About the Program
Residency Training Philosophy
Proud of our Heritage
The goal of our program is to train board-prepared emergency physicians who are true specialists in all aspects of emergency care. A carefully prepared curriculum combines the unique strengths of two institutions (WFBMC & Moses Cone) with the flexibility to tailor a program to individual interests through elective rotations. We are committed to the concept of graded responsibility: a resident's responsibilities increase as they progress through the program gaining more responsibility and autonomy each successive year.
Superior Clinical Training
Another philosophical position of ours is that Emergency Medicine is best learned in the emergency department (ED). Not only the knowledge and procedure skill base but the spirit and mind set of the emergency physician can only be learned in the ED. Our residents spend more time in the ED than most programs (~70% of our rotations are in the ED). Other clinical rotations have been designed to complement the emergency experience and follow the progression of various disease states in both adults and children and to acquire necessary procedural skills.
Our residents receive exceptional training in the areas of pediatrics and critical care. The pediatric experience at Wake Forest is second to none. We take full advantage of our children's hospital co-located with WFBMC. Our residents are exposed to a large volume of pediatric patients in both the pediatric ICU and emergency department. Residents are assigned pediatric ED shifts throughout the year (about 20% of total ED shifts) ensuring that they don't miss out on treating any seasonal illnesses. We have a very strong ICU curriculum. Our residents complete five primary ICU rotations in place of ward rotations. This ensures abundant exposure to the critically ill patients and advanced resuscitation and therapeutic interventions.
The internship year is designed to allow the resident to become familiarized with the wide spectrum of pathology our specialty treats and to develop the fundamental skills necessary to practice emergency medicine. Our residents spend over half of their internship in the emergency department - more than most other EM training programs. Interns are closely supervised during their initial months in the ED, making sure that the fundamentals of emergency medicine are being learned well. Our focus is on nurturing high quality practice during the internship year.
In the second year more time is spent in the ED with increasing responsibility and autonomy. Efficiency and multi-tasking are emphasized. The second year resident is expected to manage multiple patients simultaneously with varying degrees of acuity. It is during the second year that our residents start to blossom into becoming effective emergency physicians.
The goal of the final year of training is to achieve overall competence in the practice of emergency medicine. During this year the senior resident is given even more responsibility and autonomy with patient care decisions. In addition to caring for their own patients, the senior resident also assists the attending physician in the overall management of the ED. The residents learn to communicate with referring physicians, administer on-line medical command to incoming EMS units and helicopters, and deal with the many other common daily administrative issues that arise. The senior resident also participates in the supervision and teaching of junior level residents and medical students.
This "graded responsibility" in resident education is truly the foundation that makes our training program one of the best in the country.