Department of Pediatrics
Residency Training Program
Life as a Resident
The responsibility of being a new physician and the strain of long
work hours are offset by an open and supportive work environment, a
strong sense of collegiality, and a residency philosophy that embraces
diversity and recognizes the importance personal and family wellness.
Most importantly, living in New Mexico means that when not at work in
the hospital, residents are surrounded by a beautiful landscape with a
vast array of activities and opportunities open to them.
Duty hours limitations, as set forth by ACGME, are respected and enforced
in our program. Efforts to understand and adhere to these new guidelines
were made early and swiftly, and the organization of our rotations reflects
this. Because of strong support and respect within our department, these
requirements are achieved with relative ease. We have no overnight call,
only shifts on our inpatient units. Interns work 13 hour shifts and have
at least 1 day off per week.
The Voice of Our Residents
Our program is dynamic and reflects the values of our residents. The
program leadership, from the chair to the program directors and
coordinator recognize how crucial it is to have residents as full
partners in the administration and operation of a vibrant, thriving
training program. Housestaff meetings are held monthly and function as a
forum for residents not only to express concerns, but to put forth
creative ideas for expanding and improving our training experience. Our
doors are always open to address any issue, from life inside or outside
the walls of the hospital. Our Residency Training Committee, Education
Curriculum Committee and other standing committees are resident driven
groups that rely on house officer ideas and energy. Our Selection
Committee is composed of a majority of residents, ensuring that you will
play a major role in selecting your peers.
The Faculty Mentor System
Each resident is able to select a faculty member from within the
department to serve as mentor and advocate. The goal of our mentor
system is to provide another, more personalized, venue of support for
our residents. As with most aspects of our program, the advisor system
is flexible, meaning that residents are given the opportunity to work
with an attending of their choice. This mentoring relationship is used
to help address professional goals, seek advice, and build friendships.
Relationships with Attending Physicians
The hierarchy created by more traditional medical school culture does
not exist within our program. Residents of all levels interact directly
with attendings as colleagues. We have very few fellows, and faculty and
housestaff alike relish the close working relationship we share.
Communication is recognized as one of the most important tools for
learning, and is open and active not only among residents, but also
between residents and faculty.
Relationships among Housestaff
The friendships shared by housestaff are vital. They transform the
workplace into a positive, nurturing environment and ensure a strong
network of support. This also means that residents frequently meet
outside the hospital to celebrate their free time together at local
restaurants, bars, venues, sports events, and parks. While most of these
outings occur spontaneously, there are also various organized events
interspersed throughout the year. As we say above, we work hard and play
hard, and we do both together.
Residents in our program come from all over the country, from a
variety of different backgrounds and with a wealth of different
experiences. They each bring a unique set of values, ambitions and hopes
to the program, and this is constantly being celebrated.
Recognizing the Importance of Family
Whether one’s family is in New Mexico, or elsewhere, we recognize the
vital role that family plays in the personal and professional
development of our residents. Our families can consist of parents and
siblings, spouses, partners, children and friends and while we all come
from different backgrounds, we all become a unique family together.
The Intern Retreat
Every February, interns are relieved of all duties for three days. Interns, their families,
the residency directors and coordinator, and a few lucky senior residents invited specifically
by the intern class, meet in Taos at the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan House for delicious food,
great discussions and lots of fun. The aim of this retreat is to give hard-working interns a
chance to learn, share and reflect in a structural, safe and collegial environment during a
very busy time of year.
Legislative Advocacy Retreat
Each October, all interns are released from clinical duties for 2
days to develop skills essential for advocating for children at the
legislative level. There they work with a diverse group of teachers,
including lobbyists, legislators, health care providers and families to
learn more about the legislative process in New Mexico and practice
these skills as part of a multi-disciplinary coalition.
The R-2 Retreat
Help in September, all second year residents are freed from clinical
duties and they spend the day together. The retreat focuses on career
planning and teaching skills. Outside speakers include experts on
physician recruiting and career planning as well as former residents who
help us better understand life in the “real world." Interactive
workshops help us become better teachers for our colleagues and
students, and focus on learning styles and giving more effective
The R3 Retreat
Held in August, all third year residents are freed of all clinical
duties, and spend a day gaining clinical skills in the state of the art
BATCAVE Simulation Lab, culminating in recertification in PALS. The
afternoon is spent building on the career planning begun during the R-2
retreat. Topics include applying for jobs, contract negotiations, and
practice management. There is time to talk, share and prepare for the
year ahead and beyond!