Vanderbilt’s residency program features a robust series of educational conferences that are designed to solidify or expand residents' knowledge of clinical medicine; develop their analytical, critical thinking, and teaching skills; and engage their drive to pursue scientific discovery.

Inpatient Conferences:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:00 AM       Grand Rounds  
9:00 AM      

Academic Half Day 9am-12pm
(Clinic Residents Only)

10:30 AM

Morning Report (separate VA and VU)

Imaging & Gel Rounds (VA)

Morning Report (separate VA and VU)

Morning Report (VU) Clinical Reasoning Conference (VA) 

11:00 AM        Professor Rounds (VU)    Electrolyte Rounds (VA)


12:00 PM Chalk Talk Lecture Series Chief Resident Lectures Clinical Approach
Series/ Board Review, PCEC, Wellness
Intern Report
Social/Global Medicine, POCUS, EXCITE

All lectures occur in-person with masking, following VUMC Guidelines, with a virtual option for those off-campus. 

Morning Lectures:

Vanderbilt’s residency program features a robust series of educational conferences that are designed to solidify or expand residents' knowledge of clinical medicine; develop their analytical, critical thinking, and teaching skills; and engage their drive to pursue scientific discovery.

"Morning Report"
Morning Report

inpatient Morning Report:  During inpatient rotations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Nashville VA Medical Center, residents attend inpatient morning reports several times weekly.  Inpatient morning reports are led by the inpatient chief residents and are regularly attended by program leadership and core faculty, including Dr. Christman, Chief of Medicine at the VA, and Drs. McPherson and Sergent, our current and former program directors 

We begin morning report with a case recently admitted to the teaching services and then a selected case by a resident.  Residents work through the cases in groups with faculty members, developing differential diagnoses and practicing clinical reasoning.  Team members presenting the case often benefit from hearing experts in the room chime in on the differential diagnosis.  After a diagnosis is revealed, the resident gives a brief presentation on the disease and answer a clinical question using primary literature. 

Professor Rounds: Residents on inpatient rotations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center attend Professor Rounds on Thursdays. With the assistance of the inpatient teams, Dr. Rathmell, our Chair of Medicine, critically thinks through a challenging case. The focus is on developing skills in clinical reasoning.  Advanced questions particular to the disease being discussed are directed towards an expert faculty ringer in the audience after a diagnosis is reached.

X-ray Rounds: Interns on inpatient rotations at the Nashville VA Medical Center attend Imaging Rounds on Mondays. The Chief of Medicine at the VA (and one of our Assistant Program Directors), Dr. Christman, builds intern confidence in reading chest X-rays and other imaging studies.

Gel Rounds: New this year!  Residents on inpatient rotations at the Nashville VA Medical Center attend Gel Rounds on Tuesdays on their non-admitting day.  Hospitalists and fellows from subspecialty services to hands-on point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) teaching at the bedside. 

Electrolyte Rounds: This is also a new conference in which former VUMC Chief Resident and current nephrology attending, JP Arroyo, walks through electrolyte disturbances with the residents on the inpatient rotations at the Nashville VA Medical Center on Thursdays. 

Clinical Reasoning Conference:  This unique conference has historically occurred on Fridays at the VA Medical Center, and we eagerly anticipate its return post-COVID19.  This conference includes several teams (Medical Students, PGY-1 Residents, Upper Level Residents, and Attendings) who work through a resident-presented case step by step, requesting specific physical exam findings and diagnostic studies and narrowing differential diagnosis at each step.

Ambulatory Didactics:


Academic Half-Day: While on ambulatory blocks, interns and upper-level residents participate in our academic half-day that occurs on Thursday mornings. This is a three-hour interactive session that incorporates case-based learning, physical exam skills, journal club, and other didactic sessions. This is led by the ambulatory chief residents and is regularly attended by program leadership. The core curriculum includes advanced general internal medicine and medical subspecialties. This is taught by faculty from the various divisions of internal medicine, guest lecturers from other departments, and our current residents. Academic half-day focuses on a “theme” for each block, which is typically a medical subspecialty area (i.e. Rheumatology, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases, etc.). This allows our interns and residents to focus their learning within one subspecialty while actively concentrating on evidence-based approaches to outpatient medicine. Residents also have the opportunity to present patients at our ambulatory intake, which allows for resident-led case discussions focused on outpatient medicine. Academic half-day also serves as a time for discussions in ethics, resiliency, and high-value care. 

Ambulatory Intern Didactics: During the first part of the year, the interns receive didactic lectures in general internal medicine which are taught by faculty from the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health. Topics include Preventative Medicine, Pain Management, and Anxiety and Depression Management.  Following this, the interns join the residents for the core curriculum; although throughout the year, there are additional didactic sessions reserved for interns for training sessions on the management of a primary care clinic and a didactic series in geriatrics.

Quality Improvement Didactics: PGY-2 residents have time reserved during academic half-day to participate in a longitudinal quality improvement curriculum. Residents receive training in the principles of quality improvement and acquire the essential tools to perform quality improvement. They then apply these tools in two ways: (1) to improve outcomes for their cohort of continuity clinic patients and (2) to solve system-level problems identified during program morbidity, mortality, and improvement (MM&I) conferences. Residents present the outcomes of these projects in a program-wide conference at the end of the academic year. Resident-generated projects can result in changes that impact the entire hospital.

Longitudinal Conferences:

Core Lecture (Chalk Talk) Series: The inpatient didactics series takes place on Mondays at noon. It is a set of foundational lectures given by core faculty-directed at clinical problems commonly encountered by residents on the wards. The pathophysiology of hallmark diseases is reviewed in an interactive manner, and the presenting faculty use a “chalk talk” approach – PowerPoint slides are strongly discouraged. Subsequently, the management of these diseases is reviewed according to best evidence with the added goal of familiarizing residents with the most often-cited studies in internal medicine and its specialties.

Clinical Approach Series: This inpatient didactic series takes place on Wednesdays at noon.  This series was created after a resident QI project in 2018-2019 year showed residents desired more clinical-based teaching during noon conference and speakers are arranged by a resident-led committee.  These lectures are typically management-focused lectures provided by VUMC Fellows in various medicine subspecialties and the core topics include: Respiratory failure, Hypotension on the floor, Afib/flutter, Heart failure, Cirrhosis, Adrenal insufficiency, Pancytopenia, Inpatient HIV admission, Hyponatremia, Oncologic Emergencies.

Board Review Series: Upper-level residents attend a Board Review Series on Wednesdays, which is division-themed so that a fellow expert from the featured division can be present to address any questions that may arise.

Intern Report: Intern Report takes place on select Fridays at noon and is dedicated time for Vanderbilt University Medical Center administrative leaders to hear intern feedback on processes relevant to day-to-day clinical operations. Many operational improvements have emerged from this conference.

Chief Resident Lectures:  The chief residents present a weekly Tuesday conference in a "Curbsiders" format with an expert discussant. They use a case to highlight important clinical evaluation and management using evidence-based practice. Select Tuesdays are reserved for Clinicopathological Conferences (CPCs) and Departmental Morbidity, Mortality, and Improvement (MM&I) Conferences. 

Medicine Grand Rounds: Medicine Grand Rounds takes place on Thursday mornings. The entire department gathers to learn about the latest in disease management and patient care from top faculty at Vanderbilt and invited speakers from across the nation.

Other Lectures: There are other lecture series on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year, including Wellness Wednesdays, Palliative Educational Curriculum (PCEC), Social Medicine, Global Medicine, Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS), and EXCellence In Teaching (EXCITE), our medical education pathway. 



"Christine Lopez, MD"
Christine Lopez, MD
University of North Carolina
VUMC Ambulatory Chief Resident



"As part of your clinical education at Vanderbilt, you will participate in a variety of conferences on your inpatient and outpatient rotations that are part of a comprehensive curriculum. While the Covid-19 pandemic moved many of our conferences to virtual platforms, they are returning to safe, socially distanced, in-person meetings in accordance with Vanderbilt guidelines. On inpatient services, you will have the opportunity to participate in our morning report, which is regularly attended by faculty, program directors, and the chair of medicine. Our noon lecture series is attended by residents on inpatient and outpatient services and encompasses pathophysiology, clinical management, resident wellness, board review, and social medicine. Vanderbilt also offers an academic half-day for residents on outpatient rotations, allowing an interactive learning environment where residents can work on problem-solving, critical thinking, and their own teaching skills. These conferences prepare our residents for their future roles as clinicians, teachers, researchers, and leaders."