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Tuesday School Program

About the Tuesday School Program

The traditional residency program noon conference is no one's idea of a great way to learn. Residents race in late and leave early, preoccupied with their work on the wards while medical subspecialists lecture (however skillfully) on topics that feel disconnected from one day to the next. The learning experience for residents is usually quite passive; residents rarely prepare for conference in any way and are rarely held accountable for material that is presented. 

In academic year 09-10, we took the bold step of cancelling our traditional noon conference program and replacing it with Tuesday School, a dedicated weekly half day of inpatient curricular programming. Over the years, we have refined the academic offering based on feedback from learners, and introduced new features and cross cutting themes. Tuesday school has 2 terms: 

Term I (Blocks A and B, June to August): Foundational topics that are geared towards approach to common symptoms. These are targeted primarily towards new interns knowledge and skills. Topics are taught on an annual repeat cycle with second and third year residents serving as co-teachers alongside subspecialist faculty. 

Term II (Blocks C-M, September to June): Subspecialty blocks, including longitudinal theme on Quality and Safety curriculum

Teaching and learning is a priority at Cambridge Health Alliance. Unless you are on a night rotation, in the ICU, on vacation, or on an away elective, we expect you to come to Tuesday School. Residents on inpatient rotations sign out their patients and their pagers to the hospitalist service at lunchtime so they can be fully present for the whole afternoon of teaching and learning. 

The curriculum is designed using principles of adult learning theory. Whenever possible, teaching is case-based using real patients from the Cambridge Health Alliance. Faculty are encouraged to consider the four hours of teaching time as an opportunity to engage residents in active problem solving exercises, debate, conversation and genuine inquiry. We embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with a "one-room schoolhouse" where residents at the PGY1, PGY2, and PGY3 level learn together and teach one another. Supplementary reading for each session is available on line as we know that learning at the residency level is a self-directed process. 

The syllabus is integrative. The ACGME mandates learning across six core competencies: medical knowledge and patient care are central to the curriculum, of course; but we also weave across all three trimesters learning experiences related to the development of interpersonal skills and communication, professionalism, practice based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. In our infectious disease block, for example, we review our hospital's performance data on nosocomial infections. In our hematology/ oncology block, we role play family meetings on end of life care. Often teachers bring in patients to the sessions to demonstrate key physical findings and presentation, or gain insight from a homeless patient, or experience of care from elderly hospitalized patient. 

Though the curriculum reflects the content of the ABIM Board Examination, we don't pretend to "cover" every topic in internal medicine. We hope, instead, to address a broad range of important subjects and engage each in some depth. Our aim is to ensure that through participation in this curriculum you build your skills as a curious and effective life long learner in internal medicine.