Clerkship Expectations & Responsibilities

The rotation is designed to expose the student to a wide variety of acute medical and surgical problems and to give students experience in the evaluation and treatment of these illnesses.


Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Acquire first-hand experience in dealing with emergency problems.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge, appropriate to the student's level of training, needed in regards to the evaluation, treatment, and disposition of the most common presentations of patients to emergency departments such as chest pain, abdominal pain, trauma, shock and shortness of breath.
  • Gain experience with common emergency department procedures such as IV access, Foley catheterization and wound management.
  • Gain insight into pre-hospital care.
  • Demonstrate satisfactory performance of selected ED procedures under the supervision of ED faculty or senior residents. Such procedures include arterial blood gas determinations, starting IV lines, inserting Foley catheters, and suturing uncomplicated wounds.
  • Have the ability to write a legible, succinct ED record documenting the important elements of the ED encounter - this must be done under the supervision of a resident or faculty team member.
  • Accurately interpret common clinical tests (EKGs, serum electrolytes, x-rays), identify abnormalities on these tests, compare abnormalities to previous results (if available), and synthesize information to narrow their differential diagnosis.
  • Students will also be expected to apply knowledge of pathophysiology learned in the first two years to explain abnormal physical exam findings or abnormal findings on common clinical tests.
  • Attend required ED lectures, conferences and readings as directed by site director.
  • Empathize with a variety of patients in the ED, be able to resolve reasonable issues in their health care, and act as patient advocates.
  • Be able to list ED indications for admission to inpatient services.
  • Arrange or describe appropriate follow-up care and instructions for patients before these patients are discharged from the ED, and become familiar with resources available in the community for patients going home.
  • Demonstrate a professional demeanor and a positive attitude toward patient care while in the ED.