The educational curriculum of the Residency is a unique combination of didactic conferences, interactive case simulations, laboratories, peer review, specialized seminars, and clinical training. An Introduction to Emergency Medicine course initiates each incoming class.
The Core Content for Emergency Medicine, as approved by the major sponsoring organizations of emergency medicine, has been rigorously reviewed by the faculty.The Program intends that each resident be exposed in a structured manner to a variety of educational experiences that cover the scope of emergency medicine practice.
Our program uses a modular approach to the didactic curriculum – core emergency medicine content is covered in a topic-based modules (for ex., Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Trauma, etc.) and cycles every 2 years. Each week there is a 5 hour conference during which time lectures are given by both faculty and residents on topics within the current module. All lectures have corresponding readings from the Rosen’s and Tintinalli’s textbooks. In addition, each month there is a Journal Club hosted by a faculty member discussing current and landmark research studies within the given module. Further, there are all-day simulation sessions corresponding to select modules in the didactic curriculum.
Starting in the 2010-2011 year, a new program asking the residents to complete 100 board style questions each month was initiated. The scores of these questions are used for formative feedback and not used in a summative manner. There are no consequences or rewards for the scores received, but the questions serve as a good opportunity to practice and review for both the Inservice Training exam and the written board exam.
Practicing oral board cases is a key aspect in preparing for the American Board of Emergency Medicine Board Examination. At the University of Chicago, oral boards are incorporated into our daily curriculum. Every morning after sign out in the University of Chicago Emergency Department, the oncoming faculty member will host a mock oral boards case with the oncoming intern in the “hot seat”. All other residents are listen and participate as pertinent information and plans are written on a large whiteboard. Again, this tool is used strictly for formative feedback. In addition, twice a year the faculty host a mock oral boards conference. Each participant of the conference meets individually with faculty members and participates in 2 single-patient cases and 1 triple-patient case and is provided feedback after each case.
Journal Club covers specific topics and assesses classic and current literature with an analysis of the latest research. Peer Review Conferences are a regularly scheduled interactive discussions of the patho-physiology and clinical management of difficult or unusual patient cases. The goal is to refine problem-solving and management techniques for application in the emergency department setting. Grand Rounds features noted speakers who provide in-depth views on controversial and rapidly changing areas of emergency medicine knowledge and practice.
Hands-on manipulative skill labs covering airway management, fiberoptics, wound repair, orthopedics, Eye/ENT procedures and neonatal resuscitiation are offered on an ongoing basis. In addition, we offer a cadaver based procedure laboratory to provide additional training in common procedues such as tube thoracostomy placement as well as an opportunity for the resident to master advanced surgical airway management and formal thoracotomy techniques. Of note, there is a regularly recurring faculty led small group workshop which focuses on airway management and a separate monthly faculty led course in ultrasonography.
The strength of our education and training is matched by the close bonds we form with our fellow residents, attendings, nurses and staff. The program recognizes that Emergency Medicine is a team sport, and sponsors many events throughout the year to bring our family closer. Orientation week begins with BBQs, a White Sox baseball game, late nights exploring Chicago, and a party that introduces the incoming interns and recognizes our fantastic nurses. Each month, the intern on his or her anesthesia rotation organizes an event for the rest of the intern class funded by the department. This past year included a bartended rooftop pool party welcoming interns from other departments at U of C, whirley ball, BBQs, nights at the club, and dinners at some of Chicago’s amazing restaurants. We get together informally throughout the year for concerts, sporting events, group dinners, paintballing, sky diving, pickup games after conference, intramural sports leagues. We share baby showers, holiday parties, breakfasts after long night shifts, and the wonder that is the Chicago summer time. Journal clubs are held monthly at faculty homes, and have as much time devoted to getting to know our fellow residents, attendings and their families as we do discussing interesting articles. Our annual holiday party, held at the storied Faculty Club at University of Chicago, gives everyone in the department a chance to show off their best formal attire, enjoy a wonderful dinner and dance into the night. We have an annual flag football game with University of Illinois at Chicago EM program and a few months later, party late into the night with them following the annual February inservice exam. Attendings, nurses, residents and significant others take a trip each fall to participate in a Habitat for Humanity build, this year in New Orleans. Sponsored class attendances to national conferences provide an incredible time to bond with other residents and faculty. Each intern class takes a few days off in June to attend the SAEM national conference, our 2nd years attend a medical legal conference over a week of wine and good food, and our senior residents attend ACEP.
A fully interactive, high-fidelity medical simulation (SIM) manikin laboratory offers a realistic environment of patient care activity that allows the resident to master application of medical knowledge, performance of emergency procedures, and leadership skills in a setting where immediate feedback is provided via programmed responses to resident actions. The creation of a simulated health care setting where the resident is able to master new cognitive functions and manipulative procedural skills without fear of untoward patient outcome is the future of medical education and will be the standard for preparing the next generation of physicians. In addition to common procedures such as tracheal intubation, focus on less common procedures such as cricothyrotomy is undertaken in the laboratory through the use of multiple manikin models. As important, the mastery of leadership behaviors in the critical care setting for single and multiple patient encounters. In addition, computer-based table top exercises in physician decision-making and systems-based practice address disaster and mass casualty settings.