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What is the accreditation status of the UC Irvine School of Medicine's Emergency Medicine program?

The program was approved by the Residency Review Committee for Emergency Medicine in February 1989 and fully re-accredited in 1992, 1996 and 1999. In 2005, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education approved the residency to participate in a pilot program with an 8-year accreditation cycle, one of only 34 in the country, indicating the highest level of confidence in the training program. At our last accreditation, we were granted a 10-year accreditation cycle and we are currently accredited through 2021.

Does the program have its own independent department?

Yes. We are a fully independent department, both within the hospital and medical school. We are proud of our efforts to secure our own departmental status in 2002, the first of the five UC Health Sciences campuses to earn such independence. Our department alone has 50,800 patient visits annually.

What are the average number of shifts worked per month and how long are they?

Our rotations are on a 4-week block schedule. Shift lengths in the emergency department are generally 9-, 10-, 11-, or 12-hours, with an average shift length of 9.6 hours. Our shift lengths vary to maximize wellness and efficiency. First-year residents work 19-20 shifts/block; second year residents work 20 shifts/block, and third year residents work 17 shifts/block. Residents also receive four weeks of vacation annually. Vacation blocks are 15, 15 and 14, respectively.

Our program utilizes a waterfall shift schedule in the UC Irvine Medical Center emergency department that provides numerous benefits to residents on shift including but not limited to improved individual flow due to a period of minimal interruptions at the beginning/end of a shift so the resident(s) leaving can better focus on patient sign-outs while the incoming resident(s) focus on new patients, improved patient safety by minimizing the number of active sign-outs, and a larger number of residents in triage allowing more opportunities for “first touch” and autonomy.

The schedule allows the resident to pursue academic, leadership, and teaching interests beyond the clinical arena. This is essential to their professional growth.

Are faculty present in the ED? What are their backgrounds?

Full-time faculty members are present 24 hours a day with triple coverage between 10am and midnight. All faculty members are board-certified in emergency medicine, and most have completed fellowships in related fields. Other board certifications held by our faculty members include infectious disease, internal medicine, medical toxicology, geriatrics and pediatrics. UC Irvine emergency medicine residents are fortunate to have nearly a 1:1 faculty/resident ratio.

What is the trauma experience like?

As the only level 1 trauma center in Orange County, our robust trauma experience is one of the strengths of the program. Training is designed to provide the full spectrum of trauma care, not just initial emergency department stabilization. Residents experience being the first advanced trauma provider in the field, trauma care in the ED, participation as an integral team member in a dedicated trauma team. They also provide trauma critical care in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) after initial stabilization. 

What emergency medicine fellowships do you offer?

We offer Emergency Medicine fellowships in the following: Clinical Informatics (ACGME), Disaster Medicine, Multimedia Design Education Technology, Research, Simulation, Ultrasound, and Wilderness Medicine. These fellowships add to the rich academic environment available to our residents, affording them the opportunity to participate in local, regional and national research and policy issues.

What are some innovative changes in the program?

Our simulation curriculum is an integral part of the residency program, offering our residents an additional method of absorbing medical knowledge. These monthly sessions are combined with our ultrasound training program. We offer highly engaging weekly didactics utilizing a combination of games, team-based learning, and other interactive sessions. Our residents are part of a fast-paced emergency department and obtain experience and education in resource utilization and emergency department flow.