Special Interests

A World of Opportunity.

Residents pursue a variety of special interests in our program from joining tactical emergency medical support teams to experiences in international health. Many residents pursue independent projects or and design their own elective experience focused on one or more of the special interests described below.

Available Special Interests.


Disaster Preparedness / Homeland Security / Emergency Readiness

An elective that gives you the opportunity to work in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). You will undergo a Federal Security background check and accrue DHS credentials, then spend your month working in their Chemical Weapons Division, National Bio-surveillance Division, and working closely with the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (GUH/WHC Emergency Medicine Faculty Member). You will have the opportunity to work on policy and participate in DHS and White House meetings. This is an incredibly unique experience that is only available in Washington, DC. Educating the next generation of physician leaders in disaster preparedness, our program has strong links to Emergency Preparedness, EMS, and Military Programs across the region and nation.


Emergency Medical Services

The EMS rotation/experience spans all three years of the program. In the first year, the focus is on 911-based ground EMS including shifts with the Fairfax City Fire Department and DC Fire/EMS, and time at the DC Unified Communications Center. EMS can be pursued as an elective for the residents in addition to the regularly scheduled EMS rotations through out the curriculum. Second year residents focus on critical care out-of-hospital medicine and may choose to fly with our MedSTAR helicopter crews or ride with the MedSTAR critical care ground ambulances. Third year residents are involved in EMS education, oversight, protocols, and call review.There are also opportunities for our residents to gain experience in medical direction and base station on-line medical command. Residents with interests in EMS can explore additional opportunities with FEMA urban search and rescue, tactical medicine, mass gathering medicine, disaster preparedness, and additional aeromedical experiences.


Human Factors Engineering

The National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare is a research center which brings together safety scientists, clinical researchers, and clinicians to apply human factors and system safety engineering research methods to the healthcare enviroment. Emergency Medicine Faculty members serve as key leaders (including Center Director Dr. Rollin (Terry) Fairbanks and Information Technology Research Director Dr. A. Zach Hettinger) and as faculty associates for the Center, which is funded by AHRQ, NIH and foundation research support.



As information technology is poised to transform the next generation of medical care, residents have an opportunity explore and build on the innovations and capabilities of the informatics tools developed in the Emergency Medicine Department at Washington Hospital Center. We emphasize the applied aspect of using informatics in the health care setting with software applications developed in-house, including Azyxxi, a solution that transformed operations in Washington Hospital Center’s Emergency Department.


International Medicine

As our residency grows, so does our outreach and opportunities for international service. We have partnered with Adventist Health International, a worldwide leader in international medicine. Residents may elect to do a clinical rotation at Mwami Adventist Hospital in Chipata, Zambia, a 200+ bed teaching hospital in a resource poor and tropical environment near the border of Zambia and Malawi. In addition to being an integral part of the health care team at the hospital, our residents will provide didactic support to the nursing program and other mid-level providers.


Mass Gathering Medicine

Physicians at MedStar provide medical services to the Baltimore Ravens and to all Georgetown athletic teams. In addition, opportunities to work with medical services on the National Mall on 4th of July and other major national events in the nation’s capitol abound. These relationships provide Emergency Medicine residents with opportunities to participate in providing services related to sporting events and other related activities.



Our ultrasound program provides full diagnostic capabilities at the point of care and has been growing with the recent addition of equipment and fellows. Our program now runs four Micromaxx portable ultrasound machines and one Titan ultrasound machine. In addition, a fellowship program in emergency ultrasound welcomed its first ultrasound fellow in 2009 and expanded to three fellows in 2010.