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Didactic Curriculum

Curriculum Highlights

Lectures are on Wednesday mornings.

Our curriculum is divided into modules based on organ systems or common themes (i.e. Cardiovascular, Trauma, Toxicology). It also incorporates a comprehensive pediatrics curriculum taught by Pediatric Emergency Physicians from CHOP.

Core content is delivered over a two-year time frame, allowing each resident to review content twice during their training. Other components include communication strategies, leadership skills, team dynamics, interdisciplinary care, and preparation for life and practice after residency.  Wellness is stressed throughout our curriculum as this serves as the foundation for a rewarding, successful career as an Emergency Medicine Physician.

Asynchronous Learning

Residents are assigned various blog posts, podcasts, and/or videocasts for each core curriculum module. The material included in asynchronous assignments are screened and assigned by residency leadership. Assigned material may cover additional core knowledge, address controversies in emergency medicine, or cover cutting edge developments related to emergency care. Each module is accompanied by board style assigned online question bank quizzes. Board style questions are further supplemented with twice annual mock oral boards.

Journal Club

Hosted on a semi-monthly basis at a faculty member’s home, faculty and residents review current and relevant articles over dinner and drinks. This includes a dedicated racism in medicine journal/book club to encourage our residents to acknowledge implicit biases and create a forum for open discussion on this important topic.

Educational Development

Our four-year curriculum allows residents to grow from learners to effective teachers. Junior residents start by giving short talks on clinical pearls, and progress to partnering with a faculty mentor to prepare and deliver a core topic lecture. Senior residents, along with faculty, play a vital role in presenting the curriculum. They deliver core content lectures, help lead morbidity and mortality conference, and host a capstone grand rounds session during their final year. We also have a senior-directed curriculum during which Year 3 & 4 residents will break away to hold nuanced discussions about complex clinical topics, as well as learn about topics such as finances, public speaking, job hunting, and billing and coding. We are continuously introducing new and innovative approaches into our curriculum, and encourage resident feedback and input.


Core Lectures

These are presented by EM faculty and residents and are the foundation of emergency medicine knowledge. Lectures are succinct and to the point. Residents will cover the basics of a particular topic and a faculty mentor will follow with related discussion of more advanced concepts, a related procedure, a review of current literature, or a related patient case. Once per month these lectures are supplemented with small group discussions, which are divided by PGY level and led by faculty.

Social Emergency Medicine Series 

An exploration of various topics pertaining to health disparities and social determinants of health. It is our goal to provide training to residents on the social and economic topics that are key to understanding the role of Emergency Medicine in addressing health disparities at a structural level.


During radiology conference we cover radiologic imaging from cases seen in our emergency department. Our radiology colleagues guide us through interpretation of both normal and abnormal imaging, while emergency medicine faculty discuss clinically relevant findings and interventions related to each case.

Critical Care Lectures

These session are led by our faculty in the critical care division Sessions may cover core critical care concepts, advanced knowledge, critical care related procedures, cutting edge developments in critical care, or case based review of patients cared for in our emergency department.

Toxicology Lectures

During toxicology conference, faculty from our division of toxicology cover tox related core knowledge, advanced concepts, cutting edge developments, public health tox related trends, and/or patient cases.

Morbidity and Mortality

M&M is held once per month. During M&M a chief resident leads a discussion on a case or series of cases that have resulted in morbidity, mortality, or a near miss. The attendees include residents, students, nurses, and faculty and the structure includes identifying system level changes that can help reduce variation in care and improve care quality.

Evidence Based Medicine

These are 15-minute “best available evidence” presentations given by our more senior residents that seek to answer specific questions relevant to clinical practice.

Annual Sono Games

Modeled after SAEM’s sono games, our ultrasound division faculty organizes an elaborate ultrasound competition for teams of residents to challenge themselves and compete to win prizes for best costume, best team name and highest score!

Simulation and Procedure Conference

Throughout the year, we spend several conference days running through cases and procedures at the Penn Medicine Clinical Simulation Center, an off-site 22,000 square foot facility with multiple high-fidelity simulators and partial task trainers. We also have an integrated smaller simulation in the Emergency Department used for breakout sessions at regular conferences. We frequently run in-situ simulations, running mock resuscitations physically in the emergency department with all members of the ED staff, often involving consultants. We also host an annual Cadaver Lab, an opportunity for emergency medicine residents to practice heroic procedures, such as ED thoracotomies, cricothyrotomies, lateral canthotomies, and chest tubes, to name a few. Additionally, we have small group simulations for different PGY years, focused on airway management for interns, difficult airways for PGY2s, and team leadership training for PGY2s and 3s.

Interdisciplinary and All-Philly Conferences

We hold regular joint conferences with internal medicine, radiology, and pediatrics to discuss interesting cases and relevant topics that cross these disciplines. We also conduct joint trauma video review with trauma surgery to discuss interesting and challenging cases in the trauma bay. Four times per year, we attend or host joint conferences with the other EM residency programs in Philadelphia. These conferences have themes such as EMS, toxicology, and wellness and feature top speakers from all institutions in the city.

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