Personal and professional growth is an important skill for residents to develop during their training. At UCD, we prioritize providing individual residents with the opportunity to tailor their training years towards their personal and professional career goals. Through a step-wise and integrated plan for helping individual residents find the mentorship they need, we seek to fulfill our mission of creating new generations of outstanding internists who are also well equipped for the next phase of their training or career path and ready to become leaders in the field of medicine.
Upon entry into the program, residents are provided with a mentorship plan to guide their training. By dividing residents into small mentorship groups led by a specific program director, residents know that a dedicated individual, with expertise in resident mentorship, has a strong personal and professional connection with them.
Constructive feedback and comprehensive evaluation is an essential element of personal and professional development. Each resident has semi-annual meetings with their assigned mentor to review evaluations and overall performance, as well as to plan for the future by addressing issues such as finding a research project, choosing electives, fellowship applications, and looking for a job.
The emphasis on mentoring begins with the acceptance into the program. We are prepared to begin discussing your training goals from that day forward. Interns are assigned a chief resident mentor prior to arrival to assist in the transition to internship and serve as a resource throughout their first year. Intern Orientation starts with a ropes course team building exercise and several opportunities to informally get to know your classmates. As residents are ready to define their career path towards a subspecialty, area of research, practice base, or further training platform, we actively assist them in finding their “second tier” of mentors – those in their area(s) of interest who can serve as direct role models. We are fortunate to have a large and diverse faculty, including MDs and PhDs, who are invested and eager to mentor our residents. The breadth of the medical campus, including a School of Public Health and liaisons with National Jewish Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital, opens wide doors for residents to pursue various career goals within their internal medicine training. As an added measure of support, a confidential mentor system is in place for our residents. GIM faculty members Rita Lee, Rachel Swigris, Adam Trosterman, Jeremy Long, and Melanie Stickrath serve as these confidential mentors outside of the residency administration and are available for addition mentorship.
‘Professionalism First’ is a campus-wide movement centering professionalism as the cornerstone of medicine. Likewise, professionalism is a guiding value within our residency and department. Therefore, the confidential Department of Medicine Professionalism Committee along with the School of Medicine’s Office of Professional Excellence uses non-punitive methods to promote professionalism in the stressful environments in which we work.
The residency training program has long led the way as consummate professionals, both in and out of the hospital. We are proud of our residents who serve as excellent teachers and role models for the University of Colorado medical students. Annually, our residents are selected by the medical students for the Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. As an example, here are our several recent inductees into the society or GH Excellence in Teaching Award winners, just since 2016: