The Science of Medicine

Saint Peter's offers a comprehensive 36-month curriculum that prepares residents to be scholar physicians prepared to pursue either Primary Care or Subspecialty. 

The elements of the curriculum are as follows:

  • A rotation schedule that emphasizes ambulatory care experience in primary and specialty clinics
  • An intensive didactic curriculum
  • A research program that fosters inquiry, curiosity, discovery
  • A formal curriculum in Performance Improvement and Patient Safety
  • A robust program to sensitize and teach resource utilization to all students, residents, and faculty.

Board Review Sessions

The program director conducts a daily (Monday-Friday) board review session from July 1 to June 15 of every year. The Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP) of the American College of Physicians serves as the curriculum. Every resident receives a copy of the MKSAP. During the hour-long session, multiple choice questions are discussed in a highly interactive manner. During the year, approximately 1,250 questions (each question has five possible answers) and answers are discussed.


In addition an annual six-day long board review course is offered in collaboration with Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

Medical Grand Rounds

Medical Grand Rounds are held every Tuesday morning from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Grand Rounds emphasize clinical medicine and present important new developments in biomedical sciences. International, national, regional, and local scholars participate. There is a rich diversity of presentations. A certain number of Grand Rounds are case-based and involve clinical presentations by residents. Twelve sessions are devoted to Maintenance of Certificate (MOC) sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine.    


Morning Report

The Morning Report (MR) is a highly valued and time-honored tradition in American medical education. It was originally designed for the department chair to monitor the quality of care provided to patients. The format has changed over time and varies from program to program.

The MR is held four mornings a week. Three sessions are conducted by the program director and one session is led by C.S. Pitchumoni, M.D., chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. The MR is highly interactive. To stimulate thinking, the Socratic Method, a pedagogical technique is used, in which a teacher does not give information directly. Instead a series of questions are asked, with the result being that the student comes either to the desired knowledge by answering the question or to a deeper awareness of the limits of knowledge. We use this tool to insure excellent patient care. MR involves a diverse group of teachers and learners and covers a multitude of topics and curricular elements.

Daily Noon Conferences  

Our full-time faculty teaches Noon Conferences. They follow an 18-month curriculum cycle. The year begins with an introduction to a clinical medicine series especially designed for the incoming class. Throughout the year, all internal medicine specialties are covered.In addition, a weekly Ambulatory Care conference is held with special focus on primary care and office practice. 

Documentation Series 

An integral part of the morning report, this series teaches residents the art of documenting patient care. In the era of healthcare reform, documenting appropriately is a skill that increasingly will be required and expected of future physicians.

Research Opportunities

The expectation is that every resident performs meaningful and substantial research during residency. The research project begins when the resident joins the program. There are many research opportunities at Saint Peter's University Hospital. All residents will be assigned a research mentor who will work with them for all education-related issues, including research.

Since the inception of the program in 2005, more than 450 abstracts have been submitted to the American College of Physicians (ACP) New Jersey Chapter annual scientific meeting. From here residents have also been selected to attend national ACP meetings. The Saint Peter’s residency program conducts an Annual Research Day; all residents are expected to participate. 

Journal Club

Multidisciplinary evidence-based medicine journal club is held every month. The purpose of journal is to provide critical appraisals of articles that impact the clinical practice of internal medicine, and foster the development of skills necessary to the practice of evidenced-based medicine. With the guidance of faculty, residents lead the discussion of an article, which is chosen based on the following criteria: The article must have been published within the past two years and not previously discussed in the journal club. The study must contain no major flaws of methodology; and the results of the study, must impact clinical practice in some ways. Journal clubs also discuss studies that may not impact clinical practice but advance current understanding of a particular field. 

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