Ready 4 Residency Course

The month-long Ready 4 Residency (R4R) course, formerly known as Back to the Classroom, was designed and developed to improve students’ readiness for residency via high-yield, interactive, management-based sessions and virtual patient simulations. R4R reinforces important curricular themes, including teamwork, quality improvement, patient safety, evidence-based practice, clinical decision-making, professionalism, and communication, through its various components.

R4R is a hybrid-learning course, meaning that learning will occur both online and off-line. Students will attend interactive sessions five mornings and two afternoons per week, with time built into the schedule for independent learning and participation in the online component.

R4R is only offered to fourth-year students in March/April of their graduating year.


Rachel Gordon, MD
Course Director

Christina Rho
Course Coordinator

Back to Infectious Diseases (BID) Component

BID will cover high-yield infectious disease and non-infectious disease-related topics, including diagnosis and management of infectious disease syndromes, to help better prepare students for internship. Weekly virtual patient cases will unfold on an interactive course website. Students will workup, diagnose, and manage their online patients; participate in “virtual rounds” and answer “attending questions;" and engage in individual and team assignments. Numerous resources will be provided, including “medical choose your own adventures” and educational videos. Each week will include an ARS session on antibiotic management and will culminate in a case-based, team-based learning exercise. This innovative pilot component of R4R will be optimized to promote independent inquiry, active learning, accountability, and teamwork.

In our effort to integrate the various components of R4R, the online cases and classroom activities (including BMI, FCM, and SLIM workshops) will complement each other.

Biomedical Informatics (BMI) Component

The goals of the R4R Biomedical Informatics section are to provide students an opportunity to:

  • improve their skill in assessing the quality of the medical literature
  • utilize effectively clinical decision support, being mindful of unintended consequences
  • develop strategies for dealing with uncertainty and optimizing decisions through clinical-decision analysis
  • develop an awareness of and manage personal cognitive biases that undermine rational decision-making

Herbert Chase, MD
Section Director

Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) Component

In FCM, students return to the classroom for weekly discussions integrated with the case-based R4R curriculum. Goals of this component are: 1) to provide students with advanced training in aspects of communication and the patient-physician relationship most relevant to internship and residency; 2) to provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their professional identity, their personal and professional goals, and their training while considering the mission of medicine and what it means to them as individuals; and 3) to encourage teamwork skills and habits of open communication among colleagues.

FCM discussion topics include:

  • Our Changing Health-Care System: Economics, Organization, and Ethical Challenges
  • Conflict with Patients in Clinical Care: Treatment Resistance, Capacity Assessment, and Disclosing Medical/Surgical Errors
  • Maintaining Wellness During Residency: Nutrition, Stress Management, and Using Your Emotional Intelligence
  • The Physician and Patients Near Death: Loss and Grief, Healing and Curing, Palliative Care

Mike J. Devlin, MD
Section Director

Systems, Leadership, Integration, and Management (SLIM) Component

The SLIM component focuses on applying performance-improvement concepts and tools to problems, and will be half-focused on organizational psychology and change-management techniques. Students will gain an understanding of applied performance improvement and the necessity of change-management skills as well as problem-solving skills. Students will be able to reflect on their future role as agents of change and answer the question, “Do I embrace this role or not?”

Robert Sideli, MD
Section Director