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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Emergency Medicine
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Our Emergency Medicine residents participate in a four-year, class-specific curriculum of workshops and didactics designed to enrich their professional development. Explore the courses below to learn more.

 PGY1: Evidence-Based Introduction to Emergency Medicine

This course uses peer-reviewed primary research publications in emergency medicine to help interns develop the knowledge and skills needed to become appropriate lifelong consumers of new emergency medicine literature. Each session incorporates a brief review of clinical research methodology or statistical concepts that resident learners are likely to encounter when reading medical literature. This is then compared to online expert commentary on each of these emergency medicine topics to provide a framework for the residents to critically analyze expert commentary.

Sample Course Content and Research Concept

  • Head Injury (Types of Studies)
  • Sepsis (Types of Variables; Confounding and Bias)
  • Resuscitation (T-Tests and Matching)
  • Thoracic Trauma (Sensitivity, Specificity, and Likelihood)
  • Public Health and EM (Regression Analysis)
  • Antibiotic Stewardship (Writing Critical Analyses)
  • Abdominal Pain (Positive and Negative Likelihood Ratio)

 PGY2: Patient Safety and Errors in Emergency Medicine and Residents as Teachers I

The PGY2 year begins with the Patient Safety and Errors in Emergency Medicine course. This seminar serves as an introduction to patient safety concepts and terminology. It allows the residents to interact with patient safety tools such as root cause analysis and failure modes and effects analysis and concludes with a discussion about dealing with errors as practitioners. During the second half of the academic year, PGY2 residents transition to the Resident as Teacher seminar. The first component of the seminar, occurring during the second half of the PGY2 year is designed to provide residents an opportunity to learn key concepts of teaching in anticipation of their role at the start of the PGY 3 year as a senior resident with the additional responsibilities of on-shift teaching.

Sample Course Content

  • Patient Safety- Introduction to Patient Safety 
  • Patient Safety- Teamwork, Communication, and Human Factors
  • Patient Safety- Root Cause Analysis
  • Patient Safety- Coping With Errors
  • Resident as Teacher- Introduction to Teaching and Learning: What Makes a Good Teacher? 
  • Resident as Teacher- Lecture Skills
  • Resident as Teacher- Teaching Procedures
  • Resident as Teacher- Feedback and Assessment 

 PGY3: Residents as Teachers II and Quality Improvement in Emergency Medicine

The first half of the PGY3 year continues with the second component of the Resident as Teacher seminar and builds upon the content covered during the previous 6 months. The second half of the curriculum focuses on applying the teaching skills learned during the first component of the seminar, utilizing experiences gained as a senior resident to explore additional and more complex topics in teaching. Residents are encouraged to develop their presentation, leadership and teaching abilities through coursework and the supervision of medical students and junior residents. Building on the PGY2 seminar, the Quality Improvement course prepares PGY3 residents for administrative roles within emergency medicine. Quality Improvement in Emergency Medicine serves as an introduction to quality improvement concepts and terminology. It also allows residents to workshop and discuss their individual QI projects and the role of QI in maintenance of certification.

Sample Course Content

  • Resident as Teacher- Teaching the Intangibles: Professionalism
  • Resident as Teacher- Teaching Procedures
  • Resident as Teacher- "Challenging" Learners
  • Resident as Teacher- Bedside and Effective Clinical Teaching
  • Quality Improvement- QI Primer
  • Quality Improvement- Measurement in QI
  • Quality Improvement- Works in Progress and MOC

 PGY4: Career Transitions Program

This course prepares senior residents to competitively search for post-graduate employment. Sessions in the latter part of the year include discussions of wellness, lifelong learning, and the proper assimilation to new administrative roles within a medical staff. Guest speakers include attorneys for contract review and recent graduates to discuss life after residency.​

Sample Course Content

  • CV and Cover Letter Workshop
  • Applying for your First Job: The Nuts and Bolts of the Process
  • Community Jobs
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Financial Planning
  • Wellness, Balance, and When to Say No
  • Ten Secrets of the Successful Attending 
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