International Visitors Observational Program Curriculum

Participants will study and/or conduct research under the guidance of one of the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine physician faculty members. The program can range from weeks to months dependent on the individual participant and their educational interests. The basic structure consists of four training blocks, the duration of which is based on length of stay and tailored to the participants background and/or position.

The four blocks will be:

1) an intense ED clinical block,
2) an EMS systems block,
3) a Medical Toxicology block, and
4) an ED Operations Administrative block.

The participant will be assigned to the OHSU emergency department for exposure to clinical practice. The participant will observe clinical decision making skills as applied in these medical centers and will observe the application of informatics tools (e.g., computerized ED patient tracking system, digital radiology, electronic medical record) to clinical practice. Participants will attend all educational sessions with the DEM residents.

Outside the clinical setting, the participants will receive special training in ED administration, EMS systems administration, and medical toxicology as well as exposure to research activities within the division. Depending on length of stay the participant may take part in a research project in one of these knowledge areas under the supervision of his/her OHSU DEM advisor. Emphasis on these knowledge areas will prepare the participant for greater administrative responsibility in their host country. Participants will be encouraged to attend either the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting or the SAEM Western Regional Forum if their stay overlaps the appropriate time periods.

ED Clinical Block

Participants will take part in didactic conferences provided for Emergency Medicine residents (approximately 6 hours per week). The participant will observe clinical practice and faculty-resident/student interactions during direct patient care. The acquisition of clinical informatics skills will be emphasized. The participant will also attend the DEM Education Section meetings. This training is intended to assist with residency program development in the participant’s home country.

EMS Systems Block

Participants will take part in EMS didactic conferences and related administrative activity – including EMS operations, protocol development, research, paramedic training, dispatch oversight and quality improvement. Participants will also receive direct system exposure though fire department and private ambulance ride-along's and attend the DEM EMS Section meetings.

Medical Toxicology Block

Participants will take part in medical toxicology didactic conferences and related administrative activity – including toxicology case reviews and monitoring poison center calls.

ED Operations Administrative Block

Participants will attend departmental administrative sessions (including faculty meetings, ED operations committee meetings, continuous quality improvement meetings and service excellence meetings). This training is intended to prepare the participant with skills for departmental development and administration in the participant’s own country.


Additional Training Information

The training program is based at 2 core EDs: the Portland VAMC Emergency Care Unit (>26,000 annual visits) and the OHSU/ Doernbecher Children's Hospital ED (~40,000 annual visits). The OHSU Hospital is a Level-1 Trauma Hospital that sees >1,600 seriously injured patients each year. These core EDs will provide exposure to all ages of emergency department patients. Over 10,000 ill or injured children are seen each year at the OHSU/ Doernbecher Children's Hospital ED. A high acuity geriatric population is seen at the Portland VAMC ED.

Modern conference rooms in the department's administrative area and the nearby Doernbecher Children's Hospital are used for didactic instruction.

Animal and cadaver laboratory as well as simulation training in clinical procedures is provided.

All trainees receive didactic training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Pediatric Life Support and ultrasound use for trauma patients.

OHSU offers post-graduate (specialist) training in Medical Toxicology, Research, Emergency Medical Services, Global Health and EM Education. Emergency Medicine faculty members also provide medical oversight for the majority of the regional EMS agencies providing out-of-hospital emergency care, including the regional air medical transport program. All International Visitors Program participants will rotate with the EMS faculty members and will participate in EMS activities.


OHSU has more than 25 Emergency Medicine Faculty members at the 2 core ED's. Many faculty members have received supplemental training in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Critical Care, Toxicology, EMS, Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine, and Research Methodology.


As noted above, participants will have the option of involvement in research if permitted by their length of stay and interests. If applicable, this would be appropriate to their current level of training with an administrative or clinical practice application relevant to emergency practice in the participant's native country. Assistance with literature searches, data acquisition and analysis will be provided by the OHSU DEM faculty advisor and other faculty members and support staff at OHSU.

Continued Compliance with Program Requirements

Continuation of the participant in the International Visitors Program for the full length of the initially established program is contingent upon the participant achieving satisfactory progress in the program, as monitored by the assigned International Visitors Program director.