Recent Articles

Search and Rescue Day Marks a Milestone in Wilderness Medicine Regional Collaboration

Nathan Dreyfus, MSIV, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine
EMRA MSC Northeast 1 Representative 2019-20

Sarah Schlein, MD FACEP FAWM
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

Mount Mansfield was shrouded in rain clouds and a cool drizzle fell steadily as the first carloads of emergency medicine (EM) residents from the University of Vermont (UVM) and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) wound their way up the mountain road into Underhill State Park: their classroom for the day. It was an early morning in July, but light jackets were ubiquitous as faculty members and residents strung tarps overhead between a lean-to and surrounding trees – a small refuge for coffee, bagels, and introductions.

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What’s Happening to Rural Emergency Departments?

Ryan Koski-Vacirca, MSIV, Wake Forest School of Medicine
EMRA MSC Legislative Coordinator 2019-2020

This spring, a reporter for the Washington Post snapped photos as Dr. James Graham, a 41-year employee of Fairfax Community Hospital, shut down his emergency department for the last time. In rural Oklahoma, Fairfax Community serviced an area “larger than a few states,” with no other medical services available within 30 driven miles from its front doors. 

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EMRA Introduces the Government Services Committee for Military Medical Students and Residents

ENS Matthew J. Christensen, USNR: Capt Joshua da Silva, DO, USAF;
LT Katherine Lee, DO, USN; LT Danielle Wickman, MD, USN


The ACEP Government Services Chapter was founded in 1977 to give military physicians a platform and community that understood and advocated for the unique needs of military emergency physicians. EMRA is now proud to introduce our newest committee, the Government Services Committee (EMRA GS), with that same mission in mind: to provide military medical students and residents with the network and community they need to thrive in the dynamic world of military EM.

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Integrating Ultrasound into Undergraduate Medical Education: Our Experience

Jacob Freudenberger, OMSIII, Conner Reynolds, OMSIII, TCOM, Kevin Thompson, OMSIII, TCOM, Jennifer Byrd DO, PGY-2, Emergency Medicine, John Peter Smith Hospital 

Dr. Smith is making his way around the classroom. My heart pounds as he approaches me, going down the row, one medical student after another. I’m up. “What plane do you think this image is in?” he asks, pointing at an ultrasound image on the screen. Nearly 250 of my peers are about to hear how little I know about ultrasound. “I think this image is in the transverse plane,” I respond unconfidently. Then, he asks the question every medical student hates to hear: “Why?”

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A Traveler’s Trail: Tips for Interviewing Across the Nation

Emily Wilkins, MD, PGY1, University of Chicago Emergency Medicine

The interview trail can be a crazy and expensive time regardless of where you’re applying. But based on life circumstances or future goals, some applicants definitely end up taking it to the next level. As a Connecticutian (yes, that’s a word) who went on 18 interviews before couple’s matching to the Midwest, I inevitably learned various interview-scheduling and travel dos and don’ts along the way! Of course, everyone’s experience is different and ultimately you will need to make decisions that will help you feel healthy, balanced, and fulfilled along your interview journey, but here are some of my personal tips and tricks.

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Program Director Interview Series: Vicki Noble, MD

Samuel Southgate, MSIV, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
EMRA MSC Editor 2019-20

This month our Program Director Interview Series is focused on the Midwest. We spoke with Vicki E. Noble, MD, Program Director of the Center for Emergency Medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, about this Ohio-based program and what they look for in residency applicants.

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Program Director Interview Series: Danielle Turner-Lawrence, MD 

Amanda Amen, MSIV, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine 
EMRA MSC Midwest Coordinator 2019-20

This month our Program Director Interview Series is focused on the Midwest. We spoke with Danielle Turner-Lawrence, MD, Program Director at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, about the training opportunities available at this busy Level 1 Trauma Center in eastern Michigan.

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Thalidomide’s Resurgence and its Contemporary Uses

Katelynn Baska, OMSIII, Jonathan Meadows, DO, and Peter Mattson, MSIV

You are a third-year resident working in the ED one night when the following patient arrives: a 65-year-old man with a five-year history of type 2 diabetes mellitus and a less than one-year history of multiple myeloma presenting with a complaint of left lower extremity pain and paresthesias in his hands and feet. He reports that the numbness and tingling began two days ago but the onset of leg pain wasn’t until early this afternoon. His wife is present at the bedside and relays that he has also had a few episodes of confusion throughout the day, for example, mixing up the sugar and salt on the table and forgetting that their cat died, an event that occurred two years prior.

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Getting into the ED: When is the Right Time?

Willeed Rabah, MSIV, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

As a fourth year medical student applying for residency in EM, I knew I was very interested in the specialty prior to completing a four-week rotation in an emergency department. My early exposure to the field came not through medical school but from my time serving as an EMT, from volunteer experiences in a local ED, and from extensive shadowing as an undergraduate.

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Polishing Your ERAS Application

Nico Ramsay, MSIV, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
EMRA MSC Southeast Coordinator 2019-20

Application season has finally arrived for fourth year medical students. After more than three years of hard work, it’s time to finish the job. By now you’ve likely finished Step 1, Step 2 CK, maybe even Step 2 CS, the dreaded SVI, and some home and away EM rotations with SLOEs on the way. You’ve cleared every hurdle in your path but there’s still one left: ERAS. Don’t worry, EMRA is here to help. Below is a timeline of what to expect along with some advice on each section of ERAS and how to polish your application to secure those interviews.

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Life as a Tactical Medicine Doc: An Interview With John Wipfler III, MD, FACEP

Cameron Justice, OMS-IV, Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine
EMRA MSC Osteopathic Coordinator 

Following our
article earlier this year focused on the EM subspeciality of tactical medicine, we spoke with one of the leaders of the field: Dr. John Wipfler III, author of the ACEP-endorsed textbook Tactical Medicine Essentials.

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Program Director Interview Series: Ryan Kirby, MD | JPS Hospital 

Jake Freudenberger, MSIII, University of North Texas Health Science Center - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
EMRA MSC Southwest 1 Regional Representative

This month our Program Director Interview Series turns to the West. We spoke with Ryan Kirby, MD, Program Director at John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) in Fort Worth, Texas, about what’s on offer in the Lone Star State.

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Residency in the Caribbean?

Leonardo H. Zingg, MSIII, Ponce Health Sciences University

“Location, location, location.” This phrase, a touchstone in the real estate world, applies equally to medical students seeking residencies across the United States - and probably to you too. However, you may not have included the US territory and Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in your calculations.

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Bridging the Gap: Matching into EM as an International Medical Graduate

Santiago Batista Minaya, MSIII, St. George’s University School of Medicine

As we approach residency application season for the 2020 cycle, fourth year students are preparing to put their best foot forward to match into EM. For international medical graduates (IMGs), this process presents some unique challenges. Here, we summarize some key points of advice from a recent EMRA Hangouts session geared specifically towards US and non-US IMGs.

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Practicing Medicine in the Wilderness

Elizabeth Kleiner, MSIV, Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
EMRA MSC Great Plains Regional Representative 2019-20

Wilderness medicine is a subspecialty of EM that is typically defined as the practice of medicine in resource-poor, austere environments. Since it entails limited resources and harsh conditions, typically far away from the conveniences of modern medicine, it can be argued that Greek and Roman naval surgeons were likely the first people to practice wilderness medicine. 

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Practicing for Disaster: The Mass Casualty Drill

Kaitlin Lipner, MSIV, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

A new patient arrives at the emergency department (ED) every 45 seconds. Other than the occasional cholecystitis and stable angina, almost all of them have the same chief complaint: a seemingly simple upper respiratory tract infection. The only peculiar part of the patient presentation is that almost all say they were on a flight just hours before. About five minutes into the patient encounter, however, those same patients are coughing up blood.

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Ace Your SLOEs: An Interview with EM Clerkship Podcast's Zack Olson, MD

Samuel Southgate, MSIV, University Of Connecticut School of Medicine 
EMRA MSC Editor 2019-20

One of the things I stressed in my first episode is the importance of introducing yourself. It’s really a big deal. As an attending, you meet so many people and every day there are new nurses, new techs, new students. It’s hard to keep track of everyone. So even if you have a good first introduction where it’s very clear, it can be easy to lose track over several shifts. It’s not like you have to introduce yourself to the attending 10 times – that would just be strange. But even if you introduce yourself to nurses and residents they will overhear your name again so the whole group will get to know who you are. 

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How To Build A State Medical Student Coucil

Shelby Hoebee, MS4, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
EMRA MSC West Coordinator 2019-20

Early on in medical school, I sought out ways to become involved in EM at a local and regional level. Beyond my school EMIG, however, I discovered few opportunities in my state: Arizona. Each year, I saw many students applying for a handful of leadership positions in my EMIG; most ended up disappointed when they were not selected and felt unable to get involved in expressing their passion for the specialty. As I searched for opportunities in the Southwest, I also noticed the lack of communication between students at different medical schools in the region. 

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Stride through SVI

Samuel Southgate, MSIV, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

For fourth year medical students, it is the season to secure those SLOEs and perfect that personal statement as the ERAS residency application portal opens. One task that is unique to applicants for emergency medicine (EM) residency spots is the Standardized Video Interview (SVI).

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Healthcare Reform on the Agenda at AMA Meeting

Ashley Tarchione, MSIV, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
EMRA MSC AMA-MSS Representative 2019-20

At this year’s American Medical Association (AMA) conference, held earlier this month, medical students and physicians came together to tackle many issues facing healthcare. Most prominently at this meeting, our Medical Student Section advocated strongly for healthcare insurance reform, pressing the AMA to reverse its longstanding opposition to single-payer healthcare systems and asking the organization instead to take a neutral stance on the subject.

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Prepare to be a PGY1

Emily C. Roblee, MD
PGY1, University of Cincinnati Emergency Medicine Residency

At the end of my fourth year of medical school, I was coasting. All the tough rotations were over. I had made it beyond the end of the interview trail. My carefully-arranged rank list had been submitted. And after the exhilarating blur of Match Day, I knew where I would be spending the next four years as an EM doctor. Life was good - and easy - and nothing that I did as a med student seemed to matter much anymore.

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Design & Health Thinking In The ED

Peter C. Mattson, MSIV, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Katelyn Baska, OMSIII, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Strolling through modern hospitals on the interview trail, applicants are often led through the emergency department (ED) to see the latest technology on display. But beyond well-stocked resuscitation rooms and portable ultrasound devices, green spaces increasingly serve as crown jewels for hospitals and their EDs. How deep do these roots run? 

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Dismantling the Affordable Care Act

Ryan Koski-Vacirca, MSIV
EMRA MSC Legislative Coordinator 

Maybe you, like me, have read headlines for the last three years about how President Trump and the Republican Party first promised to repeal, and then later to “dismantle” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially known as “Obamacare.” What, I wondered, did the Trump administration and other Republicans mean by “dismantling” the ACA?

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