House officers participate in a variety of different kinds of retreats throughout the three years of residency. These provide time for resident bonding, reflection on education, and discussion of issues important to the entire residency.
Intern Retreat: All interns participate in a weekend retreat in the Fall to relax, reflect, and enjoy each others’ company in a more casual setting after the first three months of residency. It has been held at different locations including faculty members’ summer homes (sans the faculty member), rustic summer camp facilities, or lodges far enough from Boston to serve as a welcome escape from city life. In 2019, the interns spent the weekend in Saco, Maine, enjoying activities including BBQ, swimming, and hiking. After a hiatus due to COVID, the new intern class will return to Saco, Maine this fall for their retreat.
Fall Housestaff Retreat: All residents receive coverage to attend this all-day, all-housestaff retreat, which has traditionally involved activities that promote bonding across residency classes and develop their professional or clinical skills. Fellows and attendings cover clinical services while residents are at the retreat. Resident input is solicited to plan activities and topics of discussion, such as curricular changes, how to be an effective teacher on the wards, and more recently, dedicated time for Academy-specific skills building. Last year, the fall retreat focused on anti-racism with speakers in the morning sessions and academy breakout sessions with skills workshops in the afternoon.
Spring Housestaff Retreat: The Spring all-day, all-housestaff retreat is held off the hospital premises. This retreat is typically used as a forum for reflecting on the year, discussing new topics in pediatrics, and brainstorming ways to improve the residency experience. In recent years, residents have explored and debated cases of medical ethical dilemmas and hosted leaders in health policy to learn about the changing health care landscape in Massachusetts and the United States. Each of the Fall and Spring retreats is capped off by a House Staff Association-sponsored Happy Hour.
Rising Junior Orientation: This retreat is an opportunity for interns to enjoy time with classmates before graduating into the PL-2 year. It takes place in the spring and focuses on discussions about new experiences to expect in the junior year, including increased autonomy, higher patient acuity, and intern and medical student supervising.
Rising Senior Orientation: This is a springtime junior-only retreat focused on building skills essential to the role of the senior resident. Usual topics include: leadership and communication skills, principles of medical education and “resident-as-teacher” skills, tips on licensure and career planning. Both the Rising Junior and Rising Senior orientations end with Happy Hour and time to socialize as an entire resident class.