The Department of Emergency Medicine offers a wide range of subspecialty opportunities for its residents-in-training. One of the advantages of training in a 4-year program is the flexibility in the curriculum that residents are given. This allows our residents to carve out a niche for themselves within the larger specialty of emergency medicine.
Center for Life Support Training and Research (CLSTR)
Medical Director: Stephen D. Docherty, DO, FACEP, FAAEM
The USC Life Support Center is an educational center operated by the Department of Emergency Medicine. Since its inception, the USC Life Support Center continues to provide primary leadership in the role of Resuscitation Medicine. The center emphasizes resuscitation training by offering a variety of educational programs for the Keck School of Medicine, LAC+ USC Medical Center and the surrounding professional medical community. Educational programs are provided to physicians from every specialty, students from the schools of medicine and pharmacy, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nursing, paramedics and many other groups. Along with educational programs such as BLS, ACLS and PALS, custom courses are also developed to meet specific needs of our medical community.
A multidisciplinary teaching approach is used in presenting the various resuscitation skills and programs, which largely utilizes the expertise of the teaching faculty of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Faculty from the departments of Surgery, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, nursing and visiting faculty are also utilized to complement the Department of Emergency Medicine faculty.
The USC Life Support Center is currently located in more expanded facilities in the city of Alhambra. These new facilities offer a much more enhanced educational environment for our various courses. The USC Life Support Center is conveniently located at:
1000 South Fremont Avenue
Building A10, 4th Floor, Suite 10470
Director: Michael Levine, MD
The Department of Emergency Medicine is responsible for providing medical support for the Hyperbaric Treatment Chamber on Catalina Island. This large multi-place facility is dedicated to the treatment of diving injuries such as decompression sickness and cerebral arterial gas embolism. The chamber physicians provide on-site treatment as well as consult when requested.
While not mandatory, all interested residents have the opportunity to go through an initial basic course in emergency diving accident management and subsequently participate in the evaluation and treatment of diving injuries. In recent years, nearly all residents have taken the chamber course and qualified to be on call for diving accidents. When on call for the chamber, you may at a moment’s notice be flown to Catalina via helicopter to care for diving accident victims.
The Department of Emergency Medicine is responsible for the very busy Correctional Medicine Emergency Service. This area serves adult in-custody patients brought from the street as well as those brought in from jail and court facilities. A seventeen bed emergency evaluation, procedure and observation area with two respiratory isolation rooms within a securely locked environment is included. Emergency medical coverage is also provided to patients in the associated jail clinic and inpatient ward. These areas are serviced via a dedicated ambulance receiving area. Physicians assigned the Jail ER treat a full spectrum of medical, surgical, traumatic and toxicological problems as well as problems specific to custody patients such as Taser, sting ball and pepper spray injuries as well as police K9 dog-bites.
Director: Marc Eckstein, MD
Pre-Hospital Care Coordinator: Gloria Tolle, RN
The Department of Emergency Medicine at LAC+USC is the busiest of the 20 Los Angeles County Base Stations with over 20,000 base station runs annually. It is the primary base station for 20 LAFD units, several LA County squads, and two private sector providers (the cities of Vernon and Monterey Park). LAC+USC Medical Center is one of only four Level I trauma centers in Los Angeles County and, due to its open catchment area, is also the designated trauma center for the San Gabriel and Antelope Valleys. Currently 37 public and 30 private pre-hospital care agencies send patients to LAC+USC on a regular basis.
Dr. Eckstein serves as both the Director of Pre-Hospital Care for the Department of Emergency Medicine as well as the Medical Director for the Los Angeles Fire Department. We manage multi-casualty incidents and hazardous material events on a regular basis.
Ultrasound imaging enhances the emergency provider’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat emergency department patients, in order to provide them with optimal care. Because ultrasound imaging is often time-dependent in the acutely ill or injured patient, the emergency physician is in an ideal position to use this technology to advance patient care and safety. Focused ultrasound examinations provide immediate information and can answer specific questions about the patient’s physical condition. The American College of Physicians (ACEP) and the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) believe that ultrasound imaging is with the scope of practice of emergency physicians and endorses training in bedside emergency ultrasound within residency training.
The Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency therefore puts a strong emphasis on ultrasound training throughout the four-year program. Residents receive ultrasound instruction through lectures and extensive hands-on training in bedside ultrasound. By the time of graduation, residents will have completed an extensive curriculum covering all basic and many advance applications in emergency bedside ultrasound as outlined by current published ACEP training guidelines. Completion of the curriculum will lead to a letter of successful emergency ultrasound training that can be used by graduates for credentialing at the hospitals of their future employment.
The Department of Emergency Medicine at LAC+USC cares for thousands of patients each month, many of which present for various toxicologic complaints. These patients often present with unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. In order to provide optimal care for these patients, the Department of Emergency Medicine has formed the Section of Medical Toxicology. While many patients seen in consultation are presenting as a result of an intentional or unintentional overdose, other patients can be seen for adverse drug-events, drug-drug interactions, and envenomations.
The toxicology rotation is a two-week elective open to emergency medicine residents interested in the field of medical toxicology. The residents regularly attend journal club as well as participate in the state-wide conferences of the California Poison Control System. Each resident will meet several times per week with the various LAC+USC toxicology attendings for an in-depth discussion on various toxins, ranging from acetaminophen and salicylates to envenomations to toxic gases. Residents will also prepare a short talk on a particular topic of interest.
Simulation Center/Simulation Training
The USC Center for Simulation and Disaster Training in Emergency Medicine is a state of the art facility under the Department of Emergency Medicine. This center is dedicated to using simulation technologies to create realistic clinical encounters for the purposes of medical education. The center houses two adult, high fidelity human patient simulators, an advanced pediatric simulator, a sophisticated infant simulator, and a variety of procedural skill trainers. Among the programs offered at the center is an extensive curriculum for Emergency Medicine residents, and various modules geared toward disaster preparedness.
For further information contact:
Christopher Celentano, MD
Associate Medical Director – Emergency Medicine
Director – Office of Emergency Management
Director – Hospital Mass Casualty Decon Program
Navy Trauma Training Center (NTTC)
The basic concept of the program is to provide an intense 30-day clinical experience in trauma management to Navy medical teams who will be deploying in support of Navy and Marine forces. The exact makeup of teams varies from month to month and consists of 12-24 members. Typically each team will have one to three surgeons, one to two anesthesiologists, one to two emergency medicine physicians, two to four nurses, two to four OR techs and as many as 12 corpsman. There are several Navy physicians and nurses who are permanently assigned to the Medical Center and who have become an integral part of the attending staff in both the Department of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Surgery.