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Emergency Medicine Conferences
Emergency Medicine Didactics
The emergency medicine (EM) conference series covers the core content of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) Model of the Clinical Practice while teaching residents how to integrate practical applications of knowledge. Cutting-edge literature is discussed, and the series focuses on career development. The core content is covered over a 24-month cycle, enabling it to be covered twice in the four-year residency format. Formal didactics occur every Friday morning. Residents are protected from clinical activity during almost all of their rotations, excluding in the intensive care units so they can attend weekly didactics. We use a variety of formats including faculty and resident lectures, small group discussions, case conferences, cadaver procedure labs and evidence-based reviews.
A brief description of each is listed below.
Highly Interactive Teaching
These three-hour sessions—approximately 20 per year—focus on EM core content. Led by EM faculty members and PGY-4 residents, they are designed to encompass all aspects of the topic—typically a chief complaint—being taught during the session.
Small Groups for PGY-1–3 Residents: Residents rotate through three 40-minute sessions with their respective PGY group and receive teaching specific to their training level. The sessions cover the more detailed aspects of the topic for the day, including treatment options, evidence supporting treatment and ancillary tests, literature review, podcasts and case-based teaching. These sessions encourage group interaction and discussion.
PGY-4 Small Group: PGY-4 residents attend a two-hour session that focuses on advanced learning. The first hour may include practice-based guidelines and their supporting evidence, case discussion, oral board review or review of literature. The second hour covers topics that all new attending physicians will encounter in their practice. These include billing, building a CV, malpractice issues, comparison of practice settings and career path opportunities, financial issues and other topics that residents suggest.
Large Group Session: This hour-long faculty-led didactic summarizes the most important learning points from the morning’s small group sessions on the day’s topic and how the details from the small group sessions are incorporated into the practice of EM. Often interactive, these sessions may focus on the differential diagnosis associated with the topic, use of ancillary tests, how to create a management plan for patients or evidence-based guidelines.
Morbidity and Mortality Conference
A monthly one-hour mortality and morbidity conference is held to discuss cases that are submitted by faculty members, residents or nurses, or that are obtained via our hospital reporting system. A PGY-3 resident leads the session in conjunction with a faculty mentor. These multidisciplinary conferences allow all members of our patient care team to follow the case presentation and discussion with an analysis of a standard set of factors known to contribute to error in the emergency department. This involves a systems-based approach, which is analyzed not only for errors in judgment or decision-making, but also for contributing factors such as breakdowns in teamwork and communication, availability of departmental and institutional resources, and societal factors that led to a particular outcome. These sessions are used to help make recommendations to our clinical leadership to remedy identified deficits.
Case Conference Series
Each PGY-4 resident is required to prepare one case conference—case conferences occur on a monthly basis. These 60-minute sessions allow PGY-4s to choose a topic and moderate a case-based discussion with practical teaching pearls for the audience.
Intern Five-minute Series
In the second half of the year, each PGY-1 resident is required to present a five-minute snapshot on a clinical pearl. These brief sessions allow interns to choose a topic with a very narrow focus that is useful to the audience and develop a foundation for delivering large-group presentations in a friendly and low-stress environment.
Core Content Lecture Series
In this series, PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents prepare lectures covering core content topics in emergency medicine. PGY-2 residents present a 30-minute talk, and PGY-3 residents present a 60-minute talk. All residents are given one-on-one guidance from a program director for content and slide preparation.
Trauma Conference Series
These interactive presentations occur during joint conferences between the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Surgery’s Division of Acute Care Surgery. During the conferences, which take place quarterly, one resident from emergency medicine and one from surgery present a case for discussion by the audience. Each case has take-home pearls for diagnosis or management.
Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)
This series, which occurs monthly, is focused on teaching residents the basics of reading medical literature and determining the applicability to their practice. Each PGY-2 resident develops a PICO question (P - patient, problem or population; I - intervention; C - comparison, control or comparator, O - outcome) under the mentorship of our two EBM faculty members and works with the assistance of a medical librarian to find answers. They present an objective review of the literature and lead a discussion of the article with the group.
This series, which occurs quarterly, is focused on teaching residents basic research skills. Core research faculty members lead sessions on research, ethical conduct, Institutional Review Board (IRB) and basic statistics. In addition, short web-based didactics are available, which have been prepared by our faculty members to help educate residents about key areas of their research, such as study design, identifying study populations, and writing abstracts and posters.
Point-of-care ultrasound education during our weekly conferences is delivered through didactic and hands-on sessions, in small-group teaching sessions that are incorporated into our longitudinal, symptom-based curriculum, as well as in dedicated interactive workshops. This curriculum is designed to supplement the ultrasound experience residents obtain during their ultrasound rotations in the PGY-1 year and while they are working clinically in the emergency department.
Reviews are held annually for both oral and written examinations. All residents participate in simulated oral boards cases with faculty members during conference twice per year. Additionally, a full-day interactive session of high-yield content is held shortly before the annual in-service exam. Residents obtain electronic review materials via the education committee and the program director.
Grand Rounds lectures occur six to eight times per year. Experts in the field of emergency medicine are invited to discuss their areas of interest with the emergency department. Recent topics have included: “LGBTQ and Sometimes I,” “Improving End-of-Life Care in the Emergency Department” and “Gun Violence—A Biopsychosocial Disease: Roles of Emergency Physicians.”
This conference, held 12 times each year, is devoted to discussion of patients with interesting and/or difficult management problems that may involve deceptive presentations. Cases are presented by PGY-3 residents in a session co-run with the director of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Gabor Kelen, M.D. These sessions incorporate audience participation and input from a panel composed of EM faculty members and PGY-4 residents.
In addition to the sessions listed above, residents receive instruction in electrocardiogram interpretation, radiology reading and splinting, and participate in a departmental Clinical Pathologic Case (CPC) competition. Residents also participate in sessions on residents as teachers in the emergency department. A dedicated hour is also held quarterly in which residents can meet with their quality improvement (QI) groups during conference time.
The Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine Residency Program