Resident Didactics are conducted weekly (Thursdays) from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The didactic curriculum is organized into 21 distinct modules which are designed to cover the American Board of Emergency Medicine's (ABEM) Model of Clinical Practice. Modules are led by EM faculty members who, because they have specialized interests, increase the innovation, quality and energy of didactic sessions. One Thursday each month is devoted to pediatric emergency medicine topics, and those didactics sessions are held at Seattle Children's Hospital.
In addition to the 21 didactics modules, there are a number of longitudinal elements built in to the curriculum covered on a monthly or semi-monthly basis. These elements include joint EM/radiology lectures, evidence-based medicine, ultrasound, chief's rounds, and morbidity and mortality conferences. Additionally, the residency includes a Practice Foundations Curriculum that addresses the practical elements of clinical practice, such as job opportunities, malpractice, teaching, and wellness.
Simulation is a key component of the UW EM training and focuses on the development of leadership and problem-solving skills. At the University of Washington, EM residents have regularly scheduled simulation exercises at the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH), an 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that includes a virtual trauma bay. In faculty-developed scenarios, residents work in teams to develop and practice effective communication skills and appropriate medical management of critically ill and unstable patients. Simulation sessions are scheduled monthly.
The simulation sessions are coupled with other hands-on skills practice. Procedural skills are honed using task trainers and anatomic models. Ultrasound skills are taught using both task trainers and simulated patients. All sessions are done in small groups with a low resident-to-faculty ratio, often one-on-one teaching to allow questions and individualized instruction.
Every other month, a faculty member hosts journal club and dinner at their home. Several primary articles with accompanying supporting articles are selected on a particular topic (which may include practice-changing research) with a focus on evidence-based medicine. Journal Club participants scrutinize the methodology and the statistical analysis of the research and discuss the broader implications of the results. Journal club is an opportunity for lively debate and provides a wonderful venue for camaraderie and fellowship.