Family Medicine Residency Curriculum Resource User’s Guide

The Residency Curriculum Resource has revolutionized the way we approach the education of our residents in the core content of family medicine. A product of the efforts of the greater community of family medicine educators, this resource provides residency programs access to an extensive library of peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching tools that are ready to use.

This User’s Guide will serve as your roadmap to implementing the curriculum in your own program. It provides examples of best practices and suggestions on how to weave the curriculum into your program. Download a PDF of the User's Guide

Getting Started

The Residency Curriculum Resource is divided into two major sections: PGY-1 curriculum and PGY-2 & 3 curriculum.

Each major section is further divided into larger topic groupings that coincide with the core topic areas of family medicine, such as “Pediatrics” and “Dermatology.”

Housed within each topic grouping are curricula to facilitate resident education in the core content of family medicine.

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Module Structure

Each curriculum contains:

  • A “presentation,” generally in PowerPoint format, that may be used as an interactive didactic session or for self-study
  • Required readings
  • A facilitator’s guide to guide faculty in running the session, including time expectations
  • A pretest/posttest to reactivate knowledge obtained from readings or prior experience and to reinforce key concepts

Helpful Hints

All PowerPoint presentations are in an editable format and can be altered to meet your individual program needs.

The facilitators’ guides outline the expected time breakdown for sessions and may have break points that will allow you to use sessions in shorter time slots.

Although advance preparation requirements are usually modest, make certain that all necessary handouts and quizzes are printed ahead of time to help the session run efficiently.

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Integrating the Residency Curriculum Resource into your Program

The Residency Curriculum Resource is a flexible tool that can be used in a number of different ways to augment the education of your residents. You can integrate the Residency Curriculum Resource content into the overall curriculum at your program:

  • As an 18-month curriculum covering the breadth of family medicine core content
  • As a teaching component of the inpatient service rotation
  • As part of other rotations
  • As a component of resident presentations
  • As part of Board Review

18-Month Curriculum

The Residency Curriculum Resource can be used as a structure for your didactic sessions. The organization of the modules into larger groupings allows for the content to be integrated into the fabric of a program in a way that can emphasize those content areas that are most heavily emphasized on the ABFM certification exam.

The curriculum allows for interactions between residents and faculty as they jointly explore topics with the faculty acting as facilitators.

Having the curriculum already prepared allows for accommodation of unforeseen circumstances where there are last minute changes in the schedule.

Sessions using the curriculum can be led by faculty or residents.

The curriculum can be used in:

  • Daily sessions
  • Weekly sessions

Some topics can be delivered as mini-lectures by just focusing on cases or even just management decision making for a particular diagnosis or syndrome, particularly if your noon lectures are just 30-40 minutes.

Inpatient Service Rotations

Many of the Residency Curriculum Resource curricula can be divided into sections, allowing for shorter time requirements that can more easily fit into the inpatient service rounding schedule. After rounds, the attending physician or the senior resident can facilitate a small group session using the content. This can be approached in a couple of ways:

  • Targeted education reviewing a topic that was encountered during the week
  • A set curriculum that is run throughout the inpatient service (for example 4-8 topics that have been selected for inpatient service only) on topics commonly encountered in the hospital setting

Part of Other Rotations

Residency Curriculum Resource curriculum can augment resident educational experiences on rotations (either core or elective). Assigning key courses for completion prior to or during a rotation can ensure that your residents have adequate exposure to the learning points that should be derived from the experience. Completion of pre/post tests can further emphasize key learning points and serve as discussion points with academic advisors.

Resident Presentations

Most programs have requirements that residents participate in didactic sessions, typically case reviews or morbidity and mortality sessions. Residents often wish to augment their presentations with a primer on the topic of the presentation and spend time researching to provide up-to-date information. Allowing your residents to pull content from the Residency Curriculum Resource can help ensure that the information being provided is evidence-based and peer reviewed.  Resident review of the materials can provide an educational experience as residents prepare to facilitate a session.

Board Review

The content provided in the Family Medicine Residency Curriculum Resource is evidence-based and peer reviewed and covers the breadth of essential topics that every resident graduating from an accredited family medicine residency should be well-versed in.

The curricula can be used in facilitated groups or independently reviewed by residents. Allowing your residents access to the resource will allow them to use the content in their Board prep efforts.

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Introducing your Faculty to the Residency Curriculum Resource

Faculty familiarity and support of the Residency Curriculum Resource is important for successful implementation in your program. Devoting time to reviewing this material with your faculty can lead to development of a conceptual framework for how the Residency Curriculum Resource can enhance your program and create excitement about advancing the education of residents.

Emphasizing that your faculty can contribute to the Residency Curriculum Resource and become a part of the education of residents at a national level as well as receive scholarship credit may also increase the level of enthusiasm for its adoption.

Remember that faculty are your most valuable resource, and gaining their support and creating a shared vision is crucial for successful change.

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Introducing your Residents to the Residency Curriculum Resource

It is important with any curricular change to consider all of the stakeholders. Discussion with residents about the structure and benefits of the Residency Curriculum Resource will help garner acceptance and excitement.

Devote a formal session to discussing the purpose and design of the Residency Curriculum Resource as well as how you intend to integrate the curriculum into your program, and then lead your residents through a sample curriculum.

Providing your residents access to the Residency Curriculum Resource will allow them to explore the breadth of the content and may also increase excitement.

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Introducing your Faculty and Residents to Active Learning Methods

The Residency Curriculum Resource presentations are designed to engage learners with case-based teaching with questions throughout the presentation. Use the questions as launch points into interactive discussions about management of various conditions.

Using the “Brain Rules” to activate learners helps retention of content. (“The Brain Rules” – by John Medina, PhD,