EMIG Ideas & Activities
Keeping interest and enthusiasm going is a never-ending concern for any EMIG. There are many ways that can be fun and exciting, but all take some time to plan properly. Below is a list of ideas that may help your EMIG promote emergency medicine (EM) at your school.
Meetings can be scheduled at many different times. Hold your meeting at a time that is different from other clubs. If you choose the lunch hour, you might consider making it a "brown bag."
A good speaker attracts a crowd. Consider getting a local speaker from the medical school or from the community. Topics can be as calm as basic first aid or as dramatic as burns, environmental emergencies, and trauma. "War stories" from the emergency department (ED), especially with slides, always draw good crowds.
ER tag-alongs are of special interest to first-and second-year students who have not had much clinical experience. Discuss the idea with the ED Director. Students could sign up for shifts and be assigned to a resident or staff "preceptor" who would allow the student to participate in patient care to the extent appropriate. Set up rules for proper attire and conduct while in the ED.
Ambulance ride-alongs: Another great idea for students at all levels. This provides insight to pre-hospital care that many physicians never experience. Students can sign up for a shift with an EMT or paramedic crew. You may need to set this up through the city EMS medical director. Because other people ride (EMT, paramedic, and other students) space may be limited. If so, consider suburban and rural ambulance services as options.
Intubation, suturing and casting/splinting workshops: "Hands on" opportunities can be one of the most rewarding experiences, especially to first-and-second-year students who do not have the confidence that the clinical years will bring. Discuss these ideas with the anesthesia, surgery and EM departments. Residents and staff can be instructors for intubation and suturing. In addition, paramedics can give intubation instruction. You could also consider variations on this theme, such as splinting of fractures, drawing blood and starting IV's. All are skills that will help a medical student during the clinical years.
|Introductory EM Lecture
||"What is EM?" Lecture can be given by the group’s
advisor or the EM residency director. This is a basic
outline of what the specialty of EM entails, available
fellowships, different career paths, etc.
||An emergency physician discussed his experience as an
army reserve physician in Iraq.
||A nurse spoke about the medical management of sexual
assault patients in the emergency department.
||A physician trained in family medicine and working in
a rural ED spoke about emergency medicine in rural
|Types of Practice
||The director of EMCARE spoke about differences
between academic and private EM, and different
business models in private EM. Lectures can also focus
on working in teaching hospitals vs. non-teaching
|Flight for Life
||Flight for Life did a presentation on their organization
and had the helicopter come to campus for students to
check out. They also discussed several cases.
||An emergency physician spoke on his work in
Capetown South Africa. He does both clinical work
and is conducting several research projects in the
county trauma center.
||Wilderness medicine lecture series done by emergency
physicians including introductory lecture, aquatic
emergencies (diving), expedition/altitude medicine,
skiing and snowboarding injuries, and psychological
aspects of wilderness injuries and survival.
||An emergency physician gave a presentation on
||Fourth year medical students organized a panel on applying to residency and the match. Other schools include interns and residents in this panel. This can be an informal Q&A with dinner and drinks.
||Introductory lecture to pre-hospital care. This included
a reenactment of a GSW on campus and illustrated how
EMS/Life-flight responds. Other schools discuss the
role of EMS in the ED.
||A general toxicology overview with examples of the
most common toxidromes.
||Overview of EM research. One physician can give an
overview of research opportunities in EM, or several
physicians can outline specific projects they are
||The peds EM fellowship director came and talked
about this specialty. He outlined what the clinical work
is like and how you pursue peds EM.
||This lecture discussed snakebites and their
management. Cave rescue was also discussed.
||Lecture on 4th year electives in emergency medicine.
||The director of the travel/tropical medicine department
came and spoke on some interesting infectious disease
topics. They also discussed the unique opportunity
emergency physicians have to practice internationally.
||Various lectures on fellowship opportunities for
emergency trained physicians. It’s possible to let 2
speakers come in a given hour to increase the exposure
for the students. Fellows or fellowship directors are
good for these talks.
||Series of lectures on emergency radiology. For
example, recognizing common surgical emergencies on
CT scans, CXR’s, etc.
||What is disaster medicine? How are we preparing for
disasters and what is the role for emergency
|Medical Decision Making
||How we make decisions in the emergency department
and assign value to these decisions. This lecture caused
many students to question the decisions made on a
daily basis in both patient management and the overall
management of the ED.
||Lecture on traumatic injuries seen in the ED.
Presentation was a case-based format.
|Substance Abuse - Patients
||Drug abuse in patients seen in the ED. Lecture
discussed the clinical presentation as well as
|Substance Abuse - Physicians
||A former emergency physician who lost his license due
to substance abuse and addictions discussed his
experiences and how he developed addictions. He now
practices addiction medicine (psychiatry).
||Students practice basic suturing techniques on pig’s
feet (bananas, surgery rags, and cadavers can also be
used). EM residents and attendings teach the workshop.
||Students practice starting IV’s and drawing blood on
each other. A cannulation mannequin can also be used
(many simulation centers have these). Also taught by
||Students intubate cadavers in the anatomy lab (un-
embalmed) and watch EM residents practice
thoracotomies on cadavers at the end of the night.
Mannequins can also be used.
||A lecture on the basic concepts of ultrasound in the ED
was done. Students then used US machines to practice
FAST exams and other exams on each other. Machines
were provided by a rep from an ultrasound company.
Done in conjunction with the EM US fellows.
||EMIG members assisted during the resident practical
exams at the simulation center. They helped with IV
placement, setting up defibrillators, drawing
medications, chest compressions, assisting with
ventilating patients after intubation, etc. Other schools
reserve the mannequins for student use to simulate
||Students used pig tracheas to practice cricothyrotomies.
|Splint and Cast
||Workshop focused on practicing different casting and
splinting techniques. This can be done in conjunction
with the ortho interest group.
|Primary and Secondary Surveys
||Introduction to the primary and secondary surveys.
This can be lead by 4th year medical students. Some
schools use the simulation centers.
||Joint injection workshop where students used
mannequins to practice injections. This can be done in
conjunction with the ortho interest group.
||Lumbar puncture technique taught in the simulation
||Cadavers (if available) can be used to practice chest
tubes, cricothyrotomies, IO needle placement, etc.
||Simulation center and mannequins were used for
obstetric scenarios and resuscitations. This can be done
in conjunction with the OB/GYN interest group.
||A mock mass casualty experience was designed where
students serve as victims. Students and residents
evaluated and triaged patients.
||This was timed to correspond with the physiology
block. This workshop was lecture based and discussed
the fundamentals of ECG as well as interpretation of
common ECGs. Other workshops focus more on lead
|Integration with ED Shift
||This program incorporates skills workshops followed
by a 3 hour shift in the ED. Students are paired with a
resident, and if a procedure arises, the students are
given an opportunity to perform the procedure.
Students can also be paired with nurses to practice
||Students do several ride alongs with local paramedics
and receive school credit. Students mainly ride on the
ambulance to observe. The elective also includes
several lunch lectures on EMS.
||Students have several workshops in the mountains on
basic concepts relating to stabilization and
transportation in wilderness EM. Taught by several EM
residents/attendings. This elective also includes a few
|First Aid Course
||Advanced first aid course for first year medical
||4th year medical students get certified in ACLS. The
certification involves running codes on mannequins in
||Clinical work abroad relating to emergency medicine.
Alternatively, this could involve research abroad
relating to EM.
||Shadowing residents in the ED for two shifts. This is
open to first and second year medical students. This is
available as a paid internship at other schools.
||Research relating to emergency medicine can be
counted for credit.
||Toxicology rotation open to fourth year medical
students. Includes lectures discussing recognition and
management of common toxidromes, conference
attendance, and clinical work.
||The hyperbarics EM fellow and wilderness medicine
fellow run this 2-week course. The first week is
didactics along with tours of various chambers. The
second week certifies students to dive. Experienced
divers are still encouraged to take the course as the 2nd
week they can receive a rescue diver certification.
||Elective for first and second year medical students.
Four week course introducing basic EM skills
(splinting, suturing, IV placement, etc) and the science
||Elective for second year students. This consists of a
semester long course introducing the basics of US and
|Introduction to EM
||Introduction for local middle school and high school
students. This includes brief PPT presentation,
ultrasound lab, suturing bananas, etc.
|Community Health Fair
||Participation at the annual community health fair.
Students offer free blood pressure screenings, distribute
laminated cards with what to do in an emergency, and
||Students helped community members make a list of
their prescriptions to carry with them in a wallet for
easy access in case of emergency.
|Drinking and Driving
||“Not just another drink” outreach event. Students
educated community on effects of alcohol and
|Kids in Clinic
||Students invited local school kids to “clinic” to discuss
different body systems. Different interest groups did
different “departments”. For example, EM did bones
and fractures, use of crutches, and Xrays.
||This can be offered for free or for fundraising. CPR
trained individuals can become AHA certified CPR
instructors and can go out to churches or other social
groups and offer CPR or first aid courses.