Emergency Medicine Curriculum

The Emergency Medicine Residency curriculum is designed to be flexible and meet your needs – whatever your learning style.

In addition to learning emergency medicine through bedside clinical teaching, our residency has a robust and varied curriculum that includes weekly didactics, journal club, self-directed learning, state-of-the-art simulation, and unique supplemental didactics tailored specifically to your year of training.

We expect you to take ownership of the curriculum and tell us what is working and what is not working and how you would like to shape the curriculum. The residency-run Curriculum Committee will recommend any curricular changes annually through the Program Evaluation Committee.

Block Schedule

Our block schedule begins with a month of orientation and emphasizes time in the emergency department early on. We have a robust pediatric experience including integrated pediatric patients on all adult department shifts, 2 months of PICU, and 2 months in a pediatric emergency department at renowned regional pediatric hospitals. We have a heavy emphasis on ICU experiences throughout your training so that you will take care of the sickest of the sick patients as well as gain proficiency in all your required procedures.

Other highlights include 2 blocks of ultrasound, 3 elective months, and different longitudinal experiences each year. There will be some planned elective experiences such as advanced EMS, toxicology, or global health, but as owners and entrepreneurs in your residency experience, you will have the opportunity to plan and develop your own elective experiences as well.


At the beginning or your residency you will have an entire month dedicated to orientation. The goals of the orientation month are to get everyone up to speed clinically, to do intense procedural training so you’re ready day 1 for your ICU rotations, and to spend a lot of time together and build a tight-knit team. Orientation month includes practice shifts, specialty lectures, and sessions in the simulation lab. You’ll also do a scavenger hunt during the month to get to know the hospitals and the area. One of the highlights of the month is an entire week of EMS experiences including firefighting, car rescue, rope rescue, and wilderness medicine. The month ends with a two-day retreat up in the mountains.


  • 1 month orientation
  • 7 months in the adult emergency departments with integrated pediatric patients
  • 2 months MICU
  • 1 month of Trauma
  • 1 ultrasound month
  • Longitudinal EMS experience on your ED blocks


  • 6 months in the adult emergency departments with integrated pediatric patients
  • 1 month in the Pediatric ER at CHOA Scottish Rite
  • 1 month in the STICU
  • 1 month in the PICU at CHOA Egleston
  • 1 month in the Neuro ICU
  • 1 month elective
  • 2 weeks of OB
  • 2 weeks of advanced ultrasound
  • Longitudinal research experience throughout the months


  • 7 months in the adult emergency departments with integrated pediatric patients
  • 1 month in the PICU at CHOA Egleston
  • 2 months of electives
  • 1 month of MICU nights
  • 1 month in the Peds ED at CHOA Scottish Rite
  • Longitudinal administrative experiences throughout the year


Weekly Didactics:
Weekly didactics will focus on the core emergency medicine curriculum, procedures, and simulation and case-based learning. One week out of the month, didactics will be held in the sim lab and focus on cases and procedures. The other weeks, didactics will include small group cases, traditional lectures, M&M, invited speakers, and social emergency medicine talks.

Self-Directed Learning:
To develop into life-long learners, most of your studying will be self-directed. We will be using a collaborative curriculum called Foundations of Emergency Medicine to guide you.

Our residency will incorporate quarterly multi-disciplinary simulation sessions (in our state-of-the-art new Sim Lab) that focus on cases relevant to your level of training. We will also have a quarterly simulated and cadaver procedure lab.

CORE Didactics:
During intern year you will meet twice a month with residents from all specialties to learn about fundamental topics such as patient safety, scholarly activity, and wellness.

Year Directed Series:
Upper-level residents will have monthly didactic sessions that incorporate non-clinical topics specific to their level of training such as medico-legal issues, contract negotiation, and developing academic presentations.

Journal Club:
Journal Club will be held monthly at a faculty members house and will be open to all residents and faculty as well as significant others and children.

Monthly morbidity and mortality meetings will focus on systems issues and cognitive bias and will include both resident cases as well as faculty cases.

Longitudinal Experiences

Starting with a dedicated week during orientation (including a disaster and wilderness medicine day), residents will have ride-alongs during each of their PGY-1 ED rotations. We will also have available advanced EMS electives that focus on flight, medical direction, tactical EMS, and others. EMS didactics will also be incorporated throughout the curriculum.

In addition to ultrasound didactics throughout the three-year curriculum, residents will have a basic ultrasound block in their intern year and an advanced ultrasound block in their PGY-2 year. Ultrasound shifts and bedside teaching will be incorporated through all three years.

Pediatric topics (taught by pediatricians) will be included throughout all three years of the didactic curriculum. In addition, you will see pediatric patients in each of your adult ED rotations (about 15 to 20%). You will also have two rotations in a regional pediatric emergency department and two rotations in a regional pediatric ICU (PICU).

Diversity and Inclusion:
The resident-run Diversity Committee will work with the GME Director of Diversity to advocate for a strong and diverse residency as well as for the experiences of our minority patients. Topics such as unconscious bias, health disparities for black patients and other patients of color, and LGBTQ health will be incorporated throughout our didactic series.

QI/Patient Safety:
NGMC believes strongly in a culture of patient safety. This will be a major part of your CORE didactics during intern year. You will also be taught how to submit patient safety reports and will be assigned a patient safety project. Finally, you will have the opportunity to learn about systems issues and cognitive bias during monthly M&M and learn about 72-hour return audits during your administration rotation.

Administration/Business of EM:
One of the strengths of our Emergency Medicine  Residency is that you will staff with faculty from a well-run independent democratic group. Lessons about the administration and business of EM will be incorporated into your Year Directed didactics, and you will have an admin rotation run by the executive team of our group.

Research and Scholarly Activity:
For scholarly activity, you will be paired with a faculty mentor. You will also be taught sound research skills from our PhD director of research as well as during Journal Club. Through this process you will develop a scholarly project that will be presented to your peers at the end of residency.

As lifelong teachers, you will be constantly teaching patients, nurses, and learners whether you have a job in academics or not. You will be given didactics on how to develop teaching skills in your Year Directed Series. You will also have a teaching retreat at the end of you PGY-2 year, and during your PGY-3 year you will have staffing shifts where you work with medical students and off-service interns. You will also be taught how to effectively develop and deliver a didactic presentation.

Advocacy/Social EM:
Topics on social determinants of health will be incorporated throughout your three-year didactic curriculum. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to develop advocacy projects through the resident-run Advocacy Committee.

We have a director of Wellness who will incorporate didactics throughout the CORE portion of your intern year. In addition, we will have a resident-run Wellness Committee that will focus on advocating for resident wellness and planning activities. We will also incorporate wellness and personal finance topics throughout your Year Directed series.

CoRE Curriculum

In addition to a block schedule, this program offers the Cornerstones of Resident Education (CoRE) - a three-year longitudinal curriculum which engages residents across all programs.