Areas of Distinction

EM residency training should not simply be about going to lectures, working clinically, and gaining experiential knowledge. It is also about taking your first steps towards a career in Emergency Medicine. Longitudinal mentorship and resource accessibility are thus critical elements in any residency program.

We have instituted the concept of Areas of Distinction (AOD) for our EM residents to help you develop a specific area of expertise. At the end of your internship year, you will rank your choices of AOD. Based on your academic niche selection, faculty members will be paired with you for more directed, one-on-one mentorship. Your ED and elective blocks will focus on developing your AOD. The AOD structure provides longitudinal mentorship and a personalized rotation curriculum. 

UCSF announced in December 2007 an innovative interdisciplinary Pathways to Discovery curriculum, which parallels our AODs and will provide our residents with structured didactic options and a networking platform. 

These are added benefits of our four-year residency program, as compared to a three-year program. 

There are a variety of options for your AOD, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Disaster Preparedness 
  • Health and Society 
  • Medical Education
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine 
  • Research
  • Ultrasound

At the end of the PGY-4 year, EM residents present their scholarly work in their AOD at the Annual Resident Research Day.


AOD Projects


EMS/Disaster Medicine

Health & Society

Medical Education




Class of 2012*

Singh: Development of a curriculum to educate prehospital providers on a standard approach to psychiatric emergencies.

Wilson: Survey or DMAT personnel r.e. ULS use by DMAT teams

Brim: NHAMCS data analysis to determine current rate of inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions for pediatric asthma ED visits

Kanzaria: Survival analysis of California EDs from 1990-2005 to determine if EDs serving areas with a higher proportion of vulnerable populations have a higher hazard rate of closure.

Brown: Creation of educational module r.e. approach to trauma patient for medical students to complete prior to or during their EM rotation.

Silman: Education module r.e. Utrasound-guided peripheral venous cannulation for ED nurses

Kea: CXR-missed injuries found on CT (chest CT decision rule)

Bilotti: Survey of EM program directors/PEM fellowship directors as self-assessment of tox education curriculum/ resources, etc.

Lenaghan: Sonographic measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter in the axial and coronal planes compared with formal ocular ULS by a certified ophthalmic sonographer

Salmon: Investigation of the therapeutic impact of ULS-guided nerve blocks on pain management during orthopedic procedures in Sub-Saharan Africa

Class of 2013

Hall: Retrospective cohort study of EMS use among patients transported during one year in an urban EMS system.

Allred: Video education piece regarding work-life balance, fatigue, etc.

Freeman: Curriculum development for program related to drug/EtOH use for adolescents.

Juarez: Creation of a sports medicine curriculum geared toward emergency medicine residents.

Chung-Esaki: Validation of a prediction tool for endocarditis in injection drug users with fever

Mongelluzzo: Characterization of ED patients with SSTI.

Gertler: Root cause analysis of adverse drug events  (ADE) that occur in the ambulatory setting which result in ED visits

Berona: I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you (super top secret)

Flores: Use of bedside ULS in the management of ectopics in Tanzania (prelim)

Kornblith: Bedside ULS teaching for PICU fellows and attendings with pre and post testing, test for use after education


 *2012 (AODs no longer active):
(Hippen-Global Health) Qualitative interviews to evaluate trauma data collection in Congo
(Miss-Wilderness Med) Injury patterns to GGNRA visitors