We are continuously improving the training curriculum of the residency program by creating opportunities to learn and practice clinical skills in a safe environment. All PGY-1 residents participate in bootcamp before the start of clinical training. This innovative training program is two full days of training and assessment in paracentesis, EKGs, MICU patient management, handoffs, radiology and goals of care communication skills. During the PGY-2 year, residents spend time with "Cosmo" and “Oscar” in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Patient Safety Simulator. Residents have the opportunity to practice ACLS protocols before serving as a code leader. The simulator gives residents the opportunity to learn procedural and team leadership skills and has realistic responses to medications and other interventions. Northwestern residents are clear about the benefit they have gained from this opportunity to integrate technology into clinical care.
Residents are trained through simulation in:
- Central venous catheter insertion
- Lumbar puncture
- Mechanical ventilation, sepsis and weaning
- Goals-of-care conversations
- Patient handoffs
Northwestern’s Internal Medicine residency has gained national acclaim for its simulation-based training, as evidenced by publications in journals such as Chest and Academic Medicine. Aashish Didwania, MD, published a study of the five-year impact of this training in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, showing skills are retained for at least two years after ACLS simulation-based training. Northwestern’s simulation program has been expanded to include central venous catheter insertion and other ultrasound-based bedside procedures. This allows residents to practice the procedure prior to rotating in the MICU and other inpatient services. In addition to popularity with the housestaff, this program has shown dramatic benefit to patients in terms of improved quality of care and cost reduction. Northwestern faculty have been invited to many top U.S. medical centers to disseminate these innovations.
Recent Simulation Publications by Northwestern Faculty
“No matter how smoothly you can rattle off the ACLS algorithms, there's nothing quite like running into a patient's room as the code leader and having to assert what the next move should be ... the chance to practice that humbling moment in the simulation lab has been invaluable."
– Emily Diederich, MD
MD Student Simulation Training
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine also offers extensive simulation opportunities to the medical students in their simulation lab. Get more information on the Center for Education in Medicine site.