FAQ

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The Department of Emergency Medicine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC), MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH) and Georgetown University School of Medicine enjoy full departmental status and have a completely integrated faculty, with Mark Smith, MD, serving as Professor & Chairman of our department, and Bill Frohna, MD serving as the Chair of our EM physician group.
For the majority of ED clinical shifts, our residents work directly with the ED attending physician. This allows our trainees to learn from the most experienced providers and educators, beginning the first day of internship and continuing throughout training. Our junior residents benefit from one-on-one mentorship, and our upper level residents benefit from full autonomy with guidance when needed for fine-tuning of advanced skills. Rotating medical students are frequently paired with the attending-resident team, which provides abundant opportunities for direct involvement in clinical teaching.
Teaching comes directly from board certified attending emergency physicians. We have a diverse and dynamic faculty who are dedicated to you and your education. In addition, a number of group experiences are planned in order to foster mentorship and collegiality between residents and faculty members, as we feel strongly that this forms an important part of the overall residency experience.
The MWHC ED is divided into three primary patient care teams – Blue, Red and Green. Each is staffed with an ED attending physician 24/7. There is also a dedicated urgent care area of the ED, termed the Ambulatory Care Area (ACA). Residents work the majority of their ED shifts on the Blue, Red or Green teams. Acutely ill patients who are not eligible for ACA are divided equally between the Blue, Red and Green teams. Although ED residents work on all three teams (with an occasional ACA shift), the Blue team is our dedicated upper level EM resident team. Blue team seniors are responsible for running and leading this “ED” (volume is equivalent to many community EDs, with very high acuity), including supervising interns/students working on the Blue team and managing trauma airways.
Residents participate in the full array of trauma resuscitations and procedures throughout training. Interns spend one month on the trauma team at our MedSTAR trauma center, which is the busiest level 1 trauma center in D.C. Second year residents rotate at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Our senior residents work selected trauma shifts, integrated into MWHC ED months throughout the year, at the MedSTAR trauma center. During trauma shifts, EM senior residents alternate roles on an every-other-patient basis (as resuscitation leader or senior procedure resident) with the senior surgical resident. In addition, our PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents manage trauma airways along with the ED attending during regular ED clinical shifts.
Our curriculum provides for comprehensive pediatric EM training with diversity of exposure and seasonal variation. We have over six months dedicated to peds EM: two months at the Shady Grove hospital pediatric ED (PGY-1 and PGY-3), one month at Fairfax hospital pediatric ED (PGY-3), and one month at the Fairfax hospital PICU (PGY-2). In addition, first and second year residents work a proportion of their clinical shifts during all MWHC ED months at Children’s National Medical Center. This schedule equates to 2 additional peds EM months spread-out over 2 years, allowing for seasonal variation and continuity of exposure. Finally, five months during training are spent rotating in the MGUH ED, where peds represents up to 15% of the ED volume.
Our residents work 9-hour clinical shifts at the primary training sites, MWHC & MGUH. The typical number of shifts per month varies by year of training: approximately 22 shifts per month for interns, 21 shifts per month for PGY-2’s, 20 shifts per month for PGY-3’s, and 19 shifts per month for PGY-3 Chief Residents. At our pediatric ED training sites, residents typically work 10-hour clinical shifts.
Both MWHC and MGUH are world-class medical centers with a full armamentarium of ancillary services at your disposal. The nursing staff is experienced clinically, and are accustomed to routinely working with students, interns and residents.
Our training philosophy incorporates the importance of continual learning through self-study and wellness through breadth of life experience. We feel that these outside factors directly relate to improved patient care and to the development of a well-rounded clinician who will achieve a high degree of overall career satisfaction.
The greater Washington, DC region provides numerous living options. Our faculty and residents live primarily in Washington, DC, suburban Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties) or Northern Virginia (Arlington, Alexandria or Fairfax County).
At our institutions, emergency airways in the ED are managed by emergency physicians. We have a rich history in Emergency Medicine practice and training. We have developed and maintained collegial relationships with other Departments within our institutions over the course of decades. As such, we are fortunate to have excellent working relationships with physicians representing diverse medical specialties, including anesthesia and trauma. Both medical and trauma airways are managed by our residents and attendings.
Our department operates MedStar Transport, one of the busiest hospital-based aeromedical transport services in the country. Ample opportunities exist for helicopter and critical care ground transport during training. Residents can also gain more in-depth experience during an elective month (EM-2 or EM-3 Year). Importantly, there is no required flight time of any form at any time during training.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is located in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, DC. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is approximately 5 miles west (20-25 minute drive at peak traffic times) in the historic Georgetown neighborhood along the Potomac River. Children’s National Medical Center shares the same medical campus as MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is directly adjacent to the MWHC ED. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, approximately 20 miles northwest of MWHC (30-35 minute drive at peak traffic times). INOVA Fairfax Hospital is located in Falls Church, Virginia, approximately 20 minutes away from most locations within Washington, DC. Residents also rotate at Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. We provide our residents with an apartment in downtown Baltimore where they are welcome to stay during the rotation. This apartment is within immediate walking distance to the trauma center.

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