Application Advice

Tips and Advice for applying to EM Residency

Tips on applying, electives, research:

  1. Get out and do as many electives as you can – not just in EM (things like Pediatric EM, trauma, anything else you are interested in) – use this time to decide what really interests you!Electives enable you to gain an appreciation of what emergency medicine, as a field, is all about. Electives also provide opportunities to understand issues that may be unique to EM. Hanging out at EM rounds, talking with staff attendings, and browsing through EM research literature may provide insight into topics such as clinical decision rules, overcrowding/waiting times, inner city health, triage systems, rural emergency medicine, patient satisfaction, medical error. etc. Exposure to these ‘real life’ issues will allow you to ask interesting research questions, but more importantly may help you to determine what kind environment you will be working in as well the challenges you might face.If EM is the only specialty you are interested in, try to arrange as many electives across the country (or in places you really want to end up) particularly during clerkship to allow PDs and residents to get to know you. Exposure and contacts with people in the field is crucial for 4th year medical students if they really want to pursue a career in EM.
  2. Be yourself in your application – not what you think the program directors will want.
  3. Research is good but not essential, it’s more important to show that you have special interests and are motivated to pursue them; this can be working at the needle exchange, running the EM club, looking at quality improvement – find something you like and that excites you.
  4. Do something different to distinguish yourself from the rest of the EM applicants. For example, a trauma/ER elective in the US [particularly useful because there are few liability insurance problems as a medical student], toxicology in New York, Denver, ER in South Africa, publish an original piece of research, present at a conference will help you stand out from the pack of applicants.
  5. Start developing your Emergency Medicine knowledge base (start going through Tintinelli’s…its useful for both emerg and medicine in general) [can’t impress anyone if you don’t know anything or be a good clinician]
  6. When applying, consider the programs and locations where you would be comfortable living for 5 years. Write a strong personal letter that demonstrates your knowledge of what EM is all about and this is the field you would like to get into. (finding some friendly residents to help you through the editing process is extremely useful). A strong resume is also important in securing an interview position. The best way to have a strong application is to have a solid EM experience during medical school and clerkship. Good writing skills are useful. remember to proofread your resume and letters prior to submission.

To explore EM as a career option:

  1. Get out there and work some shifts
  2. Take your ACLS and ATLS early
  3. Do some EMS/aeromedical transports
  4. Talk to people you respect in EM and get their honest opinion

Clerkship Application Advice

As several people are generaly involved in the selection process, once you get to the interview stage, the application (and therefore all the stuff that’s on it, like research and electives) is much less important, and is generally only used as a tiebreaker. The trick, therefore, is to come across in your application as someone who really wants to do EM, and as someone who is not super arrogant or an axe murderer. Outside interests and activities, are important in demonstrating a well-rounded person.

2. Do your research and electives in EM

Research and electives certainly have a role to play in documenting your interest in EM. The people that look the most dedicated have done their research in EM, and have done most of their electives in EM. Completing electives in more than one place may indicate an honest recognition that EM is a competitive specialty, and that candidates are willing to go wherever it takes to get the training. Although candidates may have a first choice of city, it is more important to demonstrate commitment to be in EM than it is to be in Toronto (for example). After all, residency is just 5 years and working as an Emerg doc when you’re done is for many, many more. You can move to your perfect city later.

3. Be honest in your application and demonstrate thoughfulness about your career choice

If you have decided to apply to EM somewhat later in med school, you may have missed research opportunities. However it is not too late. Although time may be at a premium, try and pick up on a project at any stage of your academic experience. Be honest within your application and explain that you decided to do EM sometime later in medical school. Not everyone is fortunate enough to know what they want to do right from the start. It may be that experiences in electives provided insight into EM. Exposure to other specialties may have enabled a well educated and informed decision to pursue a career in EM. Royal CBD Royal CBD Creams