CDEM Faculty Blog

CDEM VOICE – Topic360



Caitlin Bailey
Medical Student Clerkship Director
Assistant Residency Program Director
Highland Hospital/Alameda Health System
Oakland, CA

CDEM VOICE – Member Highlight


                        Where we recognize and and learn from one of our members each month…


Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UMASS Medical School – Baystate Health

  1. What is your most memorable moment in teaching?

Sometimes when you teach routinely -you do something over and over – you have your spiel down and you make the same joke each time. My student procedure lab was like this after just a few months. These labs didn’t stand out to me until I got an email from a former student. He wrote me at the end of a night shift to tell me that the lab saved him and his patient last night. He found himself with a patient needing an LP for possible subarachnoid hemorrhage. He was on with very little staff and no one had the skill or experience to do the LP. He remembered the model, the steps and the keys to success. In the middle of the night he duplicated what we taught and got the LP, and it was a SAH.
My procedure lab isn’t sexy, cutting edge or exciting but this routine teaching experience helped save a life. The impact we have as teachers isn’t always obvious. It is ripples in the water spreading out slowly and these small moments have a huge impact.

  1. Who or what is your biggest influence?

My mother was a high school teacher. She instilled a deep appreciation for learning, integrity and mentorship. She taught by example that a teacher doesn’t teach facts but creates a safe environment where learners and teachers share and grow together. She was the teacher you went to with your secrets, fears, and dreams. She listened and then got you to solve the problem yourself. Fifteen years after retiring, students continue writing, calling, and visiting her. As I began teaching I found myself mirroring her style and quickly evolving from teaching EM to mentoring and guiding learners through their process. momCoffee shops, my kitchen counter and our med rooms are frequent sites for my mentoring. At residency fairs former students and residents will run up to hug me and check on our team at Baystate – this is my mother’s influence.

  1. Any advice for other clerkship directors?

Take the time to work clinically with each student, then sit down with each to give summative feedback and help move them forward. Every student is unique and spending time with each one allows you to see the nuance beyond their grades, scores and personality. Try listening more than talking and use open ended questions just like with patients – it is more efficient and effective.

  1. What is your favorite part about being and educator/director?

Knowing I’m not just training my residents, nurses, techs, APs, students, but everyone they teach in the future is what keeps me going on the rough days. While the adrenaline rush of doing a procedure is tantalizing, the rush of seeing that joy and accomplishment on another is priceless. Teaching allows for such an enormous impact well beyond what I could ever do as a single doctor. Hearing of my learner’s successes is the best feedback I get.

  1. Any interesting factoids you would like to share?

My first few years I worked in community medicine and developed my areas of greatest weaknesses, filling in my pot holes and developing my teaching style with rotating residents and the local medical school. While this is an unusual path it has given me an enormous advantage in both confidence and dedication.

When you find an area of passion within EM – take time to explore it and learn. This will imbue your teaching, and allow you to shift gears into your niche when the time is right
for you. My niche is airway – while not original it is tremendously rewarding. Hearing scenarios, reviewing literature, and challenging myself to organize that next didactic keeps my creativity going.

Lifeconfusion-311388_960_720 is about the choices you make. I have two amazing children. They inspire and drive me. Balance between home and work is a constant challenge, one solution I’ve come up with is to make them a part of my teaching by having them at student dinners, Journal clubs, and letting them lend their talents to my didactics. My decision to share my teaching with them allows us be a part of each other’s time when we are together and apart.

CDEM VOICE – Presidential Ponder


Welcome to the new CDEM Voice Faculty Blog!

Last spring, through our membership survey and follow-up discussion at our SAEM Academy meeting, networking and collaboration were identified as CDEM’s greatest asset. To that end, this blog marks a transition from our previous quarterly newsletter to a medium that is continuous, fluid, and interactive.crowdsourcing

First and foremost, I would like to recognize and thank multiple individuals for their vision, talent, and efforts in making this platform for CDEM possible. It’s impossible to capture everyone but to highlight a few: Rahul Patwari & Michael Van Meter for their amazing dedication and administrative oversight; Keme Carter, Matthew Tews, Stacey Poznanski, and Kim Askew for their executive leadership of CDEM Curriculum; and Nate Lewis and Scott Wieters for their creativity and delivery of the EM Stud podcast series. Special appreciation goes to our SAEM Staff Liaison, Melissa McMillian, who does a tremendous amount of work for CDEM behind the scenes, provides invaluable administrative guidance, and always responds to our pleas for help.

Since taking over as president last May, CDEM has remained busy at work. First was our important role in shaping the final version of the  AAMC Standardized Video Interview Project. As we wade through another cycle of the daunting residency match – again full of unbelievably talented applicants – I look forward to learning more down the road about the efficacy of this initiative. Rahul Patwari and Kathy Hiller continue to represent CDEM on the collaborative working group that includes the AAMC and our partner EM organizations. .

This spring and summer also involved CDEM’s continual work to bring high quality didactics to our annual conferences. Our CDEM track chairs for CORD, Paul Ko and Lauren Thompson, have orchestrated a terrific series of talks organized around the themes of teaching, assessment, and advising. For the 2017 SAEMAnnual Meeting, the CDEM executive committee has compiled didactics designed to help members advance educational research and innovation. More to follow on these conferences as their programs are finalized.

Representing and supporting the needs of all our members remains an important priority for CDEM. Within our community are clerkship directors who are not affiliated with residency programs. When the SLOE migrated to an electronic format this year, these clerkship directors were found lacking access to the current version of the SLOE. I am proud of how our close partnership with CORD helped find the solution of an alternate SLOE that is freely accessible. I would like to publicly thank and acknowledge Doug Franzen for the energy and thought he puts into making sure CDEM stays connected with all our members.

Looking ahead, a top priority is to further expand and engage our membership. In addition to this blog, we are restructuring and refining our committees and representatives, hoping to create new opportunities for our members to get actively involved in CDEM and to demonstrate national leadership in support of academic promotion. Committees will include membership, social media/communication, testing, and awards. Representation will include Alliance on Clinical Education, SAEM program committee, and CORD Task Forces (SLOE and Student Advisory). Be on the look out for announcements to join and help these groups.expand

CDEM continues to be an invaluable resource for me, and I hope it has proved the same for you. These are just some of the exciting initiatives and accomplishments as we continue to advance undergraduate medical education in emergency medicine. As the end of October nears, I hope everyone has a fun and joyous holiday season.


David Gordon MD

CDEM President
Undergraduate Education Director
Division of Emergency Medicine
Duke University

EM Stud Podcast – AAMC Standardized Video Interview


Word on the street is that the AAMC is piloting a brand new video interview process. So how will that affect your application, interview offers, and overall match success??

[Cue panic…]

Actually, it won’t.  This is a voluntary research project designed to see if video interviews might be helpful in the future. According to the AAMC,

In an effort to improve the transition to residency process, the AAMC has developed the Standardized Video Interview as an innovative tool to enable applicants to share a more holistic picture of themselves, beyond academic metrics, to add breadth and depth to their application, as well as to provide residency program directors with additional information to assess applicants. The pilot use of this tool is being conducted as a research study, designed to test the potential of this tool as an addition to the other tools currently available to applicants and program directors during the residency selection process. From June 27 – August 30, applicants to ACGME-accredited emergency medicine residency programs who volunteer for the study will be asked to respond to six questions on two ACGME competencies: professionalism, and interpersonal and communication skills. Although the interviews will be rated and scored, the information will be used for research-purposes only. Neither videos nor scores will be shared with residency programs. Residency programs will not know if an applicant has participated in the study. At the conclusion of the interview, applicants will be asked to complete a short survey.

If you’re still intrigued/paranoid after reading the paragraph above, listen to our latest podcast episode, featuring an interview with the executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Dr. Atul Grover. More information is also available on the AAMC’s SVI Research Study website including FAQ.

[EM Stud also available via RSS and iTunes]

‘Residency Navigator’: Words of Caution

Doximity_SurveyYou may have seen or heard about the ‘residency navigator’ tool that Doximity put together. You might feel assured that the tool carries the stamp of US News & World Report.  We understand that choosing a residency program is intimidating and that you are looking for any help or guidance you can find.

However, please understand that Emergency Medicine has serious concerns about how Doximity’s rankings were created. This past Sunday, many EM faculty received an email from the website asking us to rank EM residencies by which we thought “offered the best clinical training.” We understand the goal of wanting to create a “list of the best” but unfortunately there are many problems with this survey.

  • There are no objective criteria that define what is meant by “the best.”
  • Faculty aren’t qualified to judge what is the best nationally. Most of us have knowledge of at most a few programs.
  • Many academic faculty opted out of participating in this survey. In fact, 9 of our national organizations signed a joint letter voicing our concerns about the methodology and the potential implications of this survey.

If you choose to view the results of the survey, we ask that you interpret the results with skepticism and caution. Each residency program has its unique strengths. You should find one that matches your needs and goals. Websites like EMRA Match can help with this, talk with your advisor or check out some of these resources.

End-of-Shift Assessment of Medical Students


This year at the 2016 CORD Academic Assembly, we tackled the idea of developing a standardized end-of-shift assessment tool for medical students on EM rotations. Topics discussed included criterion vs norm-referenced evaluation, learners at different levels of training, specific assessment domains, translation into SLOEs, tying together milestones with entrustable professional activities, and others.

To hear more from behind the scenes of the CDEM Consensus Conference on end-of-shift assessment, check out our episode on the CDEM Faculty Podcast, available via SoundCloudRSS, and iTunes.  And a special thanks to Julianna Jung, Doug Franzen, Luan Lawson, and Katherine Hiller for all of their hard work on the project and for sharing their thoughts with us on this podcast.

CDEM Podcast: Episode 01 “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Welcome to the CDEM Podcast, Episode 1. This is an introduction to some of the people who will be involved in bringing future topics to life. Hope you enjoy.


For Medical Students

The Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer is a handbook written by many of the members of CDEM as a handbook for students to navigate and succeed in their Emergency Medicine rotation. Editor, David Wald.

“The focus of Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer: A Manual for Medical Students is to assist medical students throughout their emergency medicine clerkship. Although the target audience for this manual is primarily junior and senior medical students, we believe that emergency medicine interns and off-service residents will benefit from the majority of the topics reviewed. Our goal is to produce a high-quality, professional guide that highlights the uniqueness of our specialty. This guide should provide the reader with a detail-oriented approach to thinking like an emergency physician, essentially a ‘how to’ manual.”

David Wald

For Clerkship Directors

Similarly the Medical Student Educator Handbook serves as a roadmap for the clerkship director or anyone educating medical students. This was also written by the CDEM membership and edited by Rob Rogers and Siamak Moayedi.

“The goal of this book is to assist emergency medicine faculty interested in medical student education in their efforts to develop a more successful emergency medicine clerkship based on highlighted best practices. This book is intended to offer the reader tools to deal with the challenges of running a successful emergency medicine clerkship, including addressing administrative and political considerations, promoting faculty, supporting faculty involvement, determining methods for evaluation, and developing novel teaching tools. We envision its use as a reference for up-to-date, practical information.”

Robert L. Rogers and Siamak Moayedi

For Clerkship Coordinators


For all the clerkship coordinators in Emergency Medicine who pour their heart and soul into a difficult job, day in and day out. This Clerkship Coordinator’s Handbook was created to help run the student clerkship. Wheterh a brand new coordinator or a seasoned veteran. The hope is that you will find tips and hints in this handbook that will make your job easier while making the rotation more valuable and educational for the students. The goal was to highlight the main issues and concerns that a coordinator will face in running the Emergency Medicine clerkship.

Sundip N. Patel and Richard Byrne

Women in Emergency Medicine

Currently posted on the CDEM website is a video project that represents the collaborative efforts of CDEM and the Academy of Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (AWAEM). The video highlights the specialty of emergency medicine and targets female medical students who may have an interest in emergency medicine as a career.