Student Doctor Network: Fake News or Facts for Emergency Medicine Applicants?

Schnarr, SB.

Residency applicants use multiple resources to guide their application process including the Student Doctor Network (SDN), a publicly available online forum for the discussion of various topics in medical education. In recent years, specialty-specific forums for residency applicants to self-report their own application information have become popular. These forums allow other applicants to review self-reported data from their peers to inform their own application process. The accuracy of this resource is unknown. To determine whether the SDN is an accurate source of information for emergency medicine (EM) applicants, we compared self-reported SDN data to objective data from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

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Emergency Medicine Residents’ “Just World” Bias Is Not Associated with a Biased Case Mix

Edgecomb, J.

Belief in a just world is the cognitive bias that “one gets what they deserve.” Stronger belief in a just world for others (BJW-O) has been associated with discrimination against individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES) or poor health status, as they may be perceived to have “deserved” their situation. Emergency medicine (EM) residents have been shown to “cherry pick” patients; in this study we sought to determine whether BJW-O is associated with a biased case mix seen in residency.

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An Inexpensive, Wearable Patella Reduction Trainer

Hopkins, M.

Acute patellar dislocation is a painful condition that can be effectively managed with prompt reduction. Successful reduction requires confidence, which comes with experience. Patellar dislocation is not prevalent enough for every emergency physician to encounter it in a live patient during residency training. Although the reduction maneuver is straightforward, trainees are often initially unsure of hand positioning and attempt to reduce the patella primarily with medial pressure. Simultaneous knee extension is an important component of the reduction, creating patellar and quadriceps tendon laxity and making for a smoother, less painful reduction. Many available videos demonstrate extension poorly and show the difficulty with which the reduction is performed when primarily medial patella pressure is used.1,2

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Making Our Preference Known: Preference Signaling in the Emergency Medicine Residency Application

Pelletier-Bui, AE.

The number of applications to individual emergency medicine (EM) residency programs has markedly increased over the past decade.1-3 As a result, residency programs have difficulty reviewing applications holistically and struggle to identify applicants who are truly interested in their program. These challenges were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic: programs received more applications; and away-rotation restrictions limited EM applicants’ ability to express, and programs to identify, interest in a residency program or geographic region.2 Additionally, the Association of American Medical Colleges reported a concern for maldistribution of interview offers to the highest tier applicants, leaving other well-qualified students with a paucity of interviews – a trend that would threaten the success of the Match for all stakeholders.4

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Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Representation in Leadership: An Evidence-Based Guide to Best Practices for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine

Davenport, D.

Improving the recruitment, retention, and leadership advancement of faculty who are under-represented in medicine is a priority at many academic institutions to ensure excellence in patient care, research, and health equity. Here we provide a critical review of the literature and offer evidence-based guidelines for faculty recruitment, retention, and representation in leadership. Recommendations for recruitment include targeted recruitment to expand the candidate pool with diverse candidates, holistic review of applications, and incentivizing stakeholders for success with diversity efforts. Retention efforts should establish a culture of inclusivity, promote faculty development, and evaluate for biases in the promotion and tenure process. We believe this guide will be valuable for all leaders and faculty members seeking to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in their institutions.

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Education Research Training for Academic Emergency Medicine Educators

Mayersak, RJ.

This special issue of the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, co-sponsored by the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) and the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM), serves as a snapshot of the current state of emergency medicine (EM) education research and focuses on relevant topics published by a diverse group of education scholars. Our field has seen marked increases in scholarship, publication venues, funding, and training opportunities for EM education research over the past decade.1-3 However, a lack of expertise in education research is still one of the main perceived barriers to educators reaching their scholarship goals.4-6 Educators who are new to research may not be aware of avenues to access the training, collaboration, and mentorship they need to achieve their scholarship goals. These avenues are now myriad and include everything from do-it-yourself episodic training, either in the digital space or in person, to longitudinal doctorate degree programs. Our aim in this piece is to describe available options for faculty development in education research, presented in the below table, along with references for exemplar programs. This table may be used by educators, mentors, and department leaders to determine the best fit for individual faculty development needs.

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Punctuated Equilibrium: COVID and the Duty to Teach for Adaptive Expertise

Merritt, C.

Learning is critical to developing and maintaining competence. Learning is slow at the beginning, accelerates rapidly as we gain skills and knowledge, and then slows again as we achieve competence and approach expertise. Rapid periods of expansion of ability and understanding alternate with stages of relative inertia. We may at times focus on routinization, the repetitive effort by which we standardize aspects of our practice, producing a steady practice state that is efficient and systematic. At other times, however, patients and systems demand a more dynamic approach to learning.

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Response to AAEM’s “Response to the Yale PA Residency Program”

Tsyrulnik, A.

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to the letter to the editor in reference to our prior publications1,2 and to clarify the concerns raised. It seems that we, the authors of the original article, and the author(s) of the most recent letter to the editor have common ground on many of the issues presented. We believe that all emergency patients should be cared for by emergency physician-led teams. We agree that the training of our physician residents cannot be compromised.

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AAEM’S Response to the Yale PA “Residency Program”

Moreno-Walton, L.

We believe the letter to the editor by Tsyrulnik et al1 clarifying the initial manuscript “Implementation of a Physician Assistant Emergency Medicine Residency Within a Physician Residency” from December 2020 is an important marker and acknowledgment of a deep-rooted workforce issue that will plague emergency medicine (EM) for the entirety of its future. It also only scratches the surface. Indeed, in the aftermath of the EM workforce reports by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), and more recently the American College of Emergency Physicians, the AAEM Resident and Student Association is now advocating for an end to all postgraduate training programs for non-physician practitioners (NPP).2

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Rethinking Radiology: An Active Learning Curriculum for Head Computed Tomography Interpretation

Aliaga, L.

Head computed tomography (CT) interpretation is a vital skill for emergency physicians. Existing literature shows poor concordance between emergency physicians and radiologists in head CT interpretation. Prior studies have used passive learning methods to address this knowledge gap. We created an active learning curriculum for teaching head CT interpretation to emergency medicine (EM) residents and compared its effectiveness to a passive learning strategy.

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An Effective COVID-19 Medical Student Elective

Sudario, G.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of teaching medical students pandemic preparedness and COVID-19 related clinical knowledge. To fill the gap of COVID-19 instruction backed by evaluation data, we present a comprehensive COVID-19 pilot curriculum with multiple levels of evaluation data.

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An Emergency Medicine Virtual Clerkship: Made for COVID, Here to Stay

Villa, S.

Safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus 2019 pandemic led to the prohibition of student rotations outside their home institutions. This resulted in emergency medicine (EM)-bound students having less specialty experience and exposure to outside programs and practice environments, and fewer opportunities to gain additional Standardized Letters of Evaluation, a cornerstone of the EM residency application. We filled this void by implementing a virtual clerkship.

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Development of a Longitudinal Research Curriculum for Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship

Taneja, A.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires programs to develop research curricula regarding how research is “conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care.”1 Specific to fellowship, the ACGME requires fellows to participate in and complete scholarly work aligned with their subspecialty requirements.2 The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) subspecialty in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) further requires that each PEM fellow have a strong core knowledge in scholarly activities and complete meaningful scholarly work; the ABP tests research knowledge as part of the in-training exam (ITE), board certification exam, and maintenance of certification. The ITE and board exams’ proportion of research questions is not trivial (7% of questions overall).2,3

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Learning Outcomes of High-fidelity versus Table-Top Simulation in Undergraduate Emergency Medicine Education: Prospective, Randomized, Crossover-Controlled Study

Offenbacher, J.

Over the last several decades simulation, in both graduate and undergraduate emergency medicine education, has continued to develop as a leading and highly effective teaching modality. Limited research exists to evaluate the efficacy of low-fidelity (table-top) simulation, as compared to high-fidelity standards, as it relates to medical knowledge learning outcomes. We sought to assess the efficacy of a low-fidelity simulation modality in undergraduate emergency medicine education, based on quantitative medical knowledge learning outcomes.

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Emergency Medicine Program Directors’ Perspectives on Changes to Step 1 Scoring: Does It Help or Hurt Applicants?

Glassman, GE.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score is one of the few standardized metrics used to objectively review applicants for residency. In February 2020 the USMLE program announced that the numerical Step 1 scoring would be changed to a binary (Pass/Fail) system. In this study we sought to characterize how this change in score reporting will impact the application review process for emergency medicine (EM) program directors (PD).

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Emergency Medicine Virtual Conference Participants’ Engagement with Competing Activities

Khamees, D.

Residency didactic conferences transitioned to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic. This format creates questions about effective educational practices, which depend on learner engagement. In this study we sought to characterize the competitive demands for learner attention during virtual didactics and to pilot methodology for future studies.

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Educating Future Educators–Resident Distinction in Education: A Longitudinal Curriculum for Physician Educators

Seelig, S.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) lists “educating patients, families, students, residents, and other health professionals” as a common core requirement for residency programs in every medical specialty.1 Residents often play a crucial role in peer and medical student education. Teaching others can solidify resident knowledge, enhance students’ knowledge, and influence career choices.2,3,4,5

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Emergency Medicine Program Directors’ Perspectives on Changes to Step 1 Scoring: Does It Help or Hurt Applicants?

Glassman, GE.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score is one of the few standardized metrics used to objectively review applicants for residency. In February 2020 the USMLE program announced that the numerical Step 1 scoring would be changed to a binary (Pass/Fail) system. In this study we sought to characterize how this change in score reporting will impact the application review process for emergency medicine (EM) program directors (PD).

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

333 The City Blvd. West, Rt 128-01
Suite 640
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389


ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

ISSN: 2474-252X

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.