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Program Director Interview Series: Michael Dalley, D.O. | Program Director at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL

In the latest installment of our PD Q&A series, we are highlighting the Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach’s Emergency Medicine Residency program. We spoke with the current PD Dr. Michael Dalley, D.O., about what makes his program unique and what he looks for in potential residents.

What sets your program apart from others?

Location, Location, Location! Our Primary site is on Miami Beach “the American Riviera”. Our residents get to work in a city that the world loves to visit.   In terms of training, Our Residents perform all required EM procedures with limited infringement from outside specialties.  This exposure to EM procedures allows them achieve competency in required ACGME procedures midway into their training cycle.

What are the benefits of attending a 3 vs. 4 year EM residency program?

Currently ABEM recognizes both training cycles as equivalent to sit for the EM boards. Three year programs allow the resident physician flexibility as a PGY 4 physician.  You can go directly to work and earn an Attending level salary or you can apply for EM fellowships (many available) to formally train in a subspecialty of EM that interests you.  The benefit of completing a fellowship may make you more attractive and set you apart in the EM job market.

What is something students may not know about your program?

We are one of the original EM programs in Florida and the first EM program established in South Florida (1998).

What range of USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 scores do you look for in an applicant for the program?

Before USMLE step 1 was pass/fail we looked for step 1 scores > 220. Comlex scores > 500.   However, if an applicant has not met this benchmark and they have an exceptional CV geared toward EM, we will still extend an offer for an interview.

Or alternatively, how do you feel about the change to pass/fail Step 1 grading? 

Step 1 P/F will require the applicant to have their step 2 results back prior to submitting their complete application in ERAS as most programs will still use filters to screen applicants. 

What kinds of opportunities for research exist?

We are actively involved in Clinical research and Scholarly Activity. Our areas of expertise are GME education including simulation, Emergency Medicine Ultrasound research, multimodal pain management, health care disparities in EM, etc.  We have a dedicated research Director who will help guide you through the process regardless of what prior research experience you may have. Do you look for residency candidates with research experience? Scholarship is important in medicine in general, so our residency does value prior research experience. However, it is not a requirement to be considered an interview candidate.

Do you have opportunities to explore global health at your institution? 

We have a group of Faculty who do medical mission trips to Guatemala.  We are looking to expand our global health opportunities in the coming years. Specifically looking at Ultrasound education globally through or Ultrasound fellowship.

What are some qualities that your program looks for in applicants?

Candidates who have shown consistent interest in EM throughout their med school career. Humanistic candidates who have been involved in helping their community prior to and during medical school. Hard workers, who want to maximize every opportunity presented to them during residency

Can you describe any attributes and qualities that make applicants stand out?

Audition rotations are important. During these months, candidates can stand out past grades and board scores by showcasing their work ethic, interpersonal skills and teachability. All intangible qualities that supersede good grades and competitive board scores.

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