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 (COVID Adaptations):

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:00 AM       Grand Rounds  
9:00 AM       Academic Half Day
Clinic Resident Only
10:30 AM Imaging Rounds (VA PGY-1) Intake Conference (1/2 VA Teams) Intake Conference (1/2 VA Teams)  
11:00 AM       Professor Rounds (1/2 VUMC teams)
12:00 PM Chalk Talk Lecture Series Morning Report
(VA Cases)
Chief Resident Lectures
Clinical Approach
Series/ Board Review
Morning Report
(VU Cases)
Intern Report
Wellness, Social/Global Medicine

 Lectures in BOLD occur in person (groups <20 socially distanced residents/attendings).  All other lectures are virtual.

Inpatient Conferences (Plan for post COVID):

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

(clinic residents only)
10:30 AM Morning Report
(separate VA and VU)
Imaging Rounds (VA) Morning Report
(separate VA and VU)
Clinical Reasoning Conference (VA)
11:00 AM       Professor Rounds
12:00 PM Core Lecture Series Fox & Hedgehog Clinic Appproach Series/ Board Review   Intern Report, Wellness, Global/Social Medicine

All lectures to occur in person when deemed safe by VUMC GME and Occupational Health.

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

We have made some exciting changes to our Morning Report during this virtual era. Two residents present interesting cases victually every Thursday. Residents who are not presenting gather in small groups in team rooms to work the cases, developing differential diagnoses and practicing clinical reasoning. Drs. McPherson and Sergent split amongst the rooms and the residents benefit from hearing their expert input on the cases. After a diagnosis is revealed, there is a brief, 5-minute presentation on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of the disease presented. This format allows residents to practice presenting to a virtual audience, while also engaging learners in an interactive, case-based conference.

VA Intake Conference: Given the small team sizes at the VA, we are currently holding in-person intake conferences for small groups on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  These consist of a resident volunteering to present a patient’s case from their team and both residents and attendings working to discover the diagnosis or provide further ideas on diagnostics if the case is an unknown.

Professor Rounds: Residents on inpatient rotations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center attend Professor Rounds on Fridays. 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.

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. This is currently being held virtually with the exception of Ambulatory Intern Didactics which have been held in person given group sizes of <20.

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.

Fox & Hedgehog: Historically, Fox & Hedgehog takes place on Tuesdays at noon and is the highlight of the weekly noon conference schedule. The chief residents present some of the most compelling cases from residency and explore the scientific questions that are fundamental to the cases at hand. Expert faculty ringers are then invited to comment on the cases. Currently, Morning Report or Chief Resident lectures take place on Tuesdays, and we eagerly await the return of Fox & Hedgehog when we can gather together again safely. The interactive Chief Resident Lecture series will incorporate friendly competitions between residents within virtual breakout rooms as they either work cases (with an expert faculty ringer educating about the final diagnosis) or participate in “Telephone”-style lectures and learn the importance of clear communication of a patient’s history and clinical findings.    Select Tuesdays are reserved for Clinicopathological Conferences (CPCs) and Departmental Morbidity, Mortality, and Improvement (MM&I) Conferences. 


Ethics and Professionalism Series: The Ethics and Professionalism conference series takes place monthly on Fridays and focuses on clinical ethics, communication skills, and value-based care, among other topics.

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.



"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.