Conference Didactic Planning and Structure: An Evidence-based Guide to Best Practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors

Wood, DB.

Emergency medicine residency programs around the country develop didactic conferences to prepare residents for board exams and independent practice. To our knowledge, there is not currently an evidence-based set of guidelines for programs to follow to ensure maximal benefit of didactics for learners. This paper offers expert guidelines for didactic instruction from members of the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors Best Practices Subcommittee, based on best available evidence. Programs can use these recommendations to further optimize their resident conference structure and content. Recommendations in this manuscript include best practices in formatting didactics, selection of facilitators and instructors, and duration of individual sessions. Authors also recommend following the Model of Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine when developing content, while incorporating sessions dedicated to morbidity and mortality, research methodology, journal article review, administration, wellness, and professionalism.

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Clinical Teaching: An Evidence-based Guide to Best Practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors

Natesan, S.

Clinical teaching is the primary educational tool use to train learners from day one of medical school all the way to the completion of fellowship. However, concerns over time constraints and patient census have led to a decline in bedside teaching. This paper provides a critical review of the literature on clinical teaching with a focus on instructor teaching strategies, clinical teaching models, and suggestions for incorporating technology. Recommendations for instructor-related teaching factors include adequate preparation, awareness of effective teacher attributes, using evidence-based-knowledge dissemination strategies, ensuring good communication, and consideration of environmental factors. Proposed recommendations for potential teaching strategies include the Socratic method, the One-Minute Preceptor model, SNAPPS, ED STAT, teaching scripts, and bedside presentation rounds. Additionally, this article will suggest approaches to incorporating technology into clinical teaching, including just-in-time training, simulation, and telemedical teaching. This paper provides readers with strategies and techniques for improving clinical teaching effectiveness.

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Assessment of Emergency Medicine Residents’ Clinical Reasoning: Validation of a Script Concordance Test

Steinberg, E.

A primary aim of residency training is to develop competence in clinical reasoning. However, there are few instruments that can accurately, reliably, and efficiently assess residents’ clinical decision-making ability. This study aimed to externally validate the script concordance test in emergency medicine (SCT-EM), an assessment tool designed for this purpose.

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Documentation Displaces Teaching in an Academic Emergency Department

Baugh, JJ.

Adverse effects of administrative burden on emergency physicians have been described previously, but the impact of electronic health record documentation by academic emergency attendings on resident education is not known. In this observational study of a quaternary care, academic emergency department, we sought to assess whether the amount of time attending physicians spent on documentation affected the amount of time they spent teaching.

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Mobilization of a Simulation Platform to Facilitate a System-wide Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Carlberg, DJ.

While simulation plays a prominent role in healthcare education at every level,1 the ability to perform traditional, in-person simulation has been practically eliminated by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV), or COVID-19, pandemic. Simultaneously, COVID-19-related education has become vital, as providers work to expand their knowledge base and learn new skills. Were it not for social distancing, simulation would play a major role in addressing the pandemic’s challenges. Simulation-based education could help providers optimize patient care while minimizing viral aerosolization. Simulation could even teach strategies for coping with the emotional consequences of working during a pandemic.

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Evolving from Morbidity and Mortality to a Case-based Error Reduction Conference: Evidence-based Best Practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors

Chathampally, Y.

Morbidity and mortality conferences are common among emergency medicine residency programs and are an important part of quality improvement initiatives. Here we review the key components of running an effective morbidity and mortality conference with a focus on goals and objectives, case identification and selection, session structure, and case presentation.

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The Association of Sleep Hygiene and Drowsiness with Adverse Driving Events in Emergency Medicine Residents

Green, W.

Prior research shows that physicians in training are at risk for drowsy driving following their clinical duties, which may put them in danger of experiencing adverse driving events. This study explores the relationship between sleepiness, overall sleep hygiene, level of training, and adverse driving events following an overnight shift in emergency medicine (EM) residents.

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Creation and Implementation of a Mastery Learning Curriculum for Emergency Department Thoracotomy

Miller, DT.

Emergency department thoracotomy (EDT) is a lifesaving procedure within the scope of practice of emergency physicians. Because EDT is infrequently performed, emergency medicine (EM) residents lack opportunities to develop procedural competency. There is no current mastery learning curriculum for residents to learn EDT. The purpose of this study was to develop and implement a simulation-based mastery learning curriculum to teach and assess EM residents’ performance of the EDT.

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Effect of Resident Physicians in a Supervisory Role on Efficiency in the Emergency Department

Kraut, AS.

While patient throughput and emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS) are recognized as important metrics in the delivery of efficient care, they must be balanced with the educational mission of academic centers. Prior studies examining the impact of learners on throughput and LOS when staffing directly with attending physicians have yielded mixed results. Herein we sought to examine the impact of a staffing model involving a supervisory resident “pre-attending” (PAT) on ED throughput and LOS, as this model offers a valuable educational experience for residents, but may do so at the expense of operational efficiency.

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Virtual Emergency Medicine Clerkship Curriculum during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development, Application, and Outcomes

Redinger, KE.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant catalyst for change in medical education and clinical care. The traditional model of bedside clinical teaching in required advanced clerkships was upended on March 17, 2020, when the Association of American Medical Colleges recommended removing medical students from direct patient care to prevent further spread of the disease and also to help conserve scarce personal protective equipment (PPE). This created unique challenges for delivering a robust, advanced emergency medicine (EM) clerkship since the emergency department is ground zero for the undifferentiated and potentially infected patient and has high demand for PPE. Here, we describe the development, application, and program evaluation of an online-based, virtual advanced EM curriculum developed rapidly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Types and Timing of Teaching During Clinical Shifts in an Academic Emergency Department

Baugh, JJ.

Academic emergency physicians must find ways to teach residents, medical students, and advanced practice providers amidst the myriad demands on their time during clinical shifts. In this study, we sought to characterize in detail what types of teaching occurred, how often they occurred, and how attending teaching styles differed at one academic emergency department (ED).

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Emergency Medicine Intern Education for Best Practices in Opioid Prescribing

Lowy, R.

Opioid exposure has been identified as a contributing factor to the opioid epidemic. Reducing patient exposure, by altering heavy opioid prescribing patterns but appropriately addressing patient pain, may represent one approach to combat this public health issue. Our goal was to create and implement an opioid education program for emergency medicine (EM) interns as a means of establishing foundational best practices for safer and more thoughtful prescribing.

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Radiology Education Among Emergency Medicine Residencies: A National Needs Assessment

Villa, SE.

Radiology training is an important component of emergency medicine (EM) education, but its delivery has been variable. Program directors have reported a lack of radiology skills in incoming interns. A needs assessment is a crucial first step toward improving radiology education among EM residencies. Our objective was to explore the current state of radiology education in EM residency programs.

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Does the Medical Student Performance Evaluation Change the Decision to Invite Residency Applicants?

Thimm, TN.

Although emergency medicine (EM) residency program directors (PD) have multiple sources to evaluate each applicant, some programs await the release of the medical student performance evaluation (MSPE) to extend interview offers. While prior studies have demonstrated that MSPE content is variable and selectively positive, no prior work has evaluated the impact of the MSPE on the likelihood to invite (LTI) applicants for a residency interview. This study aimed to evaluate how information in the MSPE impacted LTI, with the hypothesis that changes in LTI would be relatively rare based on MSPE review alone.

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National Survey of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Scholarly Tracks in Emergency Medicine Residency Programs

Alerhand, S.

Residency scholarly tracks are educational programs, designed to help trainees develop an area of expertise. Although the breadth of residency point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) education has developed considerably in recent years, there is no literature to date describing scholarly tracks specifically in POCUS. In this study we sought to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and outcomes of POCUS scholarly tracks in emergency medicine (EM).

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Descriptive Analysis of Components of Emergency Medicine Residency Program Websites

Pollock, JR.

Most emergency medicine (EM) applicants use the internet as a source of information when evaluating residency programs. Previous studies have analyzed the components of residency program websites; however, there is a paucity of information regarding EM program websites. The purpose of our study was to analyze information on EM residency program websites.

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A Novel, Low-cost, Low-fidelity Pericardiocentesis Teaching Model

Lord, S.

Pericardiocentesis is a high-risk/low-frequency procedure important to emergency medicine (EM). However, due to case rarity it is not often performed on a patient during residency training. Because the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic limited cadaver-based practice, we developed a novel, low-cost, low-fidelity pericardiocentesis model using three dimensional-printing technology to provide advances on prior home-made models.

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The Emergency Medicine Group Standardized Letter of Evaluation as a Workplace-based Assessment: The Validity Is in the Detail

Love, MD, et al.

Interest is growing in specialty-specific assessments of student candidates based on clinical clerkship performance to assist in the selection process for postgraduate training. The most established and extensively used is the emergency medicine (EM) Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE), serving as a substitute for the letter of recommendation.

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Addressing Challenges in Obtaining Emergency Medicine Away Rotations and Standardized Letters of Evaluation Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Katirji, MD, et al.

With the unpredictable future of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, institutions have begun altering the clinical experience for students and instituting travel bans for both their faculty and students.1 On March 17, 2020, a joint recommendation from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education was issued, which supported suspending clinical activities for medical students for a two-week minimum

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Evidence-Based Interventions that Promote Resident Wellness from the Council of Emergency Residency Directors

Parsons, MD, et al.

Initiatives for addressing resident wellness are a recent requirement of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in response to high rates of resident burnout nationally. We review the literature on wellness and burnout in residency education with a focus on assessment, individual-level interventions, and systemic or organizational interventions.

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Innovative Approaches to Emergency Medical Services Fellowship Challenges

Weston, MD, MPH, et al.

Since the development of an Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited emergency medical services (EMS) fellowship, there has been little published literature on effective methods of content delivery or training modalities. Here we explore a variety of innovative approaches to the development and revision of the EMS fellowship curriculum.

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Does the Removal of Textbook Reading from Emergency Medicine Resident Education Negatively Affect In-Service Scores?

Ju, MD, et al.

At our institution, due to resident feedback a change in curriculum was initiated. Our objective was to determine whether assigned Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) articles and Rosh Review questions were non-inferior to Tintinalli textbook readings. We further hypothesized that the non-textbook assigned curriculum would lead to higher resident satisfaction, greater utilization, and a preference over the old curriculum.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

3800 W Chapman Ave Ste 3200
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.