Our Housestaff Association is a forum of monthly meetings with the residents to promote bidirectional communication about the resident experience. Feedback is elicited from the residents and delivered to the program leadership, who discuss next steps and solutions with the residents in real time.
A Friday afternoon tradition, Tea Time is a time and space for residents to get together with Dr. Zaoutis, Dr. Callahan, Dr. Rezet, Dr. Ballantine, and the Chiefs in an informal, supportive setting. Anyone can bring a discussion topic to the table, be it a challenge on a particular rotation or the newest restaurant in town. Dr. Z shares her favorite teas, and there are often home- baked sweet treats to go around.
Residents are linked to one another in a 3-tiered buddy system, each group comprising a PL1, PL2, and PL3. Residents with similar career interests or backgrounds are identified and connected for support and mentoring.
The residency program organizes CHOP Moms, a supportive group of residents, fellows, and attendings connected by the common experience of parenting while pursuing careers in academic pediatrics. The group meets monthly to share advice and resources and to discuss the challenges and joys of seeking balance as a physician parent. The group also gathers for play dates at many of Philadelphia’s playgrounds and indoor play spaces.
One of the most important traditions of the CHOP residency experience takes place far outside the walls of the hospital. Each year, residents embark on a 2 1/2 day retreat where they have the opportunity to share and to reflect upon their experiences as new physicians. The retreats are facilitated by a graduate of the residency program who is now the Director of Education for the University of Pennsylvania Psychiatry Department.
The intern retreat is focused on helping first-year residents gain perspective on their CHOP experiences. By discussing their most positive and most difficult moments, interns learn from one another and bond over their shared experiences. Problem- solving about common difficulties faced helps the class to improve the intern experience for themselves and for future classes.
The PL2 retreat is focused on transitioning to the leadership roles that residents will have during their PL3 year. During the PL2 retreat, residents participate in workshops to improve their skills as physicians, as problem solvers, and as team leaders. They practice skills such as evaluating learners, giving feedback, and managing a team.
The day before graduation, the PL3 retreat allows time for residents to reflect on the past three years and solidify the bonds they’ve made.