EMED 709A: Clinical Experience in Emergency Medicine

Course Description

The emergency medicine approach is somewhat unique to other fields of medicine. It is complaint-oriented rather than disease-specific. We emphasize identifying the life threat or most serious disorders as opposed to an exact diagnosis. We stabilize the patient first, often with minimal information, and complete our history and physical examinations afterward. And, underlying all patient encounters is the decision process of admission versus discharge.

This elective includes a number of components: clinical shifts in the OHSU emergency department, didactic sessions, departmental conferences, an ambulance ride-along experience, and time in the Oregon Poison Control Center. Attendance is a requirement for all clinical and didactic activities. There is also a written and oral final exam.

Clinical Shifts:

On average, there are 12-13 clinical shifts during the 4-week rotation. The shifts include a variety at Oregon Health & Science University ED and Doernbecher Children's Hospital ED, or at an affiliated community hospital. As emergency medicine is 24/7, the shifts will include night and weekend hours. Students will work directly with an upper level emergency medicine resident or attending, and are expected to perform the following:

  1. Assist with initial stabilization
  2. Perform history and physical examination
  3. Develop appropriate differential diagnoses
  4. Present oral presentations to the attending and/or resident
  5. Formulate appropriate diagnostic, management and disposition strategies
  6. Assist in presenting disposition plans to the patients

Ambulance Ride-along:

Each student will have the opportunity to experience how pre-hospital care works by completing an ambulance ride-along with American Medical Response, the local ambulance transport.

Oregon Poison Center:

The Oregon Poison Center (OPC) is a 24-hour health care information and treatment resource serving the state of Oregon, as well as northern Nevada, and the greater Alaskan territories. Each student will spend time in the Poison Center to experience how poisoning or toxic exposure is handled prior to hospital care.


Didactic sessions include attendance at emergency medicine residency conferences held every Wednesday (8:00am – 12:00pm). These lectures review the core content of the emergency medicine curriculum. Wednesday after conference from 1:00pm – 4:00pm, students will attend lectures specific to medical students given by emergency medicine faculty.


Each student receives a copy of Toy EC, Simon BC, KY Takenaka, TH Liu, AJ Rosh: Case Files Emergency 4th edition for the month. Over the 4-week rotation, students are expected to read the predefined list of chapters given on the first day of the rotation.

Final Grade:

The final grade consists of clinical evaluations, a written multiple-choice exam, and an oral exam. The written portion of the exam covers the reading material, group didactics, and ultrasound lab. The oral portion of the exam consists of one case presented in the same format as the ABEM oral boards.


While on rotation, students will have the opportunity to participate in several labs.

  1. Suture/Splint lab: students have the opportunity to further practice their suture and splinting skills while being taught by Emergency Medicine faculty.
  2. Ultrasound Lab: where students learn about Ultrasound and actually participate in conducting, reading and interpreting scans.
  3. Simulation Lab: OHSU has it very own state of the art Simulation lab where students have the opportunity to learn in and practice their skills.

For further information about the rotation, contact Emily Hauser, (503) 494-6993, or hauserem@ohsu.edu