In the Tufts Health Care Institute (THCI) model, we opened up the Mini-Rotation to appropriate applicants from multiple training programs in our geographic region. Other course organizers may choose to adapt this approach to fit their individual circumstances.
Resident recruitment: THCI invited senior and chief residents from programs throughout the northeast U.S. to apply for a spot in the Mini-Rotation. This assured THCI and our faculty that residents who came to the seminar were interested in and committed to our educational goals. THCI wrote to program directors in several of the major specialties, sending them an overview of the Mini-Rotation—course format and dates, learning objectives, sample topics, selected comments from learners and program directors in previous years, and an application form. These program directors were asked to share the information with their senior and chief residents as they deemed appropriate.
Resident application: Since we limited attendance to 25 residents, it was necessary to screen residents through an application process. The brief application included the following:
Resident’s information: institution, program, year of training, contact information.
Personal statement of interest: applicants were required to write a brief essay: “In 250–300 words, tell us why you are interested in attending and what you hope to learn from the course.”
Sign-off by program director: signature by the program director endorsing the applicant and assuring that, if accepted, the applicant would be excused from all clinical duties during the course dates.
Selection: In addition to reviewing the applications, THCI sought a mix of residents from different specialties and institutions. In some cases, if there were multiple applicants from the same program but not enough capacity for them, we asked their program director to recommend the most appropriate candidate.
Pre-course assignments: Accepted residents were required to complete pre-course assignments with set due dates. Assignments included an opinion survey and a knowledge assessment, both of which were repeated after the course.
Pre-course reading: THCI prepared a list of readings on the topics covered in the Mini-Rotation. We asked residents to read a sample of the articles and reports. The coursebook given out at the seminar had an extensive bibliography, which included the pre-course articles.
Post-course assignments: Course participants were required to complete and submit post-course opinion surveys and knowledge assessments, with most of the questions from the pre-course assessment instruments.
Post-course expectations of learners: Following the Mini-Rotation, attendees were expected to share what they learned in the seminar with peers in their training programs. With permission from the Mini-Rotation faculty, residents were encouraged to use course slides posted on the THCI website to aid in this collegial education. In concert with their program directors, course participants were expected to identify opportunities to lead discussions and share materials with fellow residents and faculty on the specific topics and overall themes of the course.
Course logistics: No fee was charged to attend the Mini-Rotation. All out-of-town residents were required to arrange and pay for their own lodging and dinners for the week of the course. Residents also received emails with the details about the location and daily schedule. They and their preceptors were required to arrange to be relieved of all clinical responsibilities during the days of the course, and to attend all sessions. THCI provided breakfast and lunch, and residents were on their own after each day’s adjournment at 5:00 p.m. Residents received an evaluation form asking them to rate each session as well as the course overall. They were encouraged to fill out the rating sheet at the end of each day and submit it on the final day. Attendees also signed release forms for their appearance in photos and/or videos, for posting on the THCI website.
Certificates of completion: Residents who attended the entire course and completed all pre- and post-assignments were sent a certificate of completion and a class picture.