Clinical case conferences
Weekly conferences generally involve unusual and complex cases selected by presenting fellows (following discussions with the attending physician). Fellows are asked to frame the presentation around one or two important clinical questions. Case presentations involve reviewing clinical information, radiographic studies, gram stain and other microbiologic diagnostics and pathology studies. Following each presentation, a fellow not previously involved in the case is asked to develop an approach to the case and to discuss interpretations of clinical data, differential diagnosis and management . The presenting fellow then provides an evidence-based discussion of the clinical questions and management issues relevant to the case. A faculty member evaluates the fellow's presentation at the conference's conclusion.
The Vanderbilt Matrix is used as a key tool in evaluating each conference case. It follows the six ACGME Clinical Competencies, the six IOM Aims, and was developed in a grid-like format to cover each domain and allows areas of deficiency and improvement to be identified.
This meeting has been held weekly since 1961 and is the setting for reviewing a wide array of clinical and basic science articles. The fellows, ID faculty, clinical microbiologists, clinical pharmacists, biostatisticians, epidemiologists, other faculty and students all present articles on a rotating basis. The presenter reviews the publication; this is followed by a discussion of the pertinent science by participants, with special emphasis on the literature's strengths and weaknesses. The conference series is made available to off-site fellows and faculty through web-based AdobeConnect.
Each month, first-year fellows are asked to present their proposed research project, which is open to critical discussion by the attendees. In the second year, fellows are asked to present their research project findings. This conference is also used to update fellows on faculty research and serves as a venue for generating new projects and collaborative endeavors. The series is made available to off-site fellows and faculty through web-based AdobeConnect.
Core Curriculum Conference
This weekly conference is presented as didactic teaching sessions led by fellows and faculty (assigned on a yearly basis). Fellows are assigned a faculty mentor who contributes to their preparation and presentation. The conference series consists of a two-year curriculum of lectures covering all major infectious diseases topics. During the first four weeks of each academic year, conferences are held twice weekly to expose new fellows to core ID topics early in their training (HIV infection, bone and joint infections, endocarditis). In addition to major ID topics, the curriculum includes supplemental lectures such as molecular diagnostics, cystic fibrosis and transplantation, billing compliance, and quality improvement. The series is made available to off-site fellows and faculty through web-based AdobeConnect.
Department of Medicine Patient Safety and Clinicopathological Conference
Fellows attend these two monthly departmental meetings. The patient safety conference is designed to critically review patient management across the spectrum of the health care system. Fellows will specifically learn how to create a "culture of safety" that aligns the interests of clinicians with the goals of the organization, enables them to learn from defects in patient care while incorporating human and environmental factors to reduce errors, and empowers clinicians by providing them with tools to effectively implement change. The Vanderbilt Matrix is used as a key tool in evaluating each conference case. Attendees represent all specialties from the medical center and include those in risk management, administration, nursing and quality control.
The clinicopathological conference is multidisciplinary, presented as case-based teaching. Fellows correlate the clinical and pathological findings from their cases and discuss the impact of these findings on improving health care delivery. The conference also serves to help fellows develop problem-solving skills and the ability to carry out in-depth reviews of complex or unusual cases.