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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
Thanks to one of our residents, Hangyul, I just recently learned about a hilarious comic strip series called Scutmonkey Comics in the blog The Underwear Drawer. It is side-splitting funny.
EMS was officially recognized as an EM subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialities on September 23, 2010!
Residency programs have already implemented EMS Fellowship Training Programs to provide physicians with specialty training in prehospital care, medical direction, and research in the prehospital arena. The development of this new subspecialty was a collaborative effort between the National Association of EMS Physicians, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. The first certification exam is tentatively scheduled to be administered in 2013. Click here to see the announcement.
Oddly, I started my third year with a sub-internship rotation on the Burn/Plastics service as my first rotation. Not sure how that happened… I managed my own patients like a 4th year student, did lots of wound care, and even got to harvest a few skin grafts. It was trial by fire.
In a recent JAMA article, 3rd year medical students who started their clinical experiences in an Internal Medicine rotation overall did better on overall clerkship grades, when compared those who started their rotations on the Ob/Gyn, Psychiatry, or Family Medicine service.