Our Curriculum Philosophy

We believe our residency provides a wide range of patient care experiences to best prepare you for the clinical practice of emergency medicine. Most training occurs under the auspices of the emergency deparment (ED), with strategic off service rotations that are high-yield and relevant. Our curriculum emphasizes critical care and we also provide at least one block of dedicated pediatric training per year. The clinical activities are designed to complement the formal didactic components in our residency and independent learning activities as well.

In addition to training our residents to be superb emergency physicians, our program is also designed to:

  1. provide significant career and leadership development, and
  2. train our residents to be educators in emergency medicine.

Over the four years of our residency program, residents are given both the time and faculty mentoring necessary to find their own niche within emergency medicine. Residents are exposed to subspecialty and administrative areas of emergency medicine early on in the program. As residents progress, they are given clinical shift reductions each year to allow for professional development and involvement in longitudinal projects. In addition, we provide ample elective time for focused experiences. Residents are given many opportunities and are encouraged to explore areas they are passionate about and they are only limited by their own imagination. All of our residents complete a unique Mini-Fellowship Project, which encompasses their interests and helps them best in their future career. We feel strongly that this helps our graduates have successful careers with a high degree of professional satisfaction.

All GW residents are trained to become educators during their four years in our program. In addition to formal educational sessions (RATS: Residents As Teachers), residents are mentored individually on all presentations by a faculty member in our Educational Division to help them develop these necessary skills. Residents also participate in a four-week rotation during third year, in which they become the Teaching Resident for the department and are responsible for the rotating students and learning activities within the ED itself. Residents have ample opportunity to teach at the bedside and to become more deeply involved with the educational mission of the residency program and medical school itself. We strongly believe physicians need to be educators in order to perpetuate the ideals of medicine. If you want to successfully teach practitioners you work side-by-side with how to better care for patients, or if you become a speaker at national conferences, these skills are necessary for success and we will provide them for you.

Our goal at GW is to develop happy, passionate emergency medicine physicians who want to provide excellent health care on multiple levels.

Post Graduate Year 1

The PGY-1 year is designed to develop residents a strong, multi-disciplinary foundation of knowledge as our interns make the transition from medical student to doctor. We also give an in depth introduction to emergency bedside ultrasound this year to provide excellent baseline skills to use throughout residency.       

  • Orientation – 1 block
  • Emergency Medicine - 5.5 blocks
  • Trauma – 1 block
  • Pediatric EM – 1 blocks
  • ICU - 1 block
  • Cardiology/CCU - 1 block
  • Wound Care - 1 block
  • Adult Anesthesia - ½ block
  • Obstetrics - ½ block
  • ED Ultrasound - ½ block

Post Graduate Year 2

In the PGY-2 year, residents spend significant time in the ED with an emphasis on mastering procedures and increasing proficiency in general emergency medicine. This year also introduces sub-specialty areas within Emergency Medicine and offers the opportunity to participate in electives.

  • Emergency Medicine - 8 blocks
  • Pediatric EM - 1 block
  • Cardiology/CCU - 1 block
  • ICU - 1 block
  • Emergency Medical Services - ½ block
  • ED Toxicology - ½ block
  • Pediatric anesthesia- ½ block
  • Elective - ½ block

Post Graduate Year 3

The PGY-3 year provides opportunities to master the care of the multiple critically ill patients simultaneously. PGY3 residents are involved in multiple educational endeavors in the department and elective time for residents to pursue their interests and career development.

  • Emergency Medicine - 7 blocks
  • Trauma – 1 block
  • ICU - 2 blocks
  • Teaching resident/ ED Administration - 1 block
  • Elective - 2 blocks

Post Graduate Year 4

The PGY-4 resident is treated as a junior faculty member in the ED with a significant teaching and administrative role in addition to patient care responsibilities. Our senior residents learn not only how to care for any type of patient that comes through the door but how to manage the flow of the ED. The clinical shift requirement is reduced (14 shifts/block) to give academic protected time to complete the Mini-fellowship project. There is additional elective time as well.

  • Emergency Medicine - 10 blocks
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit - 1 block
  • Elective - 2 blocks

Mini-Fellowship Project

The George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine requires its' residency graduates to complete a Mini-Fellowship during their training in order to foster interests outside of clinical Emergency Medicine, supplement their future careers, and create well-rounded Emergency Physicians.  The graduate creates a niche for themselves of their own choosing in the field of Emergency Medicine. As a result, their Mini-Fellowship will yield a portfolio that may serve as a product of their niche and can enhance their CVs for job opportunities.