Twelve per class
Yes, soon. There are plans to begin a few fellowships.
We sponsor J1 Visas only. The institution does not sponsor H Visas.
Yes. We look at your application as a whole and not solely on a specific element.
This is part of our standard assessment of all applicants. The systematic assessment relies on all applicants to complete the same steps and answer the same questions to make a proper comparison between applicants.
We know from the corporate world that employees who are more engaged, who feel like they can make an impact on their work environment and who feel listened to, tend to be more productive and happier in their work life. Residency is the same! We want our residents to feel the same sense of ownership and engagement! We operate on the philosophy that we’re going to provide solid fundamental framework, excellent clinical education, good mentorship, and solid didactics, but the rest is up to the resident. How will they shape the residency? What changes would they like to see made? What are they passionate about, and how can we support that passion? How can we help them develop their niche? We want to recruit smart, hard-working, talented, and passionate people and then give them the tools to thrive and succeed in whatever way works best for them.
We’ll put in some formal structure to help make this philosophy succeed. For example, a residency-run committee structure to provide feedback on topics such as the curriculum, wellness, diversity, recruiting and heavy resident participation in the Program Evaluation Committee (PEC). However, more than these specific processes, we know that true resident ownership will be due to a culture of openness from us, the program leadership. The PD team is committed to always asking ourselves—and asking our residents—how can we be better? How can we create the best educational environment for our residents?
Since we are a brand-new residency and we’re designing the curriculum and the program from the ground up, we get to ask ourselves important questions like why are we training residents? What is our goal? What are the core values that we think are necessary to create a good residency and supportive environment to train in? What characteristics do we think are important to instill in residents to become good and caring emergency physicians and advocates for our patients?
As we answer these questions for ourselves and as we define these core values, we’ve defined a mission. Having a mission allows us to focus our efforts on what we feel is important. Whenever we develop a curriculum, hire new faculty, implement a new program, or change part of the system we ask ourselves: Is this part our mission? Is this in line with our core values? This helps make the education we deliver and the training our residents receive more meaningful, and ultimately, the impact we have is greater.
The emergency physicians who work at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and who are faculty in our residency, belong to a democratic group called Georgia Emergency Department Services, or GEDS. We are physician-owned and operated. We determine our own pay structure, we decide who to hire, and we decide the most appropriate ways to staff our emergency departments, teach our residents, and serve the patients in our community.
There are many corporate, for-profit, contract management groups that employ thousands of emergency physicians and contract with hospitals. They try to provide emergency department staffing as cheaply as possible. They are primarily profit-driven, and they profit from the labor of the physicians they employ. Many of these groups have even started residencies at hospitals as a source of recruiting and labor for their corporations.
We believe this democratic model is the best model of employment for emergency physicians. Ownership of our own practice is better for physician engagement, their wellness and better for the healthcare of our community. It will be the best model for education. We believe the kind of involvement, engagement, and advocacy involved in being a part of a democratic group will become the culture of the residency. One of our core values is to promote and model the same kind of engagement and ownership of the educational process by our residents for the sake of resident engagement, satisfaction, wellness, and long-term longevity. The more engaged our residents are, and the more ownership they feel over their residency, the better their education will be.
Our Graduate Medical Education (GME) department, and our Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Erine Raybon-Rojas, have implemented several initiatives and didactic strategies to ensure an environment of advocacy and support for our residents from underrepresented backgrounds. The GME department has also been instrumental in working with our health system leadership to directly address issues in the community around disparities in healthcare in our underserved populations, particularly in our Hispanic population which is about 40% of the population in Hall County.
Within the emergency medicine residency, we believe that representation among our faculty is the most important first step we can take to foster an environment and culture that is supportive of a diverse class of residents. GEDS (the EM faculty group) has been conscious in our hiring practices to ensure our faculty are not only strong clinically but are representative of the patients we serve. We also expect that the residents take a leadership role in our residency on these issues through a resident-run Diversity Committee. The PD team recognizes that residents from underrepresented backgrounds have unique challenges in medicine, and we are committed to working with the Diversity Committee and we are passionate about advocating for residents who are from these underrepresented backgrounds.
Learn more about our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives
Our health system serves over a dozen counties in northeast Georgia, which means we have a very diverse patient population. Hall County, which is where the primary hospital is, is on Lake Lanier and in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. We see many vacationers and trauma patients from the lake. Hall County is also known for its poultry processing and has a big industrial area. We have a large working-class population as well as a large immigrant population. Hall County has a 40% Hispanic population. Some of the counties we serve are suburban and have a high rate of insured patients. And many of the counties we serve are rural, low-income, and relatively underserved. We have a lot of opportunities to advocate for many different populations in our catchment area and our residents will see a very wide breadth of pathology.
When applicants ask this question, what they’re asking is will they get enough trauma airways, enough chest tubes, and enough experience leading trauma management. Northeast Georgia Medical Center sees a lot of traumas! We also have a general surgical residency program, and the surgical residents respond to all the highest-level traumas (the Level 1 traumas) with the rest of the trauma team. Level 1 traumas are managed jointly by the trauma team and the emergency medicine providers. We have had lengthy discussions about how the traumas will be run when both residencies are fully staffed and how procedures will be shared. These plans will likely change multiple times as we try to implement them but be assured that we will always make sure our residents are involved in all aspects of Level 1 traumas. Additionally, the emergency medicine team always owns the trauma airway. Anesthesia is almost never involved in airways in the emergency department unless we ask for them.
All the other traumas (Level 2 and Level 3 traumas) and all walk-in traumas or traumas that show up at our non-trauma hospital, are managed primarily by the emergency medicine team. Surgery isn’t consulted unless they are needed. Our emergency departments are very busy. There will never be a lack of patients for our residents to see. Our emergency medicine residents will get plenty of experience managing trauma patients primarily in addition to the team-based management in Level 1 traumas. They will get plenty of experience with all airways, trauma airways included, and plenty of experience with chest tubes. We will be sure to supplement any experiences residents need with high fidelity simulation. Additionally for orthopedic trauma, the initial management is done primarily by the emergency medicine team. Residents will do all of their own reductions and sedatives prior to consulting the orthopedic services.
Not yet, but we’d love to develop some global health experiences. We understand that global health experiences for residents are great training in working in under-resourced areas and give a great opportunity for an exchange of research, ideas, and training with another country’s health system. We want to make sure that any global health opportunity we develop will be mutually beneficial to both parties, sustainable, and have long-term impact in the country we’re working in. We want to avoid “medical tourism.” That being said, we have a number of faculty who have worked internationally, and by the time residency starts we may have hired a faculty member with a global health fellowship training. We would love to have residents who are passionate about global health join our inaugural class. They would be the pioneers in developing the initial global health opportunity here. We would help them find mentors, reach out to people and institutions outside of the organization, develop reading lists and research projects, develop elective rotations, and even help find funding. We also specifically designed the block schedule to allow for six weeks of elective during the PGY-3 year for residents who want to do a global health rotation.
Our emergency departments have a 15-20% pediatric patient population. Residents will see pediatric patients on every shift throughout each of their department rotations. In addition, during their second and third year, residents will do rotations at the two children’s hospitals in Atlanta, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Scottish Rite and CHOA Egleston. Residents will rotate in the emergency department at Scottish Rite in their PGY-2 year and their PGY-3 year. They will rotate in the PICU at Egleston once during their PGY-2 year and once during their PGY-3 year. Housing will be provided for residents on this rotation. With the acuity that residents will see at the two children’s hospitals, the volume of pediatric patient’s and the longitudinal didactics led by our Director of Pediatrics, Dr. Hersh Mathur, pediatric training will be a strength of our program.
Our emergency medicine group, GEDS, employs PAs and NPs to work with us in the emergency department. We very much enjoy working with them and consider them part of our family. They are primarily responsible for seeing low-acuity patients and staffing our observation unit. Residents will work alongside APPs in the emergency department, but our shifts are so busy, and we see so many patients, residents and APPs will never have to compete for patients or for procedures. When designing our residency, it was decided to not have too many residents ever working in the department at one time, this avoids competition for patients. We will never rely on residents for workload.
We recognize that residents will work with APPs during their careers, and interdisciplinary training sessions will be part of our didactic curriculum. APPs will occasionally be part of resident didactics, including during some simulation sessions and journal clubs. Other members of the care team that will be involved in didactics include respiratory therapists, nurses, and paramedics.
We work with multiple EMS agencies in multiple counties. Residents will primarily be working with Hall County EMS and Medical Director, Dr. Andy Ball. All residents will participate in an EMS week during orientation with a variety of EMS experiences including longitudinal ride alongs during their intern year. For residents who want a more in-depth EMS experience, whether flight, tactical medicine, disaster medicine, or wilderness medicine, they can work with our EMS Medical Director, Dr. Spencer Masiewicz and Dr. Ball to design a specific curriculum to meet their needs, using their elective time as necessary. We also have an affiliation with the Medical College of Georgia who have a very robust EMS experience where residents can rotate as well.
Being a brand-new residency, our first class of residents have an opportunity to carve a unique path that residents can follow for years to come. It’s such an exciting opportunity to be able to impact future generations of learners! We’re looking for residents who have unique passions in emergency medicine—for advocacy, global health, pediatrics, EMS, research, policy, and who want to carve their own path in those niches. Our commitment to our residents is that we will do whatever we can to open doors for them, give them the resources they need to succeed, and then give them the freedom to pursue those passions. We’ll help our residents identify resources inside and outside of our health system, identify mentors, and explore funding. The strength of our program will be directly related to our residents’ creativity and innovation. We expect as our first few classes of residents follow their passions and carve out their niches, they will develop pathways for future classes of residents to follow. Much of the initial work that the first classes of residents do will turn into recurring electives or even subspecialty tracks for the future generations of residents.
Our emergency nurses are the greatest strength of our emergency department. Although COVID-19 has impacted our staffing, our doctors and nurses get along wonderfully. We work closely with our nursing management (and they have been heavily involved as we’ve designed the residency) and they’ve done a great job of creating a positive and supportive culture, starting with good nursing/patient ratios. Our PD team has also been working with nursing staff to educate them on how to work with learners, and they’ve already been working with visiting medical students and off-service rotators for the past few years. The medical students who have rotated with us this summer, each said how much they appreciated the nursing staff at our hospitals and how much happier and more helpful they seemed than at other institutions.
We have extensive and robust processes in place for evaluating residents and providing feedback as required by the ACGME. For starters, residents will receive feedback from attendings at the end of every shift. The PD team will check in with residents quarterly, and we will meet with them twice a year to give formative and summative feedback, and to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.
In addition to all of these feedback processes, we believe that the most valuable feedback residents get is the side-by-side feedback with each patient, the face-to-face feedback at the end of the shift, and the informal feedback at off-site events. In order to encourage this less formal but highly important form of feedback, we will work to build a culture of family and collegiality among the residents and faculty. We will have didactic sessions at faculty homes. Faculty will attend resident social events. Families will be welcome at all residency events. Fostering a tight-knit culture between residents and faculty will provide opportunities for truly formative mentorship and feedback.
Resident wellness is a key priority for our residency and more broadly for our health system. We have several programs in place to promote resident wellness including a Director of GME wellness, opt-out counseling, regular wellness check-ins, and periodic wellness events across specialties. Within our residency, we will have regular wellness events coordinated by the residency-run wellness committee.
More important than infrastructure and wellness events, we hope to create a culture where our residents feel valued, supported and are given the space to develop their passions. We feel that this is the ultimate key to wellness. All our core values will contribute ultimately to this culture of wellness; strong clinical education, a culture of diversity, holding each other to a high standard of integrity, striving for excellence in everything we do, resident ownership, and a family feel. Implementing a culture that follows these core values will set residents up for a long, healthy, and rewarding career in emergency medicine.
We have an idea of how mentoring will be set up between residents and faculty, but we’ll defer to how the residents will feel best served once they get here. There are many different models of mentoring including peer-mentoring, tiered mentoring, and group mentoring. We envision assigning residents to a faculty advisor for their first year to get oriented, but we’ll coach the residents on finding a personal and/or career mentor. We’ll provide educational sessions on mentoring to both residents and to faculty and encourage residents to identify a mentor by the end of their intern year.
Most current residents in other specialties live in Gainesville where the primary hospital is, but some live in the country a bit and some live in one of the towns between Gainesville and Atlanta. Gainesville is an hour outside of Atlanta. It’s the county seat of Hall County and although it has a somewhat small-town feel, it also serves a much broader community, so it tends to be busier than expected for a town of its size. It has a town square with several bars and restaurants, and it’s home to two small universities, Brenau University and the University of North Georgia. Gainesville is a little old-fashioned in some ways, but it is also growing to accommodate all the new young professionals moving in for residencies (the health system is the largest employer in the region). The people of Gainesville are similarly a mix. Many families have lived here for generations, a lot of transplants from Atlanta, and a very large immigrant population. Gainesville’s biggest industry is poultry processing and there are a lot of industrial and manual laborers who live here. The town is very affordable, and it is an easy place to buy a home, settle down, and raise a family.
The town is on Lake Lanier, which is a large recreational lake, which also happens to be haunted. It is also in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and there are many rivers, trails, and waterfalls with lots of available outdoor activities. Gainesville is an hour away from Atlanta and all that the city has to offer, an hour from Athens where the University of Georgia is, and a few hours away from Chattanooga, Birmingham, Augusta, and Greenville, SC. It’s a great town for residents with families, residents who love nature and the outdoors, and for those who need the city life there are plenty of options close by.