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Let's dispel some of the myths about a residency program.
Myth: I'm in a small O&P practice. We don't have time to train a resident.
Reality: New grads are entering residencies with better clinical skills than ever. The time spent teaching and mentoring will be offset by subsequent increases in overall productivity. Over time, residents will develop into care providers, increasing the ability of your existing clinical staff to see more patients. As they progress, residents should add to existing clinical practices rather than distract from them.
Myth: I don't know how to be a residency director and I'm in a setting where I don't have a lot of resources available to me.
Reality: Your patient base is your most important resources for residents. There are a myriad of resources available from NCOPE to help your develop a residency program, including a network of experienced residency directors who are available to provide guidance. They even offer an online training course for residency directors that guide you through the preparation and development of a program.
Myth: I'm uncomfortable with the research portion of the residency. I wouldn't know how to guide a resident with a directed study project.
Reality: Formal research projects are no longer required. Residents have a choice of two distinct tracks - Clinical or Research & Development. You could choose to offer a clinical residency program, which only requires that the resident perform one professional activity each quarter. Professional activities include case studies, journal clubs, in-services or presentations at local or national meetings. These activities add to the professional development of all of your staff and promote your practice.