Transitional Year

The goal of the Gundersen Lutheran Transitional Year Residency is to provide a year of broad-based clinical education to residents.The goal of the Gundersen Health System Transitional Year Residency is to provide a year of broad-based clinical education to residents. We are committed to making residents the best possible doctors, able to excel in any subspecialty program in which they enroll.

Such lofty goals can be met because of attitudes you’ll find at this medical center. First, we view the Transitional Year Residency as a critical component because it offers many of our doctors the opportunity to teach, an experience we know leads to better patient care. Second, because residents do not "compete" with fellows or other residents on their rotations, there is more hands-on learning from day one. Third, we are willing to tailor experiences to the career goals of our residents. Fourth, we listen to residents’ suggestions about improving this program. Finally, we are invested in our residents’ success and treat them with the same respect as if they were here for a three or five-year residency.

While all Transitional Year residency programs have required rotations and electives, each rotation here offers opportunities to direct experiences towards residents' interests. A resident intending to go into anesthesia can learn intubation techniques in the operating room and/or the intensive care unit. A resident going into dermatology may find it more beneficial during a rotation in otolaryngology to spend time in plastic surgery, removing skin cancers from the face, rather than examining ears.

We’ve designed this program to closely resemble experiences doctors have in clinical practice, including inpatient and outpatient care. This medical center also offers both primary care and tertiary care medicine, providing residents with opportunities to see the routine and more unusual cases in a multispecialty setting. We are the Western Academic Campus of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Attending rounds focus on patient management and occur seven days a week. Teaching conferences occur daily. Attending staff members value close working relationships with residents and medical students because excellence in patient care demands it. We offer lectures, small group discussions and interactive conferences where attending and resident physicians discuss cases. Distance learning technology allows residents and attending staff assigned to smaller regional community clinics to participate in these conferences.

Residents report to one staff doctor in charge of each teaching service, not to each patient’s physician. This creates a nurturing rather than adversarial teaching atmosphere; a milieu we believe prepares better doctors and enhances patient care.
"I loved my year at Gundersen because it gave great training and offered a large variety of electives. But most importantly it was a great community atmosphere, working and living alongside other TYs as well as residents from other programs.

I enjoyed the people I got to work with so much that my busier inpatient months ended up being my most fun and memorable rotations. 

La Crosse is a beautiful city that offered so much to do outside of the hospital that the year flew by as I never ran out of new and fun things to do."
  
- Eric Sviggum, MD, Radiology - Mayo Clinic, 2010 Gundersen graduate
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