Skip to main content

Curriculum of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program

PGY-I  Emergency Medicine intern rotations will cover the spectrum of Emergency Medicine, with a focus on Emergency Medicine, critical care, and trauma. Dedicated time is also spent at the Children’s Hospital, VA Hospital, El Centro Regional Medical Center, as well as obstetrics, anesthesia and orthopedics. Highlights include a focus on ICU rather than floor off-service rotations (e.g. pulmonary critical care, cardiovascular ICU), extensive training and experience in DEM bedside ultrasound, burn care experiences, and 4wks per year of elective time.

PGY-II  Emergency Medicine resident rotations will include experiences in anesthesia critical care, ultrasound, medical toxicology, and the Emergency Departments at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, El Centro Regional Medical Center, VA, and Children's Hospital. A one month flight training orientation is also scheduled during the first part of second year in order to participate as a flight crewmember with Mercy Air. Of note, this is an optional, but highly popular experience.

PGY-III  Focused rotations with graded responsibilities in the Emergency Department. Senior residents are responsible for running all codes in the emergency department, overseeing critical patients with junior learners, taking sign-out, guiding MICN calls, triaging trauma special considerations, and overall flow of the emergency department. Residents also expand their Emergency Medicine experiences with community site rotations at Tri-City and Palomar. They continue to rotate through El Centro Regional Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital. In addition, residents serve as senior residents on off-service rotations in pulmonary critical care and trauma ICU. Residents also spend one month of elective time exploring personal academic interests.

PGY-IV  Further refinement of clinical skills along with a deeper development of teaching and supervisory skills is emphasized this year. Critical care time is dedicated to NICU and trauma ICU. Residents continue their community experience in the Emergency Departments at Tri-City Medical Center and Palomar Medical Center. Residents will also get further clinical experience at El Centro. There is dedicated time to further develop pediatric airway management skills with pediatric anesthesiologists at the Children’s hospital in addition to the usual pediatric emergency medicine shifts. One month of elective time is still included in the fourth year for further personalized career development. Three PGY-IV residents are selected as chief residents.

PGY1 PGY2 PGY3 PGY4
EM UCSD (18) EM UCSD (24)​ EM UCSD (25) EM UCSD (25)
Pediatric EM (5) Pediatric EM (4) Pediatric EM (3) Pediatric EM (3)
EM VA (4) Rural EM - El Centro (2) Rural EM - El Centro (2) Rural EM - El Centro (2)
OB/Anesthesia - El Centro (3) Mercy Air (4)* EM Palomar (3) EM Palomar (3)
Orientation (3) Ultrasound (2) EM TriCity (3) EM TriCity (3)
Trauma (2) Toxicology (2) Trauma Critical Care (4) Trauma Critical Care (2)
Burn Clinic (1) Elective (4) Pulmonary Critical Care (2) Neonatal ICU (2)
MICU(4) Vacation (4) Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine (2) Pediatric Anesthesia (2)
Cardiology & CVC ICU (2) Elective (4) Elective (4)
Orthopedics (2) Vacation (4) Vacation (4)
Elective (4)
Vacation (4)

*Numbers in parentheses denotes the total number of weeks allocated to the rotation.

*Following completion of the 4 week Mercy Air training rotation in PGY2, resident shifts on the helicopter are integrated into the schedule during all subsequent EM UCSD rotations.​ Of note, this is an optional, but highly popular, experience.

Ultrasound is taught in a longitudinal manner with 2 dedicated weeks in each of the first and second years, with daily instruction on shifts and via a core lecture series taught by our Ultrasound division faculty. 

Pediatric shifts at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego are spread throughout all 4 years. For each academic year, they are divided into 1 to 2 week blocks throughout the year for a longitudinal experience.

Electives blocks are intentionally scheduled throughout all 4 years in order to offer the possibility of longitudinal experiences in an area of interest. They are not limited to UCSD sites and may be international. Your regular UCSD salary is paid while on elective.