VCMC’s ICU is a closed, mixed medical and surgical unit staffed daily by a resident team comprised of a PGY-1 and PGY-3. Overnight coverage is provided by a PGY-2 or PGY-3 on night float, giving that resident an opportunity to be "alone" in the ICU (the attending is available by phone) and develop some independence. Residents intubate, place lines and chest tubes, manage ventilators, and run codes under the supervision of a dedicated ICU attending (many of whom are family physicians and graduates of our program) and in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team including critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, and the palliative care team.
Common diagnoses managed include sepsis, trauma, acute MI, pancreatitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, and more. The procedural training is superb, and residents leave the rotation comfortable dealing with acute illness. Residents serve as the point of communication between the medical team and the patients and families, developing their skills in critical health care decision-making and end-of-life discussions .
PGY-1 residents do a month-long ICU block. There are 2-week night-float blocks in each of the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years. There is another dedicated ICU block in the PGY-3 year.