Curriculum – Electives/Selectives

Electives

A significant amount of time during residency is devoted to electives, which allows our residents the flexibility to gain a concentrated experience in an area of interest. Over the course of three years, our residents have 11 elective block rotations. Residents can choose electives from any subspecialty within the Department of Medicine or other departments to enhance a particular primary care interest, academic pathway, or to pursue a subspecialty interest. In addition to clinical subspecialty electives, residents may perform clinical or basic research during their elective time. Housestaff are able to choose elective rotations at any of the affiliated hospitals, depending on their specific interest. Faculty involved in supervising housestaff on elective rotations have teaching appointments at the University of Connecticut and are dedicated to our teaching mission. When on electives, residents participate in ambulatory clinics, conferences, and consulting rounds, in addition to working closely with the faculty and fellows. We remain open to working with residents to create unique elective experiences geared toward their career interests. The following is a brief overview of some of the divisional resources available to our housestaff for electives:

Allergy
Residents learn to evaluate a wide variety of clinical problems including asthma, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, drug and food allergy, anaphylaxis, urticaria, atopic dermatitis, and a number of less common immune-mediated illnesses.

Cardiology
The Calhoun Cardiology Center is involved in resident education at all levels of training. The 25 full-time and 47 voluntary faculty include basic biomedical scientists, clinical investigators, and clinicians. They provide a breadth of knowledge from molecular biology research to sophisticated, state-of-the-art, clinical management. In addition to core rotations on Inpatient Cardiology and Coronary Care Units, housestaff may also elect experiences in cardiology office practice, invasive and non-invasive cardiac testing, cardiac rehabilitation, and clinical or basic research.

Endocrinology
The Division of Endocrinology includes 12 full-time and 17 voluntary faculty. Housestaff may elect to participate in busy outpatient and inpatient services at any of the four training sites in the program. The Diabetes Care Center at Saint Francis Hospital, the Osteoporosis Center at UConn Health, and the Joslin Diabetes Center at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, are focal points for clinical experiences and research at those sites.

Gastroenterology
The Division of Gastroenterology includes nine full-time and 33 voluntary faculty. The faculty are responsible for more than 6,000 procedures annually, including upper and lower endoscopies, ERCPs, endoscopic sclerotherapy, papillatomy, laser surgery, small bowel and liver biopsies, esophageal studies, and endoscopic ultrasound. In addition to busy clinical electives, the Division of Gastroenterology offers housestaff exciting research opportunities in such areas as receptor-mediated gene therapy, regulation of hepatic collagen synthesis, cirrhosis, and percutaneous contact dissolution of gallstones.

Geriatrics
The Geriatrics curriculum begins in the PGY1 year, affording residents the opportunity to learn the skills required to manage the unique problems of our aging citizens. It is a structured rotation in which housestaff care for both institutionalized and non-institutionalized elderly patients. Housestaff are supervised by Geriatrics faculty and work with a multidisciplinary, geriatric care team. Interdisciplinary team meetings and a core curriculum of topics in Geriatric evaluation techniques augment this experience.

UConn has a national reputation as a leader in geriatric education and research. It is one of seven sites that have been nationally selected by the John A. Hartford Foundation to develop an integrated geriatric curriculum for General Internal Medicine residents. The Travelers Center on Aging was a recipient of the prestigious Pepper Center Award from the National Institute of Aging.

Hematology/Oncology
The Division of Hematology/Oncology includes 14 full-time and 30 voluntary faculty. Elective rotations for housestaff in Hematology/Oncology focus on outpatient services that complement busy inpatient activities. Interested residents may also elect rotations in Radiation Oncology and Transfusion Medicine. Basic research rotations are also available in cancer immunology and thrombotic disorders

HIV
The HIV curriculum at Hartford Hospital offers residents an understanding of the molecular biology, pathophysiology, and natural history of HIV infection. Residents learn to diagnose primary HIV infection, to recognize and treat oral, dermatologic, neoplastic, gastrointestinal, and neurologic complications of HIV, as well as many opportunistic infections.

Infectious Diseases
The education of residents, medical students and medical staff in the principles and practice of infectious diseases is a prime commitment of the 14 full-time and four voluntary faculty in this Division. Active inpatient consultation services, General Infectious Disease clinics, and specialty clinics in adult vaccinations, AIDS, International Travel Medicine, sexually-transmitted diseases, and viral hepatitis, provide a breadth of clinical material for elective rotations. Categorical PGY2 housestaff rotate on the inpatient and outpatient AIDS Unit at Hartford Hospital. Basic and clinical research includes established projects in the area of basic biology, clinical microbiology, virology, antibiotic pharmacokenetics, and hospital epidemiology.

Nephrology
The Division of Nephrology has six full-time and 14 voluntary faculty. Acute and chronic dialysis services exist at all clinical sites. Renal transplantation is performed at Hartford Hospital. Residents on the Renal elective gain broad exposure in evaluating and treating patients with acute and chronic kidney diseases, complex hypertension, fluid and electrolyte disorders, metabolic bone and stone diseases and acid-base disorders. A variety of clinical and basic research projects are also available on such topics as hemoperfusion and hemofiltration, nephrolithiais, renal physiology, and studies of the pathogenesis and treatment of hypertension.

Neuro/Psychiatry
Residents will learn to diagnose and treat a variety of primary psychiatric ailments, as well as the psychiatric manifestations of medical disorders. On the Neurology half of the Neuro/Psychiatry elective, residents will learn the natural history, diagnosis, and treatment of cerebral vascular disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, disc disease, neuromuscular disease, and seizure disorders, as well as dementia and memory disorders.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine
The Occupational Medicine curriculum provides an opportunity for housestaff to engage in the prevention, diagnosis, management, and investigation of diseases stemming from the workplace and other patient environments.

Pulmonary
The Division of Pulmonary Medicine includes 14 full-time and 11 voluntary faculty. Prime teaching sites include the Inpatient and Critical Care Units at each of the training sites. Outpatient pulmonary clinics, a tuberculosis clinic, a sleep disorders laboratory, and Occupational Medicine opportunities provide exposure to a wide variety of ambulatory pulmonary problems. Major research interests include the pathogenesis of acute and chronic respiratory failure and the role of surfactant in acute and chronic diffuse lung disease.

Rheumatology
The Division of Rheumatology at the University of Connecticut is widely recognized for the depth of clinical experiences it offers to residents. Six full-time faculty supervise clinical educational activities at UConn Health and the Newington VA Medical Center, with more than 5,000 outpatient visits annually. Residents may also elect to participate in a broad range of research topics, from basic immunology and molecular biology to clinical investigations, epidemiology and therapeutic trials. Preceptorship experiences with community-based faculty are available to residents as well.

Other Electives
Elective rotations are also available in Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Women's Health, Gynecology, Hospitalist Medicine, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, ENT, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, and the Surgical subspecialties. Residents may elect to do up to two months of basic or clinical research, usually taken in the PGY2 year. Away electives that will provide housestaff with unique experiences that are individually designed to enable them to achieve their career goals may also be arranged.

Selectives

The program has developed curriculum in required selective areas that broaden the depth of internal medicine and non-internal medicine experience. These selectives include: Women’s Health and Neurology in PGY1 (in conjunction with the Scholarship Rotation), four weeks of Geriatrics in PGY1, and HIV Medicine in PGY2 or PGY3.

Other Electives

A wide variety of electives in other Internal Medicine disciplines and a spectrum of non-Internal Medicine electives are available to housestaff. Residents electing a rotation in Allergy learn to evaluate a wide variety of clinical problems including asthma, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, drug and food allergy, anaphylaxis, urticaria, atopic dermatitis and a number of less common immune-mediated illnesses. An elective in Occupational and Environmental Medicine provides an opportunity for housestaff to engage in the prevention, diagnosis, management and investigation of diseases stemming from the workplace and other patient environments. Elective rotations are also available in Adolescent Medicine, Psychiatry, Radiology, Women's Health, Gynecology, Hospitalist Medicine, and Sports Medicine. Residents may elect to do basic or clinical research. One "away elective" in International Health may also be arranged with the approval of the program director. Residents with special interests in Public Health and Preventive Medicine may receive partial scholarship support to receive concurrent training in our Masters of Public Health Program.