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Each resident is expected to pursue his or her own special interest within emergency medicine. This may include EMS, administration, clinical research, medical education, a defined clinical subspecialty or another emergency medicine-related activity. Residents, working with faculty mentors, set their own goals for these activities.

All residents are required to complete a resident project. This can be done by writing a paper of publishable quality based on a case report, topic review or their special interest activity. Alternatively, the resident may contribute to an existing resident project or CQI project within the department. Formal didactic conferences are held every Tuesday in the Emergency Department. Formal lecture is minimized, while interactive techniques and case-based conferences are stressed. Assigned topics based on a three-year curriculum are presented by the residents and the emergency medicine and guest faculty.

Regularly included in the Emergency Medicine Conferences are sessions on cardiology, pediatrics, trauma, Journal Club, morbidity and mortality, Emergency Medical Services, ultrasound and administration.

Study guide is conducted twice a month. These sessions include group discussion of "boards-type" questions related to the assigned reading material. Assigned reading is from a major text in emergency medicine, which is reviewed over a period of 18 months.

A mock oral examination, which simulates Part II of the board examination for Emergency Medicine, is held monthly. An EM-2 or EM-3 resident is "examined" on three cases by an emergency medicine faculty member. This exercise familiarizes residents with the process used in the oral board examination.

Annually, the department provides a variety of activities to augment the residents experience. These include ACLS, ATLS and PALS. A suture lab reviews the basic techniques of plastic repair. An equipment lab provides residents with hands-on experience in the use of the external pacemaker, the slit lamp, the fiber optic laryngoscope, the auto-transfuser, ventilators and other equipment. An extrication course is conducted with the assistance of the local fire department. Residents learn to perform extrication maneuvers used in the pre-hospital setting. A hazardous material course is also presented as part of the residencies EMS curriculum.

Each EM-1 resident takes a self-study course in basic medical statistics and clinical research design. This course is followed by an examination.

The first rotation for EM-1 residents is devoted to fully integrating them as members of the emergency medicine team. A didactic series teaches the approach to critically ill and injured patients. A base station course familiarizes the residents with the appropriate use of the radio and EMS protocols. The EM-1s first several shifts are shortened and performed with a more senior emergency medicine resident assigned as a mentor. Administrative orientation to the department and hospital is aimed at easing residents into the bureaucratic milieu of the department.

Under the leadership of John Konicki, D.O., our Emergency Department ultrasound program has grown in reputation and is an integral part of our residents education. There are three ultrasound machines within the department for trainees to access. Established in 1996, there's an Advocate Christ Medical Center fellowship program in Emergency Ultrasonography. The Fellowship Program not only trains fellows, but advances the learning of our residents in emergency ultrasound.

The Emergency Department also supports fellowships in Emergency Medicine Administration, Emergency Medical Services and a Traumatology Research fellowship.


Annually, residents participate in the Emergency Medicine In-Training Examination. Results from this exam allow residents to identify areas of weakness and to compare their performance with their peers from across the country. Grouped by level of training, Christ resident In-Training scores are near the top nationally. Class EM-3 Exam Score EM-3 Percentile:
2002 85.3* 90 (top 10%)
2001 82.3 83 (top 17%)
2000 84.6 83 (top 17%)
1999 86.0 97 (top 3%)
*ABEM "passing score is 75"

A mock oral examination simulating the real ABEM oral exam also is held annually for our residents.

Outcome Data

Although critical to evaluating residency programs, little outcome data exists. What is known is that Advocate Christ Medical Center has graduated approximately 180 Emergency Medicine residents who are successfully practicing Emergency Medicine in nearly 30 states across the country. The American Board of Emergency Medicine gives two pieces of data to residency programs overall board certification percentage and first time pass rates for both exams. Advocate Christ Medical Centers data is:

Application/Certification History: 1981-2001 99%
First-time pass rate: Written Exam 1987-2001 93%
First-time pass rate: Oral Exam 1995-2001 98%
National data for 1987-2001 is 89% written, 92% oral.

All positions are filled through the National Resident Matching Program.

All correspondence should be addressed to:
Robert C. Harwood, M.D., M.P.H.
Department of Emergency Medicine
Advocate Christ Medical Center
4440 W. 95th Street
Oak Lawn, Illinois 60453
For further information, please e-mail Rosemary Zelinski at, call 708.684.5375, or fax 708.684.1028. Our Web page is

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