Didactic Curriculum

Pulm Session with RTs
Sim Session

Intern Orientation

The transition between medical school and residency can be daunting. To ensure a solid foundation of knowledge for our EM interns, an orientation block introduces the intern to hospital and residency-related logistics, essential procedural skills and medical knowledge in EM, and certifications in Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (BLS/ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). During this first block, interns will rotate through the emergency departments at both UCSF Medical Center and Zuckerberg San Francisco General to become acquainted with the faculty, nurses, staff and operations.

Orientation to Subsequent PGY Roles

At the end of each academic year, each residency class participates in didactics during conference aimed to orient them to the next PGY level, including a review of the progressive responsibilities of each year. Examples include:

  • Orientation to PGY-2 role
    • Managing an increasing patient volume and acuity
    • Review of resuscitation leadership role
  • Orientation to PGY-3 role
  • Orientation to PGY-4 role
    • Managing department-wide decisions (ambulance diversion decisions, screening ECGs, managing referral/transfer calls)
    • Pre-attending role


Didactic EM Curriculum 

Our weekly core EM conferences are held every Thursday from 8:00 am-12:30 pm. The curriculum is designed in a modular format on a 24-month repeating basis, covering essential EM topics from the American Board of Emergency Medicine Qualifying Exam and as defined by the Model of Clinical Practice of EM Guidelines

We emphasize interactive didactics in addition to traditional lectures and workshops. Components of our curriculum include interactive small groups, high-fidelity simulation labs, cadaver-based procedure labs, disaster drills, Quality Improvement/Patient Safety (QIPS) sessions (which include QIPS methodology and case reviews) led by our QI Directors, Journal Clubs led by our research faculty, and Grand Rounds featuring national experts. In our QIPS Trauma Video conferences, actual recordings of trauma resuscitations are reviewed and management approaches are discussed. This joint EM-Trauma Surgery-Anesthesia conference provides active discussions and collaborations between the three departments as well as others as appropriate (Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Interventional Radiology, etc).

We recognize the importance of individual choice for adult learners. As such, we offer serveral options for Individualized Interactive Instruction (III), consistent with the guidelines established by the ACGME EM-Residency Review Committee (see bottom of page 9 of the ACGME EM-RRC FAQ ). Options include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) AIR Series
  2. Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School modules (Quality Improvement, Patient Safety)
  3. Foundations of Emergency Medicine (PGY-1s) coursework (required)
  4. Participation in monthy departmental Research Works in Progress meetings (2nd Tuesday of each month)
  5. Participation in monthly departmental Education Works in Progress meetings (4th Thursday of each month)
  6. Participation in optional financial literacy curriculum (FEAR)
  7. Participation in Global Emergency Care Academy

Residents are expected to attend the weekly core curriculum and are released from all clinical responsibilities during this time.


Didactic EM Curriculum Calendar

Our didactic curriculum is available to view via a Google calendar. There are many creative and interactive components that set our conference schedule apart and on the leading edge of innovation, teaching, and design. 


Teaching Expectations for the EM Resident

There are several types of conference presentations: QIPS Case Conference (30 min), Core Lecture (60 min), QIPS Trauma Video (60 min), and Journal Club. One of the hallmarks of being a great emergency physician, whether one's focus is on academics or not, is having excellent communication and teaching skills. EM residents have progressive responsibility in formal teaching within the didactic EM curriculum. The didactic curriculum allows EM residents to hone their presentation skills on an ongoing basis.

  • PGY-1 residents present follow-up case conferences
  • PGY-2 residents present Journal Club articles<
  • PGY-3 residents present Core Lectures, present at medical student didactics, and teach EMS providers
  • PGY-4 residents present Core Lectures and teach EMS providers