• emergency medicine;
  • education;
  • medical;
  • curriculum;
  • internship and residency


Objectives:  Rotating (non–emergency medicine [EM]) residents perform clinical rotations in many academic emergency departments (EDs). The primary objective of this work was to quantify characteristics of rotating residents and the didactic curricula offered to them during their EM rotations. Secondary objectives were to identify barriers to instituting such didactics and to establish ideal curricular contents.

Methods:  A Web-based survey was administered by e-mail to residency directors of all U.S. allopathic EM residency programs. Consent was obtained in the first part of the survey, and the study was deemed exempt from full review by the institutional review board. Questions solicited information regarding type and quantity of rotating residents in their main EDs, the “didactic educational format” available to rotating residents, and ideal and actual didactic curricular contents. Statistics were reported as proportions and means with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and medians with interquartile ranges (IQRs).

Results:  Surveys were sent to 143 programs, and the response rate was 71%. Ninety-nine percent of respondents had rotating residents in their EDs, and the median number per month was 4 (IQR = 3–6). Five percent of respondents had established didactic curricula specifically for rotating residents, and 64% sent them to either EM resident or medical student lectures. Thirty-one percent of programs reported no didactics, and 65% of these felt there was no need for such education. Resuscitation, trauma, and toxicology were cited as the most important subjects for actual and ideal curricula.

Conclusions:  Most academic EDs have rotating residents, but very few provide didactic education specific to their learning needs and almost a third provide no didactics.

ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:S49–S53 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine