The Department of Medicine of Danbury Hospital offers three residency training programs and a fellowship program in cardiology. One residency tract is a traditional three-year categorical program, which provides comprehensive preparation for the practice of General Internal Medicine or for further fellowship training in a subspecialty area.
A second one-year transitional program is offered for qualified candidates entering radiology, anesthesiology, neurology, or other residency programs.
Graduates of the program fulfill the requirements of the American Board of Internal Medicine and we have experienced a greater than 98 percent board pass rate five years cumulative. Additionally the training program has received two consecutive five-year accreditation awards from the ACGME. The most recent one has just been extended to six years, in recognition for the excellence of the teaching program.
Many of our graduates who have entered the practice of General Internal Medicine have stayed in the area and are on the staff at Danbury Hospital. The residency program in Internal Medicine includes participation in patient care, teaching rounds, and conferences. Faculty from Yale University School of Medicine joins the staff at Danbury Hospital to conduct Grand Rounds, teaching conferences, and floor rounds, as well as occasional in-depth symposia.
Danbury Hospital and the continuity clinic site are using electronic medical records. Our on-line library offers access to Up-to-Date, Dynamed, Visual Dx, Cardiosource and the Johns Hopkins online ambulatory medicine website. The on-line library content can be accessed from home by our residents. The library has a very active staff and provides for conventional resources such as Pub Med, OVID as well as online journals and textbooks.
Starting in the first year the residents will be guided and encouraged to do research. They will be presented the research activity in the hospital. Each first year resident will have mandatory meeting with our research coordinator, and with the library personal which will help them develop a good research question and will teach them how to perform a literature review.
We have many departmental as well as interdepartmental conferences and we take pride in the format of our morning report with active participation of the Program Director, Associate Program Directors, and at least one sub specialist attending physician. This promotes an interactive and scholarly discussion session. Medical students from University of Vermont and Ross University rotate through the Internal Medicine service as integral members of the medical team.
Additionally, medical house staff are frequently involved in pre- and post-operative care of surgical patients under the guidance of the Hospitalist service. Many of these patients have serious medical problems, including conditions related to cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, electrolyte or fluid disturbances, or complicated infections.
There are opportunities for residents to take subspecialty electives at Yale-New Haven Hospital. There is also an institutional commitment to clinical research and all residents are encouraged to participate in a research program.
The Evaluation Process
- Interns are assigned a faculty mentor who will follow the progress of the resident during their three-year assignment.
- The mentor will represent the trainee at the house staff evaluation committee meetings.
- Residents will receive an electronic evaluation for each block rotation on a monthly basis as well as evaluations from their mentor and the program directors 5-6 times a year.
- Students, other residents as well as nursing staff all participate in the evaluation process as well.
- This approach ensures a thorough and confidential evaluation of each trainee providing feedback and guidance.
- House staff members are also able to give evaluations of the attending and the program in general.
Danbury Hospital has a 24/7 hospitalist service that provides care to the majority of the inpatients on the medical wards. The hospitalist service and the residents work closely to form the teaching service.
In January 2009 a new team rounding initiative was implemented to improve our teaching service, nursing communication, and most importantly, patient care. In addition to inpatient care, the hospitalists are involved with medical consultation on the surgical services and admit non-teaching cases to a 24-hour observation unit. The house staff and hospitalist feedback regarding this change has been overwhelmingly positive.
Research opportunities are available for our house staff. Beginning October 2009 we have created an exciting new research course with the help from the faculty at Yale. In addition, we have recently hired several new faculty to help foster an environment of scholarly activity as mandated by the ACGME. This experience will be helpful to those residents seeking a subspecialty fellowship. The residents will have the opportunity to meet with our faculty to help them design and implement new research projects.
Recent Institutional Changes
The following items are new to the medical center during recent years and have provided an enhanced experience for our trainees:
- New cardiothoracic service and fellowship program and a comprehensive cardiac care program including:
- Interventional Cardiology services
- Cardiac surgery and vascular surgery programs
- Chest pain center accreditation
- New Danbury Hospital Medical Arts Center
- New research curriculum
- New Center for Weight Loss Surgery
- New primary care elective for PGY1s
- New Sleep Disorder Center
- Enhancing the pulmonary care educational opportunities
- New stroke team
- Enhancing the neurologic care experience