Emergency medicine in the medical school curriculum

Acad Emerg Med. 2010 Oct;17 Suppl 2:S26-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00896.x.


Emergency medicine (EM) is a dynamic specialty that continues to define itself as a fertile training ground for medical students. Throughout the years, a number of U.S. medical schools have incorporated topics germane to EM training (basic cardiac life support, principles of wound care, splinting, basic procedural skills training, etc.) into the medical school curriculum. By virtue of their broad-based training and the unique patient care environment that they practice in, EM specialists can serve a multitude of educational roles in the medical school. Whether serving as a problem-based learning facilitator, collaborating with basic scientists, or teaching medical history-taking and physical examination skills in the emergency department (ED), EM faculty can effectively teach future physicians in training. Although opportunities for teaching will vary by institution, often all it takes to get involved is asking. Teaching can take place in the ED, classroom, or simulation center, both in the preclinical and in the clinical curriculum. EM faculty may be well suited to help teach procedural skills to students as they enter their clinical clerkships. A formal rotation in EM can also assist the medical school in achieving their institutional objectives or in identifying ways to satisfy the Liaison Committee on Medical Education's objectives. Patients presenting to the ED span the entire spectrum: young and old, sick and not sick. It is this variety of cases that makes the ED a truly valuable setting for educating students.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical / methods
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Schools, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Teaching
  • United States