Curriculum of Inquiry
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires that training programs integrate systems based practice into Internal Medicine residency curricula.
We instituted a seminar series and year-long mentored curriculum designed to engage internal medicine residents in this competency.
Residents participate in a month-long seminar series that involves assigned reading and structured discussion along with faculty who assist in the development of quality improvement or research projects. Residents pursue projects over the remainder of the year. Monthly works in progress meetings, protected time for inquiry, and continued faculty mentorship guide the residents in their project development. Residents present their work at hospital-wide grand rounds at the end of the academic year.
The “Curriculum of Inquiry” has generated dozens of quality improvement and research projects. Hospital leadership recognizes the importance of the curriculum, and our accreditation manager now cites our ongoing work. We measured resident self-reported knowledge, attitudes and skills at the end of the academic year. We found evidence that participants improved their understanding of the context in which they were practicing, and that their ability to engage in quality improvement projects increased. Blinded faculty reviewers favorably ranked projects designed by the residents.
A structured residency-based curriculum appropriately addresses systems-based practice. Residents gain knowledge and skills through this enterprise and hospitals gain access to trainees who help to solve ongoing problems and meet accreditation requirements.