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Curriculum of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program

PGY-I Emergency Medicine Resident rotations will cover the spectrum of Emergency Medicine, with a focus on Emergency Medicine, critical care, and trauma. Dedicated time is also spent at the Children’s Hospital, VA Hospital, El Centro Regional Medical Center, as well as obstetrics, anesthesia and orthopedics. Highlights include a focus on ICU rather than floor off-service rotations (e.g. trauma ICU, pulm/crit care, NICU, and anesthesia/critical care), extensive training and experience in DEM bedside ultrasound, a longitudinal helicopter EMS experience (which is rare in national EM residency programs), burn & wound care experiences, and 4wks per year of elective time.

PGY-II Emergency Medicine resident rotations will include experiences in critical care, ultrasound, medical toxicology, wound clinic (hyperbarics medicine including dive and wound care clinics), and the Emergency Departments at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, El Centro Regional Medical Center, and Children's Hospital. Flight training to participate as a flight crewmember with Mercy Air will also take place during the first part of the second year. Of note, this is an optional, but highly popular experience.

The PGY-III level extends this training with graded responsibilities in the Emergency Department (including Tri-City, Palomar, and Children's Hospital), pulmonary critical care, trauma ICU, and a toxicology rotation. Residents also spend one month of elective time exploring personal academic interests.

The PGY-IV rotations at UCSD Medical Center incorporate Emergency Department, NICU, Trauma Unit, one month of elective experience, as well as rotations in the Emergency Departments at Tri-City Medical Center and Palomar Medical Center. Also, a month of pediatric experience including airway management is included. Further refinement of clinical skills along with a deeper development of teaching and supervisory skills is emphasized this year. Three PGY-IV residents are selected as chief residents. Under the constant guidance and supervision of qualified teaching faculty and senior residents at the Medical Center, EM residents will develop the skills necessary to provide the highest quality emergency medical care and services.


EM UCSD (20)

Pediatric EM (5)

EM VA (4)

OB/Anesthesia - El Centro (3)

Orientation (3)

Trauma (2)

Burn ICU (2)


Anesthesiology (2)

Cardiology (2)

Orthopedics (2)

Obstetrics (2)

Elective (4)

Vacation (4)

EM UCSD (30)​

Pediatric EM (3)

Rural EM - El Centro (2)

Mercy Air (4)*

Ultrasound (2)

Toxicology (3)

Elective (4)

Vacation (4)

EM UCSD (27)

Pediatric EM (3)

EM Palomar (3)

EM TriCity (3)

EMS (2)

Undersea & Hyperbaric/Dive (2)

Trauma Critical Care (4)

Elective (4)

Vacation (4)

EM UCSD (29)

Pediatric EM (3)

EM Palomar (3)

EM Tri-City (3)

Trauma Critical Care (2)

Critical Care Selective(2)

Pediatric Anesthesiology (2)

Elective (4)

Vacation (4)

  • Numbers in parentheses denotes the total number of weeks allocated to the rotation.
  • *Following completion of the 4 week Mercy Air training rotation in PGY2, resident shifts on the helicopter are integrated into the schedule during all subsequent EM UCSD rotations.​ Of note, this is an optional, but highly popular, experience.

Ultrasound is taught in a longitudinal manner with 2 dedicated weeks in each of the first and second years, with daily instruction on shifts and via a core lecture series taught by our Ultrasound division faculty. 

Pediatric shifts at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego are spread throughout all 4 years, when on a block in the UCSD ED. 

Mercy Air begins with a focused 1-month orientation as a PGY2 and then continues with monthly shifts thereafter. 

Electives blocks are intentionally scheduled throughout all 4 years in order to offer the possibility of longitudinal experiences in an area of interest. They are not limited to UCSD sites and may be international. Your regular UCSD salary is paid while on elective.