Dear CHOP Alumni Family,

Remember our CHOP Alumni Motto: Keep … Tradition, Keep … in Mind, Keep … in Touch!

Cindy W. Christian, MD Contributed by Cindy W. Christian, MD For this column, we are once again revisiting a relatively new tradition. I have invited our wonderful chief residents to provide an update on the residency training program at CHOP. As we start to emerge (hopefully) from this pandemic, we recognize the extraordinary work our residents have done to meet these difficult times. Enjoy these interesting updates from our chiefs.

Cindy W. Christian, MD
President, CHOP Alumni Association

From The Chiefs

It is with great pleasure that we, the 2021-2022 chief residents, take this opportunity to shed light on the changes and initiatives currently underway within the Residency Program. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had the chance to continue to adapt the X+Y schedule in its second year. We have been blown away by the resilience and flexibility residents have demonstrated as we have continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and record-breaking patient volumes across all care delivery sites. Our educational mission this year has focused on developing new didactic and simulation-based curricula, creating spaces for open discussion of the social determinants of health and structural barriers to equitable care, and fostering interprofessional relationships.

Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic

The ever-changing nature of the pandemic has necessitated ongoing adjustments to the way we offer medical education, deliver patient care, and build relationships between residents, patients, families, and interdisciplinary teams. When determining the format for our educational sessions, we have navigated the balance between the safety of participants while still creating learning environments where residents can actively engage with one another and faculty. In early September, resident teams began to care for COVID patients across the hospital, opening doors for new case discussions and clinical care questions. In collaboration with our special isolation unit hospitalist colleagues, we offered didactic sessions focused on the nuances of COVID patient care to equip residents with the tools necessary to care for these patients.

Record-breaking patient census

While rates of viral illness and volumes of acute self-limited general pediatric illness patients dropped dramatically during the initial phase of the pandemic, we have seen unseasonably high patient volumes during this academic year. The adapted inpatient team structures, made possible by the transition to the X+Y schedule, have enabled resident teams to flex to accommodate these incredibly high volumes, while still maintaining the educational goals of each inpatient rotation. Our 2 “floating” general pediatric teams have facilitated meeting the to the bread-and-butter general pediatrics that was missed at the start of the pandemic.

Curricular innovation

We are thrilled to introduce 2 entirely new curricular elements to the Residency Program. Both were developed in response to resident feedback that demonstrated desire for enhanced learning and skills practice for both topics. The first curricular series focuses on EKG acquisition and interpretation. During orientation, all interns participated in workshops led by EKG technicians who specialize in obtaining quality EKGs. Throughout this year, we have been implementing a novel longitudinal EKG interpretation curriculum with the help of content experts from the Division of Cardiology.

Our other novel curricular series focuses on adolescent reproductive health, coupling hands-on Nexplanon insertion and removal training with an evidenced-based didactic session on reproductive health counseling, contraceptive options, and reproductive justice.

We have also continued to build upon our Subspecialty Greatest Hits curriculum, which asks subspecialty content experts, “What concepts should a general pediatrician take away from residency?” We have also enhanced our leadership and teaching curriculum, which supports residents through the transition to the role of supervisor and teaches skills such as leading debrief sessions for their clinical teams.

Thank you!

We are so grateful to the CHOP Alumni Association for its ongoing support of the Residency Program’s educational and wellness initiatives. Fellow and Resident Appreciation Week, which is dedicated to celebrating the hard work trainees contribute to CHOP’s tradition of excellence, would not be possible without the support of the Alumni Association. Similarly, Alumni Association support provides the opportunity to highlight the scholarly accomplishments of trainees during the Resident and Fellows Grand Rounds series.

Chief Residents 2021-2022

Five headshots of 2021-2022 Chief Residents

(L to R) Katherine Donches, MD, Erin Sieke, MD, MS, Christopher Teng, MD, Gia Yannekis, MD and Bhavesh Patel, MD

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