A comprehensive curriculum is present throughout all years of surgical education. The PGY-1's participate in the General Surgery curriculum on Thursday mornings, focused on the basic management of the surgical patient and principles of surgery. PGY2's and above enjoy protected time for the Monday evening didactic curriculum and Friday morning Grand Rounds lectures. PGY2's and PGY4's also have protected time on a weekly or biweekly basis for the Microsurgery curriculum, as described below.
Core Curriculum - Monday Night Didactics
Monday evening conference is protected time for the residents from clinic and cases. Two lectures, 6.30pm-8.30pm focus on topics based on the PSEN Curriculum. These conferences are case-based and led by a junior and a senior resident, with an attending physician participating to provide clinical correlation and discussion. Focus is on clinical decision making, preparation for the inservice and boards-style case discussions with cases and questions tailored to all levels of residents present. Dinner is catered and all PGY levels are present and participate in these sessions. These didactic sessions were previously split up into a separate senior and junior curriculum, but the change was made this year as per resident feedback.
Pediatric Plastic Surgery Curriculum
Conducted under the guidance of Dr. Gosain, this is a focused series of weekly talks prepared for and discussed by the residents on the Lurie Children's Hospital service. The topics cover the breadth of pediatric plastic surgery and are an opportunity to dive deeper into many of the complex subjects that will also be covered during the Monday Night Didactics in a more brief fashion.
PGY2 and PGY4 (lab year) residents enjoy protected time for a dedicated curriculum to learn the basics of microsurgery in Dr. Galiano's lab using a live rat model. PGY2 learn the fundamentals of vascular dissection and operating under the microscope under the guidance of the lab year residents, who at that point have an opportunity to hone their own skills as teacher, assistant, and microsurgical problem solver. Usually, a half day every 1 to 2 weeks will be dedicated to the lab and by the end of the year the residents are routinely able to complete 4 microvascular anastomoses with excellent patency rates.
The Division Journal Club is held quarterly at an off-campus location with active participation of faculty and residents.
Grand Rounds are scheduled by the chief resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH), three months in advance. Schedules will be sent out by the chief residents. Morbitity and Mortality is to be covered monthly. This may include problem or teaching classes. Speakers include all residents PGY-2 level and above, faculty, visitng professors via endowed programs or by resident request, and other selected speakers.
Resident Grand Round Topic Selection
The goal of the resident grand round presentation is to provide a diverse well-rounded discussion, which is beneficial for both the presenter and the audience. In order to achieve this goal, all subjects are approved by Dr. Dumanian. Traditionally, the PGY2's present on Safety and Quality Improvement topics (DVT and SSI prevention evidence, for example). More senior residents will usually pick from a list of topics nominated by the faculty and the Chief Resident has the greatest freedom in the selection process, with emphasis on aesthetic and/or advanced topics.
A weekly hand conference run by Dr. Kalainov for the plastic surgery and orthopedic residents occurs on Thursday mornings. A review of 36 core hand topics is covered each year as well as cadaver dissections and case presentations.