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 as part of the three month Centennial Block 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 Gautemala.
Numerous opportunities for resident research are supported by our program, including both clinical 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 teaching elective.
Our program runs a weekly course in medical Spanish throughout the summer, taught by bilingual residents. There are two courses that run simultaneously. One is designed to help all residents develop basic language skills, increase cultural awareness, and become skilled in using interpreter services. The other is for advanced speakers to work on improving their conversational Spanish. 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 teaching, practice management, and fellowship/job applications. The intern class has an off-campus retreat every September, during which the new class is able to continue to bond, discuss their experiences so far, and enjoy the outdoors. The PL-2 class has a retreat each year, just prior to becoming PL-3s, to prepare for their year of supervising, discuss questions and aspirations for the year with the new chiefs, and spend time together out of the hospital.