NEW YORK MEDICAL COLLEGE
Welcome to the pediatrics department at Richmond University Medical Center. We have the only free standing training program in Pediatrics on Staten Island, a community of about ½ million residents. The department has made a commitment to embracing and teaching all of the six core competencies of the American College of Graduate Medicine. I have tried to incorporate an academic approach to the residency training program that is highlighted by lively morning reports four days per week, weekly chairman rounds in the wards and NICU, and monthly journal clubs. I have encouraged resident participation in research that has resulted in house staff being coauthors of work presented in local scientific and government meetings. This past spring one of the chief residents was the first author in a poster given at annual meeting of the national Pediatric societies. Along with this we have had increasing number of residents going on into fellowships in Neonatology, Gastroenterology, Infectious Disease, Endocrinology, and Critical Care Medicine. They have been able to get prestigious positions at Mt Sinai Hospital, Cornell University, St. Judes Children's Research Hospital, University of Rochester, University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, SUNY at Buffalo, SUNY at Downstate, and University of S Carolina.
The clinical training revolves around the inpatient ward of a community hospital, a continuity clinic that services the entire north shore of the island, and a busy emergency room that sees over 70,000 visits a year, of which about 1/3 are children. In addition there is a level III NICU that is part of regional perinatal center and affords the opportunity to care for a wide range of neonatal problems. There are consulting faculty in all of the major pediatric subspecialties including gastroenterology, hematology and oncology, neurology, pulmonology, endocrinology, cardiology, critical care, and infectious diseases. There is also an excellent pediatric surgeon and a pediatric radiologist. We are one of the few departments in the metropolitan New York area that had five faculty listed in the most recent NY Magazine's "Top Doctor's issue".
We have responded to the new initiatives in residency program with a series of innovative changes. There is an expanded and comprehensive schedule of lectures that take place nearly every day. The majority of the talks are save on the computer and are available for review or viewing for residents who are involved in emergency care or are unable to attend. We have started a continuity clinic model in which all residents are one of four color-coded teams that function as group practices. This not only should improve patient care but also provide residents who are going into private group practice, an experience that they can build upon. There are boards placed in the ward, in the clinic and the NICU that recognizes residents' achievements in any of the core competencies. Outstanding examples are rewarded by having credit for an on call. There is a monthly meeting with the house staff. One month it is the entire residents and the next month a single year (PGY1, 2, or 3) meets to discuss their own particular concerns and needs and the dynamics of working with their colleagues. House staff has a voice in the curriculum and are part of the curriculum committee. When we recently went to a night float system, we listened to the resident's request and went to two weeks blocks of night float. When the residents were dissatisfied with our off-site PICU rotation, I found a much better spot for them to get this experience.
There are clearly defined expectations. Residents are given a lot of feedback so that they know where they stand and what they need to do to improve. Residents are encouraged to self evaluate their progress and thus they play a more direct role in their own education. There are required meetings with their assigned mentors and annual meetings with the associate program director and the chairman.
As a small program we are able to provide all of the house staff with the individual attention that the bigger programs lack. This may be in the form of personal support, career guidance, mentoring a research project, and simply navigating through one of the most stimulating periods of your life.