Frequently Asked Questions
The work hours for our PGY1-3 residents are at or below average weekly work hours for other 4-year programs. The work hours for our PGY4 residents are below the average for many other programs.
No. Our residents do work 12-hour shifts but we also have 8-, 9-, and 10hour shifts on our resident schedules. Additionally, shifts after our Thursday morning conference are often 6-hour shifts.
EM residents perform all procedures, including all intubations, cricothyrotomies, central lines, and chest tubes in all trauma cases. The only procedure that goes to trauma is the left-sided thoracotomy but only if the trauma service is present at the time of patient arrival. Due to the large number of traumatic arrests that we see in our ED, our trauma residents/fellows/attendings are more than happy to perform the thoracotomy either WITH our ED residents or, if they have already performed many of them, let our ED residents perform the procedure. Additionally, the right-sided thoracotomy is routinely performed by the ED resident.
Our graduates are well positioned to choose careers in all potential practice settings. While many of our graduates have chosen to pursue private practice, many of our residents have chosen advanced training as well as directly entered academic practice.
In recent years have seen graduates pursue fellowship training in Peds EM, EMS, Medical Education, Ultrasound, International, Wilderness Medicine and Research.
Our residency program has over 600 graduates and they work all over the United States and the world providing a huge alumni network. While the majority of our graduates choose to stay in California we have graduates working in other states such as Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, New York, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Illinois, as well as internationally in Canada, Guyana, Burundi, New Zealand, Bermuda, UK, and Italy. Just because you train in California doesn’t mean you have to stay here! Your training, your reputation as a graduate, and our alumni network can help you to make your career what you want.
Our 4-year curriculum offers comprehensive and broad training in Emergency Medicine. The combination of our commitment to graduated responsibility and the addition of the 4th year allows our residents to develop not only their clinical skills but also the intangible aspects of leadership in both the the clinical areas as well as within their areas of interest. Our residents receive exceptional training in the care of critically ill and injured adults and children including robust numbers of emergency procedures. We also offer 3 months of experience in community hospital settings.
Additionally, our didactics are second to none. Our protected resident conference time is on Thursdays from 7:30am-12:30pm. The first 90 minutes (7:30-9:00) is spent in small groups with class-specific learning taking place. We call these “modules”. The majority of our core curriculum is delivered during the modules where we have designed a longitudinal curriculum that spans the 4 years of training and in delivered in a learner-specific fashion. For example, on a Thursday from 7:30am-9am, the PGY1’s might be learning about “Approach to the red eye” with a basic review of anatomy, differential diagnosis, and physical examination findings with a focus on pertinent positive and negative findings and a discussion of the various common diagnoses and management. The PGY2’s might be doing a module on “GU emergencies” where they discuss common GU emergencies and management. The PGY3’s might be reviewing “Aspects of neonatal resuscitation” with one of our Pediatric EM specialists. The PGY4’s might be discussing “Evidence-based approach to the evaluation of subarachnoid hemorrhage” and engaging in a critical appraisal of literature pertinent to the controversies surrounding the work-up of this important diagnosis. The core curriculum will be delivered to you in a way where topics are pertinent to your level of training and small-group discussions will facilitate better interaction and review.
From 9:00am-12:30pm, the entire department gathers together for state-of-the art educational rounds. Some content is resident delivered and some is faculty led. We have multidisciplinary combined conferences with other departments, challenging case conference, guest speakers and more. You’ll find that our rounds are fun, interactive and very high quality. Also, breakfast is served every week!
Recruiting residents from diverse backgrounds is a priority for our residency program. Our hospital serves an incredibly diverse patient population and we seek to train residents who are interested in working with underserved and diverse patient populations. We believe that we offer an excellent training environment for applicants from diverse backgrounds. We offer 2 scholarships per year for medical students from underserved minority backgrounds who would like to come and rotate in our department. We also have a diversity night during recruitment season to welcome and speak with applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.
Yes. We do accept applications from DO students. We ask that DO applicants take the USMLE exam in addition to the COMLEX.
You can still be considered for our residency program if you have previous training.
We do not have a specific USMLE “cutoff” for applicants. Our system for application review is designed to take in the entirety of the application and not a single score in isolation.
Rotating at our program is not required for consideration for our program. Although we do extend interviews to all students completing a 4-week rotation, a significant portion of our interview slots go to non-rotators. In fact, for our residency class of 2021, 9 of the 17 positions went to applicants who had not rotated with us.
Of course! We think applicants who have worked in a “county-style” environment will have the best idea of what training at a County hospital will be like, however, those applicants who haven’t are not at any disadvantage.
You are a 4-year program. What extra value will I get in the 4th year? How is it different than the other years of training?
Because we have a 4-year program, we have the ability to offer extra experiences that will benefit you. We would love to talk about these in person on your interview day but to highlight a few:
- 3 months of elective time in the PGY3 and PGY4 years to spend exploring other areas of emergency medicine. Some of those areas include extra exposure to things like research, advanced ultrasound, health administration, clinical operations, advanced toxicology, educational projects and many others. These experiences and exposures will help residents explore career paths outside of clinical emergency medicine that they might be interested in.
- Leadership and teaching experiences. PGY4 residents work with the attending physicians to manage our enormous clinical department. Our department sees over 500 patients a day and our PGY4 residents are instrumental in leading the clinical teams, overseeing flow and triage of ambulance runs and teaching junior learners.
- Track program. PGY3 and 4 residents get involved in the clinical divisions of our department as “junior” members. They are included in division meetings, research projects and other activities to expose them to these areas and promote faculty-resident and resident-resident collaboration. Many of these tracks offer a “certification” of extra training and expertise that will benefit them in their career decisions and job searches.