Residency interview season: Pitfalls


InterviewI often get asked by my advisees: “In my residency interview, what should I talk about or do to make myself more competitive?”

To help you demystify the interview process, I wanted to share with you some insights. Overall, the interview day itself helps the program put a person and personality with your online ERAS application. Similarly, you quickly get a sense of the program’s personality. In EM, the residency interview day is generally pretty laid back. Not too many crazy questions. Programs just want to get to know you. Both you and the program should be asking each other– Is this a good fit?


By |2016-11-11T19:00:21-08:00Nov 4, 2010|Medical Education|

New kid on the block: Univ of Washington EM residency

How awesome would it be if there were EM residency programs at the University of Washington and UCSF-SF General Hospital?!

This has been the question for decades. In 2006, I had the pleasure of seeing the UCSF-SFGH program become a reality. And now it’s the University of Washington’s turn. It is close to becoming a reality. It is really one of the last powerhouse institutions which does not have an EM residency program.

The Univ of Washington EM residency’s Program Director is helmed by my superstar friend, Dr. Fiona Gallahue, and will be a 4-year program. The ACGME (accrediting organization) has already site-visited the program. Short of an unforeseen snafu, I can’t imagine that it won’t be approved for a start year of 2011-12. The program will find out the official answer on February 14, 2011.


By |2017-03-05T14:18:35-08:00Nov 2, 2010|Medical Education|

Article review: Inaccuracy in the SLOR

InterviewResidency interview season is quickly approaching!

Unique to the field of EM, letters of recommendations from EM faculty are written on a standardized form. The Standardized Letter of Recommendation (SLOR), downloadable from the CORD website, documents information about the student’s performance in the EM clerkship, qualifications, and global assessment. At the end, the letter writer can provide free-text written comments.


By |2019-01-28T23:20:54-08:00Nov 1, 2010|Education Articles, Medical Education|

Opportunity for med students: SAEM meeting in Boston (Jun 1-5, 2011)


The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) holds its annual meeting at various U.S. metropolitan cities. This year, it is going to be at Boston in June 1-5, 2011.

It is a terrific conference for medical students and residents interested in EM academia. To help coordinate the huge meeting, the SAEM Program Committee is looking for 15 enthusiastic medical students to serve as volunteers.

By |2016-11-11T18:43:23-08:00Oct 28, 2010|Medical Education|

Article review: EM in medical schools

Similar to JAMA, which publishes an annual publication focusing on Medical Education, the Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) journal just published a AEM-CORD/CDEM supplement focusing on EM education. I was fortunate to be involved with one of the papers published in this supplement.

This paper, written on behalf of the Clerkship Directors in EM (CDEM) and the Association of Academic Chairs of EM (AACEM), reviews the past, present, and future of EM in the U.S. medical school curriculum.

EM faculty members are playing an increasingly important role in both the preclinical and clinical curriculum. Our specialty teaches skills and knowledge, crucial for all medical students regardless of their eventual career choice. EM educators are a natural fit to teaching topics, such as the following:

  • Basic life support (BLS)
  • Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • Wound care
  • Splinting
  • Basic procedural skills
  • Simulation-based education
  • Bedside ultrasonography
  • Management of common emergencies

Furthermore, as medical schools are looking towards restructuring their overall curriculum to incorporate more clinical exposure from day 1, the diverse, high-volume environment of the Emergency Department (ED) makes it a perfect fit for students. Recall back to when you were a first-year medical student. How amazing would it have been to observe ED patients to reinforce your learning about pharmacology, anatomy, pathology, and heart sounds?

From an institutional standpoint, the EM clerkship fulfills many of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) educational requirements. The LCME is the regulatory body that accredits U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The LCME recognizes that the ED provides students with an unparalleled learning opportunity. Consequently, more and more schools are making EM clerkships mandatory. In 2004, about 39% of U.S. medical schools had mandatory EM clerkships for third-year medical students. There’s an ongoing CDEM study to determine the more updated numbers (I’m guessing it’ll be closer to 50%).

Medical schools are increasingly depending on the EM specialty to help with teaching students at all levels of learning. For those of us invested in medical education, this is great news.

Wald D, Lin M, Manthey D, Rogers R, Zun L, Christopher T. (2010). Emergency Medicine in the Medical School Curriculum. Academic Emergency Medicine, 17 DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00896.x

By |2016-11-11T19:00:24-08:00Oct 25, 2010|Education Articles, Medical Education|

Practicing Judo in the ED: Secret to success

JudoOK, you don’t actually practice Judo in the Emergency Department, but the principles in Judo are interestingly relevant in approaching our work in the ED.

Thanks to Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen fame for introducing me to the 7 rules of judo practice by the great Judo master Kyuzo Mifune. In his blog post, Garr specifically talks about how these rules are relevant in the realms of leadership and public speaking.

These rules in fact are extremely relevant when you are a senior EM resident or an EM attending. These 7 simple rules really are the heart of maintaining respect, calm, and efficiency in the ED.

By |2016-11-11T19:00:24-08:00Oct 21, 2010|Medical Education|
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