The weekly “Fox and Hedgehog” conference remains the most exciting and interesting didactic activity in our residency program. Each week, participants are challenged to solve difficult clinical cases. Fox and Hedgehog builds on Vanderbilt's tradition of patient-based learning and incorporates cutting-edge science, pathophysiology, and genetics to teach the newest advances in therapy.

In a 60-minute whirlwind of presentations and discussion, three of the four chief residents in Medicine present a recent case, followed by Q&A with a faculty member who specializes in a key aspect of the patient's illness.

"The Hedgehog and the Fox" (1953) is an essay written by philosopher Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), which distinguishes between those people who like foxes are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those like hedgehogs who relate everything to a single, coherent vision. The analogy for generalists and specialists easily follows.