Medical Students, Advising, Program Director Interviews, Match

Program Director Interview Series: Fiona Gallahue, MD, FACEP | University of Washington

Next up in our Program Director Interview Series is Fiona Gallahue, MD, FACEP, sharing details about the University of Washington Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Gallahue tells us more about EM in the Emerald City.

What sets your program apart from others?
Our program has a strong social mission to care for the underserved patient population and a resident group who promotes social advocacy.

Because we have 4 sites of practice as part of our core rotations (Level I trauma center, academic quaternary care center, children’s hospital and a busy high-quality community site), we truly can prepare our residents for any type of practice.

Lastly, 3 of our 4 sites serve patients from the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We get the sickest and most complex patients from the region, ensuring that our residents get significant breadth and depth of emergency medicine experience during training.

What are the benefits of attending a 3- vs. 4-year EM residency program?
There are advantages to both, but it’s all in the way the curriculum is designed.

In our 4-year program, we are able to bring in clinical experiences to our residents that maximize their exposure to important aspects of emergency care such as neurology and CCU experiences. We ensure our residents are well-trained in critical care and pediatrics through significant clinical exposure. Lastly, we build in time for career development that prepares our residents successfully for their future careers, whether academic or in the community.

What is something students may not know about your program?
We serve patients within the WWAMI region, which covers approximately 27% of the U.S. land mass and just under 5% of the U.S. population. This makes our program quite unique and some of our pre-arrival times, quite long.

What range of USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 scores do you look for in an applicant for the program?
Minimum of 210 Step 1

What opportunities for research exist? Do you look for residency candidates with research experience?
We have a wide variety of research opportunities. More than half of our faculty have completed fellowships covering a large swath of interests. Our current departmental research is broad and includes hemorrhagic shock in trauma to pre-hospital care, global health, medical education, critical care, simulation, toxicology, global warming and the effects on health care, ultrasound, quality improvement, and patient safety. There are many projects within our department, and I am certain there are many more that I have not listed here.

Do you have opportunities to explore global health at your institution?
Yes, the University of Washington has one of the largest departments of global health. We have 5 faculty with global health interests.

What are some qualities your program looks for in applicants?
A dedication to service, a passion for excellent clinical care including serving an underserved and vulnerable patient population, phenomenal teamwork skills, and lastly, a thoughtful, broad approach to education and learning.

Interested in learning more about the University of Washington's EM residency program? Get details!