Residents look on during a hand-on workshop

Curriculum

The emergency medicine curriculum at VCU is designed to maximize residents’ proficiency and comfort in treating patients with a wide variety of medical and surgical problems. The program relies heavily on educational experiences within the Emergency Department and the various intensive care units, as well as focused training in the specialty areas of emergency medicine, including toxicology, emergency medical services, the clinical decision unit and pediatric emergency medicine.

First year

Residents are transitioned into first-year responsibilities through an orientation block that combines clinical shifts with a didactic curriculum of lectures and workshops, as well as certification in advanced cardiac life support, advanced trauma life support and pediatric advanced life support. Residents are also oriented to the local EMS systems, specifically the Richmond Ambulance Authority and the LifeEvac helicopter transport system. They also undergo training in ultrasonography and management of airways.

First-year residents work a total of 20 10-hour shifts during each four-week block in the Emergency Department. Two of these shifts are done in the Pediatric Emergency Department.

PGY-1 rotations

Introduction to emergency medicine 4 weeks
Emergency medicine 18 weeks
OB 2 weeks
Pediatric emergency medicine 4 weeks
Trauma 4 weeks
Medical/respiratory intensive care unit 4 weeks
Anesthesiology 3 weeks
ED Ortho Procedures 4 weeks
Internal medicine 4 weeks
Ultrasound 2 weeks
Vacation 3 weeks

Second year

In the second year, emergency medicine residents manage the airways for trauma resuscitations and care for the most severely ill and injured patients presenting to the department. Residents work 18 10-hour shifts during each four-week block in the Emergency Department. Two of these shifts are done in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Vacations are taken as three separate weeks during the clinical decision unit rotation, one of the emergency medicine rotations, and toxicology. The community emergency medicine rotation at our partner site, Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, located in nearby Mechanicsville, Va., exposes the resident to the unique characteristics of community practice. Four of the adult emergency medicine weeks are spent in the Emergency Department of the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where the resident is exposed to a unique patient population. Residents also spend blocks in the Cardiac ICU and the Cardiac Surgical ICU and take care of the sickest of cardiac patients including ECMO, LVADs, dissections and heart transplants.

PGY-2 rotations

Adult emergency medicine 19 weeks
Pediatric emergency medicine 4 weeks
Emergency medicine, VA Hospital 4 weeks
Toxicology 3 weeks
Clinical decision unit 2 weeks
Advanced Ultrasound 1 weeks
Cardiac surgery intensive care unit 4 weeks
Community emergency medicine 4 weeks
Surgical/trauma intensive care unit 4 weeks
Cardiac ICU 4 weeks
Vacation 3 weeks

Third year

The third year serves to advance resident autonomy and emphasize independence in the department. Senior residents assume responsibility for managing the department as a whole, helping to direct patient flow, taking transfer calls, supervising the care of patients under the direct care of more junior residents and assisting in teaching interns and medical students in the department.

The pediatric intensive care unit rotation allows the resident to further their medical and procedural proficiency with critically ill children. The elective rotation allows the resident to explore any area of interest in medicine. This experience can be away from the institution.

PGY-3s work 18 10-hour shifts during each four-week block in the Emergency Department. Two of these shifts are done in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Vacations are taken in the elective, the EMS rotation and one of the adult emergency medicine blocks.

PGY-3 rotations

Adult emergency medicine 34 weeks
Pediatric emergency medicine 4 weeks
Pediatric intensive care unit 2 weeks
STICU senior resident 2 weeks
Emergency medical services 3 weeks
Elective 3 weeks
Advanced Ultrasound 1 week
Vacation 3 weeks