Emergency Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions by MS1s and MS2s

Spend some time in the Emergency Department. The ED is a unique environment and most Emergency Physicians would be happy to allow a medical student to shadow. Consider shadowing an EMT or spending a day with the local fire department. Join the EM interest group. Begin to develop professional relationships with local Emergency Physicians and with the local EM Residency. Review the websites of professional Emergency Medicine organizations, like the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association (EMRA). Learn more about EMRA here

Emergency Medicine is a very competitive field and while research experience is not required it would certainly strengthen your application. Your preclinical years are a great time to get started with a research project. It is generally preferable to have completed one or two comprehensive projects where you had significant involvement rather than multiple projects where you were only minimally involved.

Talk to your mentors and Dr. McEchron as he can help guide you to find a good “fit” depending on your interests. Work with your peers, recent graduates, local Residents and Fellows, as well as Emergency Medicine faculty, and express your interest in getting involved.

A strong academic foundation is your most important priority. If you can successfully add volunteer work or other extracurricular activities and maintain a healthy balance with your academics then it is highly recommended. Places such as the Wesley Clinic or the New Hope Teen Pregnancy program will make you more well-rounded and better informed to make a career decision while gaining valuable experience and serving the local community.

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) tracks statistical trends for matched students in each specialty. Learn more about EM match trends here

Frequently Asked Questions by MS3s and MS4s

We recommend that you obtain 2-3 Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE) letters. Your Career Advisor can provide you a more specific recommendation of the number of SLOEs based upon your individual circumstances and competitiveness. A SLOE may be completed by an Emergency Medicine faculty member from an Emergency Medicine residency program. In addition to completing a 4th year Emergency Medicine clerkship month at MIHS where you will receive a SLOE, we recommend completing another one or two EM away rotations where additional SLOEs may be generated. To request a SLOE, please send your letter author the Electronic Residency Application Serivce (ERAS) Letter Request Form (that should include your ERAS Letter ID), and the SLOE website link, which has instructions for completing the Form and information on eligibility requirements. Learn more about SLOEs

It is appropriate to ask for additional letters of recommendation (LOR) during your 3rd year clerkships and early in 4th year if you have really connected with a faculty member or research mentor. You should have your CV updated and your personal statement available for reference. If you are asking for a LOR during your Sub-Internship, consider asking for it about three weeks into the rotation. When asking for a LOR, it is better to do it in person. Please thank your letter writers for their effort.

You are allowed to submit up to four letters in ERAS. In addition to your 2-3 SLOE letters we recommend including letters from faculty that know you well and support other aspects of your application. This could include: research you have completed, MPH or Certificate of Distinction programs you are a part of, and from faculty in other specialties (Toxicology, Cardiology, Surgery, Radiology, Anesthesia, etc.) where you excelled.

Yes, depending on specialty, all LORs do not have to be from the field you are applying to residency in.

A Chair Letter is not required for Emergency Medicine.

In addition to completing a 4th year Emergency Medicine clerkship at MIHS where you will obtain a SLOE, an additional away rotation should be completed at an Emergency Medicine residency to obtain further experience and your second SLOE.

Information specific to Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine focuses on the assessment, stabilization and management of the critically ill patient.  Patients of any age and with all types of complaints are managed simultaneously providing EM physicians the opportunity to see an enormous amount of pathology and treat a wide variety of medical and surgical conditions.  EM Residency programs are 3 to 4 years long and incorporate a variety of off-service rotations such as Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Trauma, Toxicology, prehospital work, ultrasound and a number of ICU months in addition to time spent in the Emergency Department.  Clinical work is typically divided into shifts at all hours of the day including weekends and holidays.  The field is competitive and excellent academic performance including strong USMLE scores are very important.  Clinical performance in your 3rd year and during your 4th year EM rotations is paramount.  Demonstrating your dedication to the field of Emergency Medicine through participation with EM specific professional organizations, research and/or advocacy work in the field is highly encouraged.

Emergency Medicine Student Interest Group

Click here to visit the Emergency Medicine Interest Group website

Additional Resources

Click here to visit the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association (EMRA)

Click here to visit the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

Click here to visit the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM)

Click here to visit the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)