Orthopaedic Interns Across Chicago Learn and Bond in Journal Club

OrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. The following contribution comes from Rob Christian, MD and Maddy Lyons, MD.

Editor’s Note: The application deadline for the 2019-2020 JBJS Robert Bucholz Resident Journal Club Grant Program has been extended to November 1, 2019.

Junior residents often hear attendings, fellows, and senior residents quote landmark studies, but few find the time to track down and read these important papers on their own. So, when the Northwestern University Orthopaedic Residency Program was awarded one of the JBJS Robert Bucholz Resident Journal Club Grants, Haley Smith, MD (PGY-2) and I used the funding to pilot an Intern Journal Club, inviting all the interns in orthopaedic surgery residency programs across Chicago to read and discuss landmark studies.

Over the last decade, several hospitals in Chicago, such as John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, have trained teams of orthopaedic residents from multiple programs. Working in the hospital with residents from different programs is a great educational experience, and we thought these resident teams could be even more effective if they interacted with one another prior to working together in the hospital.

Our Intern Journal Club met quarterly, and had impressive attendance, especially considering the busy intern work schedule. Each journal club session featured 4 to 5 landmark studies (suitable for PGY-1s), and discussions were led by senior residents selected across the programs.  Articles discussed came from all orthopaedic subspecialties. In addition to literature-based discussions, the get-togethers fostered collegial relationships among the different programs.

For me, the most rewarding part of the Intern Journal Club has been meeting the interns as they begin their residencies and guiding discussion to help them think critically about orthopaedic literature. With the continued support of the JBJS Robert Bucholz Resident Journal Club Grant, we look forward to continuing to host the Intern Journal Club for this year’s intern class.

Rob Christian, MD (PGY-5)
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

*          *          *          *

Initially, the JBJS Chicago Intern Journal Club felt like it was adding articles to an endless intern reading list. However, it turned out to be one of the more valuable and fun educational experiences of my intern year.

The meetings provided the unique opportunity to meet residents from the other Chicago programs. Exchanging stories of intern-year trials and tribulations quickly bonded our group. It was interesting to discover the differences and similarities in our programs, our rotations, and even in the ways in which we manage injuries. In addition to building relationships with peers across programs, the journal clubs allowed me to connect with senior residents who have similar career interests and build several new mentorships.

The articles that we read and discussed were landmark studies that shape the practice of orthopaedics on a daily basis. Through morning conferences, OITE practice questions, and clinical care, interns are exposed repeatedly to fundamentals of orthopaedics, such as open fracture management and functional bracing of humeral shaft fractures. However, without our Intern Journal Club, I may not have explored the studies on which these practice-shaping principles are built. An open, discussion-based format with senior residents helped me understand the “whys” of what we are taught.

We are fortunate to have so many great orthopaedic residency programs in Chicago, each with unique strengths. I hope that our Intern Journal Club continues in the years to come to inspire future collaboration in educational, social, and networking events among the local residency programs.

Maddy Lyons, MD (PGY-2)
Loyola University Medical Center

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