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Educational Goals

The Emergency Medicine / Advanced Clinical Skills (EM/ACS) Clerkship is a mandatory rotation for all fourth year medical students at the Thomas Jefferson Medical College.  The clerkship is 4 weeks long and is offered 11 times throughout the academic year. Students rotating in the Emergency Department are expected to become a part of a complex team that provides the highest quality emergency health care to all our visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Approximately 24 Jefferson Medical Students will participate in each four-week clerkship.

There are three main educational goals for this clerkship:

  1. Review and refine the pertinent basic and advanced emergency procedures and the indications, contraindications, and complications for each procedure
  2. Review the key aspects of the core curriculum of emergency medicine, including:
    • Patient care
    • Medical knowledge
    • Practice-based learning and improvement
    • Interpersonal and communication skills
    • Professionalism
    • Systems based practice
  3. Review and application of the Jefferson Medical College Learning Objectives for Medical Student Education

Teaching and testing during the clerkship will take place in the classroom, the Emergency Department, the Clinical Skills Laboratory, and the Patient Simulation Center.  Both the Clinical Skills Laboratory and the Patient Simulation Center are located in the Dorrance Hamilton Medical Education Building.

By the conclusion of the Emergency Medicine (EM) & Advanced Clinical Skills Clerkship, the SKMC medical student will be able to:

  1. Be familiar with the initial evaluation, assessment, and stabilization of patients presenting to the Emergency Department with urgent and emergent medical and traumatic conditions.
  2. Obtain a focused, developmentally appropriate, biomedical and psychosocial history of a patient’s illness in the acute care setting.
  3. Perform a physical examination that focuses on a patient’s acute complaint(s), with attention to and respect for a patient’s privacy and dignity, recognizing the limitations of the Emergency Department.
  4. Organize information gathered from the interview, physical examination, and diagnostic work-up to appropriately formulate reasonable hypotheses and differential diagnoses.
  5. Formulate management strategies that: are consistent with the acuity of a patient’s illness; incorporate the patient’s interests, needs, and preferences; and are mindful of resource utilization.
  6. Verbally present clinical case presentations to attendings, residents, and consultants in a concise and coherent manner.
  7. Formulate safe, appropriate, and evidence-based disposition plans for a wide range of clinical conditions common to the practice of Emergency Medicine.
  8. Utilize a range of communication and interpersonal skills to respond to a patient’s concerns and needs, so as to establish a trusting relationship, and inform, educate, and enlist the patient to participate in his/her health care decision.
  9. Perform a variety of invasive and noninvasive procedures that are commonly practiced in the Emergency Department. These procedures include: intravenous angiocather placement (with and without ultrasound guidance); lumbar puncture; endotracheal intubation; nasogastric tube placement; Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST) examinations; central venous catheter placement [with ultrasound guidance]; orthopedic splinting; arthrocentesis; and simple laceration repair with suturing.
  10. Apply EM-based medical knowledge and skills taught during weekly didactic, procedural, and simulation sessions throughout the rotation while assisting the Emergency Department team with patient care.
  11. Be familiar with the overall organization of the Emergency Department and its flow, and work closely with ancillary personnel.
  12. Practice interprofessional teamwork that is essential to patient care and patient safety in the Emergency Department.
  13. Be familiar with the training pathway for the physician pursuing Emergency Medicine as a career option.
Dr. Christopher

Theodore A. Christopher, MD, FACEP
Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine

Dimitrios Papanagnou

Dimitrios Papanagnou, MD, MPHL, EdD(c)
Vice Chair, Education
Department of Emergency Medicine


1020 Sansom Street
Suite 239
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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