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 our residents the best possible doctors, able to excel in any subspecialty program for which they are bound.
We accomplish such lofty goals because of the attitudes of our clinicians and other staff. First, we view the Transitional Year Residency as a critical component since it offers many of our doctors an 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 our 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 at Gundersen offers opportunities to direct experiences toward residents' interests. For example, a resident going into dermatology may find it more beneficial during their pathology elective to spend time with our pathologist who specializes in dermatopathology.
We've designed this program to closely resemble experiences doctors have in clinical practice, including inpatient and outpatient care. We also offer both primary care and tertiary care medicine, providing residents with opportunities to see both routine and more unusual cases in a multispecialty setting.
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 the ability to participate in these conferences no matter where they are located and assists in maintaining social distancing recommendations in the new era of COVID-19. We also are the Western Academic Campus of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. This partnership brings medical students to Gundersen and allows residents to develop teaching skills, which is an important part of their training.
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.