We have a fairly relaxed learning climate. Keep in mind that challenging and intense hard work fit quite well into a relaxed learning climate. The ground is pretty level around here. We do not have any prima donnas that you have to tip toe around. Faculty are amazingly approachable and accessible. We give you our cell phone numbers and it is actually ok to call us, our office doors stay open and the residents just come plop down right where you are sitting whenever they need me and I stop what I am doing and try to help them. They don’t go through anybody to see me. They just call, text, email, or just walk in and start telling me what they need me to help them with. You might take note that I am one of the vice chairs, so, titles and seniority do not change faculty approachability or accessibility. Regarding the next characteristic of our learning climate, it usually takes the new interns a little time before they will go in the water on this one. There is really nothing at stake when you reveal to us that you do not know something. We just do not think in terms of anything negative needing to happen when you let us know a knowledge deficit that you have. As I said, the residents that do the best in our program are the residents that have a pretty good sense of what they know and what they do not know and are transparent with us about their knowledge base and their clinical skill set. We love it when they do this. We can actually be strategic and focused with our teaching and like a laser shoot straight through your deficit and give you exactly what you need.
—Herb Ward, MD, Clinical Vice Chair
We work to meet the learner where they are, and we try our best to foster independent thinking by asking…”what do you want to do (e.g. with the treatment plan)?
—Jacqueline A. Hobbs, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Education