Our curriculum aims to develop a resident’s capacity to provide effective and efficient medical care to high acuity, medically complex patients under the guidance of expert faculty. Through immersive and varied clinical experiences, residents gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to assume greater supervisory and care team leadership responsibilities as they progress through training.
We believe that training should be tailored to each resident’s unique needs, interests and goals. To this end, we invest significantly in resources and mentorship to ensure residents receive exceptional training that fosters personal and professional fulfillment while preparing them for successful careers. Our residents graduate as well-rounded physicians who can thrive in academic and many types of community practice.
Our program utilizes a block schedule consisting of 13 four-week blocks (sample schedule). Residents receive three weeks of vacation annually, taken as one-week blocks.
Resident clinical shifts follow an 8+1-hour model, allowing for a period of overlap for signout and documentation with the oncoming team. Residents typically work 19 clinical shifts per block as a PGY 1, and 18 shifts per block in their second and third years.
Year one builds a strong knowledge base of critical skills related to the assessment and management of the acutely ill patient, rounded out by broad exposure to specialty care and off-service experiences.
- Orientation: First 2 weeks
- Main ED: 4 blocks*
- Veterans Hospital ED: 1 block
- Pediatric ED: 1 dedicated block
- Anes/Ultrasound: 1 block
- Cardiology: 1 block
- Medical ICU: 1 block
- Pediatric ICU: 1 block
- ED/Ortho: 1 block
- Ob-Gyn: 1 block
- EMS: 0.5 blocks
- Trauma: 0.5 blocks
Year two advances resident leadership and procedural skills and refines overall efficiency. Residents explore career pathways through an elective rotation and integrated pediatric and community shifts.
- Main ED: 8 blocks*
- Community ED: 1 block
- Elective: 1 block
- Medical ICU: 1 block
- SICU: 1 block
- Trauma: 1 block
*Integrated shifts in Pediatric & Veterans Hospital EDs
In year three, residents further develop leadership, teamwork and medical management skills during capstone experiences, and have ample flexibility to explore niche interests.
- Main ED: 9.5 blocks*
- Community ED: 1 block
- Admin: 1 block
- Elective: 1 block
- Medical ICU capstone: 1 block
*Includes longitudinal shifts as trauma resuscitation leader & pre-attending
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PGY 1 curriculum
Centers on Building Foundations: Intern year consists of six blocks in the emergency department at University Hospital where are two-pod model and innovative CareStart and Clinical Decision Units are staffed directly with by Emergency Medicine attendings (faculty and fellows), as well as integrated experiences on trauma, cardiology, anesthesia, and the medical ICU to introduce and strengthen foundational knowledge of specialty care in these areas.
First-year residents attend a hands-on workshop to learn the basics of ultrasound during their first month. After this, clinical ultrasound training is integrated into all three years of residency, starting with a dedicated ultrasound rotation (1 block) during intern year, which uses innovative asynchronous didactic content so more time can be spent at the bedside polishing skills with faculty.
PGY 2 curriculum
Centers on Critical Care & Exploration: The PGY 2 year focuses on implementing core knowledge from year one as residents assume leadership roles in complex resuscitations and increase their procedural skills and overall efficiency. Residents also begin exploring career pathways through their first elective rotation.
PGY 3 curriculum
Centers on Independent Practice: In their third year, residents gain experience in addressing operational challenges, managing department flow, and advanced patient care. The Trauma Resuscitation Leader role offers PGY 3 residents the opportunity to directly lead cross-functional trauma teams and develop confidence in managing resuscitations in critical cases. Resuscitation and critical care experience is emphasized through rotations in the Medical ICU (PGY3 capstone role) and SICU, and through attending shifts with UW Health Med Flight for residents interested in rotating with this service.
PGY 3 residents also serve as peer mentors supporting PGY 1 residents, and also teaching third- and fourth-year medical students through on-shift, near-peer mentoring.
“I feel as residents we often don’t know how far our journey has taken us until we teach our junior colleagues and realize that we have come a long way since medical school.” –Sam Zidovetski, MD, MPH, ‘2016, reflecting on his experience teaching medical students
Residents are provided two dedicated elective months in order to explore sub-specialities within Emergency Medicine. Our program is also committed to diversifying residents’ learning experiences outside of dedicated elective blocks, even as PGY 1, through longitudinal elective shifts/short-rotations during Main ED blocks. Each residents’ learning pathways is individualized with input from Program Directors and the resident’s coach-mentor.
Residents may purse a well-established elective or can design their own elective opportunity. Our residents have engaged in elective opportunities within global health, prehospital medicine (EMS, Med Flight, disaster medicine), ultrasound, teaching, critical care, anesthesia, burn, palliative care, sports medicine, as well as focused practice in social emergency medicine and advocacy.
“I love the ability to customize elective shifts during my EM months to fit my future goals of an EMS fellowship.” –Haley Taormina, MD, ’22 (Dr. Taormina went on to match into an ACGME accredited EMS fellowship after graduation.)
“Intern year off-service rotations provide invaluable opportunities to translate EM experiences into new clinical environments and bring lessons learned from those environments back into the ED. I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to previously intimidating clinical scenarios, and how much I learned in a short time working under our incredible Emergency Medicine and off-service faculty and fellows.”
– Tad Schmitt, MD, ’22
“My education at UW has been better than I could ever have expected. The support of faculty and senior residents, along with comprehensive onboarding and training that spans the first few weeks of intern year fully prepared me to walk into my first rotations outside of the ED. I have access to educational tools and resources, and the PDs are flexible to support with my personal learning style.”
– Rudi Zurbuchen, MD, ’23