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Yale Wins Catalyst Award for Transformation in Graduate Medical Education

January 23, 2023
by Julie Parry

A new Yale learning initiative, Clinical Learning Environment Optimizing Uptake Training (CLOUT), is one of the six recipients of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Catalyst Awards for Transformation in Graduate Medical Education (GME).

CLOUT will bring chief residents together to participate in a longitudinal curriculum to learn skills to de-escalate emotionally charged patient and family encounters and immediately respond to trainees who have been subjected to verbal abuse by patients. Through this new program, chief residents will model and practice behaviors to promote personal resilience, psychological safety, and belonging by teaching both learners and faculty to identify best practices for appropriate debriefing and support.

Principal Investigator Dana Dunne, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases); and Director of Educator Development for Graduate Medical Education, Department of Internal Medicine, explained the project background. “The faculty within the GME office at Yale School of Medicine (YSM) and Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) brainstormed ideas to improve the learning climate. We wanted to enable the chief residents to be change agents within the institution, so we wanted to equip them with a longitudinal curriculum that would hit many levels and give them skills to coach the residents in their departments to deal with situations that could affect their clinical learning environment.”

CLOUT will focus on mitigating workplace stress due to patient verbal abuse, addressing and responding to bias/mistreatment and harassment, as well as other factors that can contribute to a poor learning climate, and creating communities of belonging and inclusion. The curriculum will be delivered by a combination of large group skill building sessions and monthly small group meetings. Chief residents will be paired with a faculty champion to provide mentorship, allyship, and buy-in, and to advance institutional memory and continuity.

The curriculum was created by experts across YSM. Co-investigators include Stephen Huot, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (nephrology), and senior associate dean for graduate medical education (YSM); Andrea Asnes, MD, MSW, professor of pediatrics (general pediatrics), and director, resident and fellow wellbeing (GME); Jeffrey Dewey, MD, MHS, assistant professor of neurology, and associate program director, neurology residency; Claudia-Santi Fernandes, EdD, LPC, assistant professor of medicine (general medicine) and in the Child Study Center, and founding director of Youth4Wellness at Yale; and David Berg, PhD, clinical professor (psychiatry.)

Funding begins on February 1, 2023. The program will launch in April and expand throughout the spring and summer.

The Catalyst Awards for Transformation in Graduate Medical Education are intended to support interventions in the clinical learning environment that enhance graduate medical education and improve the experience of learners. Successful proposals will describe, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to equip learners with the tools, skills, and strategies to flourish in the clinical learning environment.

Submitted by Julie Parry on January 23, 2023