by Carlie Stein & William Moore

On July 15, 2014, the UAB Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program held its tenth annual PGY-2 Retreat at the home of Dr. Lisa Willett (Program Director 2012 - present). During the retreat, our second-year residents spoke of the successes and challenges in intern year, while reflecting upon ways to effectively approach their new academic roles.

Retreat CollageL to R: Glenn Zhao; Jason Morris & Lisa Willett; Stephen Clarkson & Kevin Cowley

Retreat sessions were led by several Internal Medicine faculty members, including Dr. Willett, Associate Program Director Dr. Jason Morris, Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program Director Dr. Jason Hartig, Assistant Program Director Dr. Ryan Kraemer, and Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Stan Massie. Breakfast and lunch were graciously served by Dr. Willett and our Program Administrator Mrs. Tammy Pickens.

Dr. Willett's home provided a casual environment for residents to develop their leadership and communication skills through workshops, personal reflection and open dialogue. With interactive discussion, residents discovered their "leadership personalities" and learned how to incorporate these personalities into their new PGY-2 role. Other sessions emphasized the importance of teamwork and communication in making patient care decisions.

One example is an exercise involving the creation of a rank list of survival items, imagining you are stranded in Space. After developing their lists, residents broke into groups to complete the same task, with the goal of agreeing on a final list of which items are most important to survive. After much heated debate and laughter, residents were reunited to score themselves individually and as teams. Interestingly, only one individual scored higher than his team, demonstrating the power of teamwork and group discussion in making decisions.

The day was filled with learning and reflection, but also provided an atmosphere of camaraderie between co-residents and faculty members. To quote Mrs. Pickens, "Each year, residents walk into the retreat as fresh PGY-1 graduates and walk out as seasoned resident leaders."