Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012
"Hidden curriculum" found in residency programs
What kind of practicing physician will you be? A new report says it depends on where you complete your residency training.
Indicators of the kind of training you would receive in a certain residency program include not only the program's reputation, location and training curriculum but also its patterns of care, according to a report released Oct. 30 by the Dartmouth Atlas Project.
The report examines 23 of the nation's top academic medical centers, shedding light on hospital characteristics that can affect how physicians who train there practice medicine throughout their careers. The study's authors call these characteristics a "hidden training curriculum" of which medical students and residents need to be aware.
The report found marked variation among the hospitals in its review of end-of-life care for chronically ill patients, variation in surgical procedures, and quality and patient experience data.
"Hospitals providing a higher intensity of care are not necessarily providing higher quality care or better patient experiences," Anita Arora, MD, a co-author of the report who graduated from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth earlier this year, said in a news release. "For medical students and residents, that means training at hospitals with less intensive practice patterns may better prepare us to provide higher quality care that respects patient preferences."
The report advises residents to understand how variations in care can shape their residency training and practice of medicine.
Why you should keep a clean social media presence
Twitter and Facebook users beware: Unprofessional information on medical school and residency applicants' social media profiles can compromise their chances of admission, according to a recent study published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.
The study, which surveyed 600 responses from U.S. medical school admissions officers and residency program directors, found that a minority of programs and schools routinely use social networking websites in the selection process. At the same time, 64 percent of respondents were familiar with searching individual social media profiles, and more than half felt that unprofessional information on an applicant's profile could compromise their admission into medical school or residency.
The study highlights the importance of keeping a clean and professional social media profile, especially as a medical student or resident. Adriana Tobar, MD, of KevinMD.com has provided some helpful tips on how to maintain one's social media presence, while also staying professional and compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Her tips include taking a moment to reflect before posting anything online and establishing separate personal and professional accounts.