Internal Medicine Residency Program at Danbury Hospital

The mission of the Internal Medicine program at Danbury Hospital is to provide our residents an outstanding educational experience to ensure that they are prepared to practice general internal medicine or to enter subspecialty fellowship training. This is done by educating them in the essentials of clinical medicine along with the necessary pathophysiology and basic science required of a knowledgeable and skillful physician. The residents are taught to deliver health services, regardless of a patients’ ability to pay, to a diverse patient population without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, or social status. The program requires and supports our residents’ role as teachers and educators in their interactions with their peers, students, ancillary medical professionals, and patients. In addition, the program supports the professional development of our residents allowing for personal growth and individualization of goals.

Overview

Welcome to Danbury Hospital’s Internal Medicine Program! As a three year categorical medicine program, we aim to train competent, compassionate and well-rounded physicians. Our graduates are prepared to provide excellent patient-centered care as they take their next career step, whether entering general practice or pursuing further subspecialty training.

Being a Yale School of Medicine affiliated program, our residents have a hybrid opportunity to learn from experts in academic medicine each week, while being able to train in a community-hospital setting. Our housestaff additionally serve as clinical instructors for the University of Vermont, providing residents the valuable opportunity to develop teaching skills. Combined with our growing research department and Global Health Initiative, we believe our program strongly encourages residents to be equipped with both knowledge for the medical boards, and prepares them to become lifelong learners.

Mission / Vision Statement

The mission of the Internal Medicine program at Danbury Hospital is to provide our residents an outstanding educational experience to ensure that they are prepared to practice general internal medicine or to enter subspecialty fellowship training. This is done by educating them in the essentials of clinical medicine along with the necessary pathophysiology and basic science required of a knowledgeable and skillful physician. The residents are taught to deliver health services, regardless of a patients’ ability to pay, to a diverse patient population without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, or social status. The program requires and supports our residents’ role as teachers and educators in their interactions with their peers, students, ancillary medical professionals, and patients. In addition, the program supports the professional development of our residents allowing for personal growth and individualization of goals.

Program Structure

Our three-year categorical medicine program is designed to equip residents for a career in general Internal Medicine or medicine subspecialities. Therefore, our curriculum focuses on providing a broad array of rotations to allow optimal opportunity for learning during training.

Our curriculum is designed using a “4+2” schedule, meaning that residents participate in 4 weeks of inpatient rotations/subspecialty electives, followed by 2 weeks of outpatient continuity clinic or elective. This allows for residents to have a more balanced schedule in regards to teaching opportunity as well as work-life balance.

Residents are additionally required to complete 4 weeks of Emergency Medicine, 4 weeks of Neurology & 4 weeks of Geriatrics, in accordance with ACGME regulations.

Lastly, for residents interested in Global Health, a 6-week international elective can be completed in your second or third year. Please see Global Health for more information.

Outlines per PGY can be seen below:

PGY-1

  • 18-20 weeks of inpatient medicine (floors)
  • 2-4 weeks of ICU
  • 2-4 weeks of Night Float
  • 8 weeks of outpatient primary care clinic
  • 10-12 weeks of subspecialty electives
  • 4 weeks vacation

PGY 2 & 3:

  • 6-8 weeks of inpatient medicine (floors)
  • 4 weeks of ICU
  • 4 weeks of Step Down/ Progressive Care Medicine
  • 8 weeks of outpatient primary care clinic
  • 2-4 weeks of Night Float
  • 8-10 weeks of subspecialty electives
  • 2-4 weeks of Yale New Haven Rotation (or other away rotation)
  • 2-4 weeks of dedicated research time (if requested)
  • 4 weeks of Geriatric Medicine (PGY 3 ONLY)
  • 4 weeks vacation

Academic Offerings

Our program utilizes an academic half day style; where each Thursday is dedicated to protected time (free from clinical duties) from 12:45-4:30 containing 4 lectures. The first lecture is given by a Yale School of Medicine clinician, with the remaining lectures consisting of review from in-house attendings and board review. Lunch is provided.

In addition to the academic half-day, our residents find that the strongest component of our curriculum to be our Morning Report, hosted by the chief residents, program director, associate program directors and specialists involved in the case. Morning Reports occur four days a week, with the exception of Wednesdays for Grand Rounds.

Additional Academic Opportunities Include:

  1. Grand Rounds (weekly)
  2. Resident Driven Interactive Learning Sessions (Tuesdays)
  3. Nephrology Forum (Monday afternoons)
  4. Cardiology Cath Conference (weekly)
  5. ECG Review
  6. Ultrasound Curriculum (small-group learning for 7 weeks, Fridays)
  7. Research Seminars

Research Opportunities

Danbury Hospital’s Internal Medicine residency program ensures that all residents have opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in the areas of clinical research, evidence-based medicine, and quality improvement. From the beginning of the intern year, our residents are involved in research seminars that are conducted throughout the year and cover essential principles of the research process. In addition, our journal club puts learned skills into practice by using the published literature to dissect multiple examples of research design and practice applying research findings to patient care.

Our residents are then encouraged to utilize this knowledge to design their own research and quality-improvement projects. The scholarly activities are fully supported by the residency program and Department of Research and Innovation, including assistance with IRB submission, statistical support, and dedicated research time. The Residency Research Director and other faculty provide close mentorship throughout the project development and execution.

Our Annual Joseph L. Belksy, MD Research Day offers an excellent opportunity not only to share results of the work with colleagues, but also to practice presentation skills. Many of our residents have presented their original research at regional, national, and international meetings.

Current research projects span a wide spectrum of research designs and areas of medicine, to include epidemiological studies, cohort studies, case-controlled studies, and randomized clinical trials in the areas of infectious disease, pulmonology, critical care, sleep medicine, cardiology, and rheumatology.

Danbury Hospital Internal Medicine residency program is a wonderful environment of curiosity and inquiry that inspires professional growth and can make the residency time truly memorable.

Wellness

As medical residents, we understand that despite a strong passion for what we do, work fatigue can take over. Therefore, our program works actively to make sure wellness is a vital component of our day-to-day responsibilities.

Firstly, we strive to ease the transition of new interns into residency life by the creation of the “Big-Brother/Big-Sister” program whereby senior residents serve as both work and life mentors to their juniors. Our program supplants work weeks with open-feedback such as “Team Huddles” whereby anyone in the team can express regular workflow feedback, whether seniors to juniors and vice versa. Regular “Town Halls” with the Chief Residents allow residents to receive regular residency updates, express concerns, and have regular interaction. Access to the hospital’s Goldstone Caregiver Center allows residents to find a quiet spot to clear their mind in a calming and relaxing atmosphere.

For wellness outside of work, Danbury Hospital internal medicine boasts weekly Soccer games held in a local sports dome where faculty and residents can apply a new kind of teamwork. We also host yoga sessions at a local studio. Holiday parties such as our annual Halloween Costume event, winter Holiday Gala, and spring Family Feud challenge bring residents together [temporarily on hold given COVID-19]. Our Wellness Committee is dedicated to easing daily workflow by constantly making improvements. Most notably, our program functions on transparency and support in a close-knit environment.

Aside from the aforementioned, our Wellness Initiative includes the following:

  • Peer-to-peer support networks
  • Direct faculty mentorship
  • PACT – Physician/Associate Care Team peer supporters trained to effectively provide support
  • Ride Service for Post Call Days
  • System-wide Exercise Challenges
  • Invited guest speakers for health and wellness, including Goldstone Caregiver Center
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

 

How to Apply / Interview Process

How To Apply

Applications to the Danbury Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Categorical Program will only be accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS). The ERAS webs site can be located at http://www.aamc.org/students. We do not accept applications received in the mail or sent by fax.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. MEDICAL GRADUATES

  • ERAS Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Dean’s Letter
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Photograph (optional but preferred)
  • Medical School Transcripts
  • USMLE or COMLEX Transcripts (Step 1 and Step 2 CS/CK or equivalent)

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL GRADUATES:

  • All of the above requirements
  • U.S. citizen or permanent residency preferred
  • J-1 Visa’s and H1-B Visa’s will be considered
  • ECFMG Certificate
  • Recent US clinical experience is preferred
  • Recent graduate of medical school (preferred within past 5 years).

Interview Process

Applications must be completed by November 15 in order to be considered for review by the Selection Committee, though early applications are strongly encouraged.

Interviews are extended by email invitation only.

Due to the current COVID pandemic, interviews will be conducted virtually this year.

FAQs

How has your Internal Medicine residency adapted to COVID-19 pandemic?

The first case of COVID-19 in the state of Connecticut occurred in our network. Given our proximity to the tristate area, our program anticipated the needs of our residents from the very beginning. Our leadership has been working hard to find a balance between commitment to educational needs of our house staff and our safety.

Our program has been very active regarding COVID-19 management as we were involved in research trials including Remdesivir, convalescent plasma and alternative therapies. We have adapted our floor structure to minimize resident exposure to potential COVID 19 patients when possible.

From the beginning of the pandemic, we have been mindful of the emotional and psychological stress the pandemic has brought to our residents. Regularly scheduled town halls are held to keep the residents informed about COVID-19 issues and receive feedback about our COVID-19 experiences. Resident wellness is an important part of our program and we have paid particular attention to any impact of COVID-19 to resident well-being.

Additionally, our hospital provided testing for residents following the major wave of the pandemic, including antibody testing. Due to mindful and diligent leadership, the great majority of residents have tested negative. We have a robust jeopardy system and coverage for residents who have an illness that needs to be ‘ruled out’ and of course cover for acute issues not related to COVID.

With the evolving pandemic, our residency leaders are very involved in the institutional response at both our sites and worked hard to find the appropriate balance between patient care and education.

What is the structure of your floor teams?

The inpatient teams include a resident and an intern along with the attending hospitalist with strictly enforced team and individual patient caps.

What is the ICU experience like?

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a 20-bed closed unit that cares for critically ill inpatients. The ICU is supervised by Board Certified pulmonologist/intensivists who make teaching rounds on a daily basis. There is also a Coronary Care Unit under the supervision of Board Certified cardiologists.

Do you have night coverage?

Yes, we have a night float system. All interns now rotate as part of the night float team consisting of interns and upper-level residents supervised by attending nocturnists. We emphasize teamwork and mentoring of night float interns by upper-level residents who are part of the night float team.

What is the vacation system?

Each resident has four weeks of vacation divided into two two-week blocks. Vacation requests are taken before the start of each academic year and most requests are fulfilled, especially for significant life events.

What other residencies are offered at Danbury Hospital?

General Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Dentistry, and Pathology

Is there any opportunity for electives at other institutions?

Yes, our residents are offered 4 weeks of elective each year during PGY2 and 3 as dedicated time for electives at Yale New Haven Hospital or dedicated research time. If a resident chooses to complete an away elective at an alternative site, they may arrange to do so.

Is there opportunity to complete a Global Health elective?

Those interested may apply for the Global Health program, a 6 week rotation abroad where you will have the opportunity to experience medicine as practiced in other countries. Established sites include Uganda, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Russia, and China.

Does your health system qualify for the Program Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program?

Yes, we are a 501(C)(3) facility and our residents may qualify for the PSLF Program.