Thursday, May 7, 2009


New residency program directors have limited experiences and face multiple problems each day. One new PD has recently had a challenging time managing two residents, one a third year and one an intern. The third year had posed a professionalism problem from his first year along with some problems integrating into the system and organizational challenges. Things had not gotten too much better over the course his training and lots of time and energy had been invested in getting this resident through the program. Now a new intern was showing the same beginning pattern. He wondered if he should just cut his losses on this intern now rather than waiting three years. His "sample of 1", indicated that he was taking on a 3 year problem. But we all can think of examples of residents who begin with problems and end up being "STARS". So his question: What percent of new residents who show both professionalism problems and knowledge problems in their first year ever turn it around and become contributing members of the residency program? What is your experience?


The topic for April, THE MILLENIUM GENERATION IN HEALTH CARE, struck a cord with a few of our readers. The responses seemed to be divided between those who indicated that making a generalization about a whole generation seemed somehow "flawed" and others who seemed to believe that there was merit in the premise and that there was adequate evidence of differences to warrant discussion. Both are reasonable. I doubt that we will ever be able to conclude this debate with hard evidence. However, we have noted generational trends in the past and this one might be worth watching.