
Numerous opportunities for resident research are supported by our program, including bothclinical and laboratory investigation. Each resident is expected to participate in a scholarly project during the three years of residency training. This can include a basic science or clinical research project or any another educational endeavor (such as a quality improvement initiative, an educational manual or a special presentation to the residency) as approved by the Program Director. The program helps residents identify a research mentor, who then assists the resident with project design. Residents are allowed to use a portion of their elective time, and/or use a half day per week during electives to work on their research. Most residents who pursue a research opportunity are encouraged to submit a manuscript and/or present at a national meeting. The program funds resident travel for this purpose. Each spring a Resident Research Day is held to display and recognize the scholarly work of residents.
The Simulation Program uses a full suite of state-of-the art, full-size, computer-driven patient simulators to support individual and team training. These lifelike simulators closely mimic human physiology so that participants can gain experience with physical diagnosis, management of common disease states, avoidance and management of medical complications, and management or troubleshooting of monitors and instruments that are utilized in contemporary healthcare settings. We place special emphasis on teaching effective techniques for interdisciplinary team coordination and communication.
The expectation to teach students, colleagues, and patients is one of the many roles and responsibilities that may be new to interns. Residents learn from excellent faculty role models and experience formal training in teaching through workshops and an available Residents and Fellows as Medical Educators Elective. This elective, offered through the University of Colorado Academy of Medical Educators is taught by renowned experts in medical education and is a stand-out opportunity for those specifically interested in medical education. Additionally, our Residents as Teachers committee has brought the concepts they’ve learned from this elective to their co-residents as a separate curriculum that takes place during the noon hour and Academic Half Day.
Our program runs a weekly course in medical Spanish throughout the summer, taught by bilingual residents. While one cannot become proficient in a new language in this time, residents learn how to negotiate language and cultural barriers. Many residents do find that they are proficient in basic medical Spanish by the end of the residency.
Annual class retreats address topics such as team-building, personal health, career development, and program training. The PL-1 class attends an overnight retreat in the mountains every September, during which interns continue to bond, discuss their experiences, and explore the outdoors. They also attend a "Halfway High-Five" dinner that celebrates their progress halfway through the year. The PL-2 class enjoys quarterly check-ins and a yearly retreat for rising-PL-3s to learn about supervisor best practices, receive escalation training, and discuss rotation specifics. Finally, PL-3 residents attend a "Halfway High-Five" dinner that celebrates their hard work, discusses job/fellowship preparation, and reviews credentialing and board exam specifics.