Electives and Special Interests

A World of Opportunity .

Residents pursue a variety of electives and special interests, from joining tactical emergency medical support teams to pursuing international health opportunities. Many residents explore independent projects or and design their own elective experiences.


Our ultrasound program prepares residents to perform diagnostic and procedural ultrasound. Graduates complete residency with 25 or more ultrasounds in all major categories. They regularly use critical care ultrasound to guide medical and trauma resuscitations. Our interns start residency with an ultrasound bootcamp, and residents have dedicated ultrasound time throughout training. Some residents peruse ultrasound electives to further bolster their skills. We also collaborate with other EM subspecialties! For example, our Ultrasound, Sports Medicine, and Simulation teams collaborated to teach ultrasound guided regional anesthesia.


Physicians at MedStar provide medical services to the Baltimore Ravens and to all Georgetown athletic teams. In addition, opportunities to work with medical services on the National Mall on 4th of July and other major national events in the nation’s capitol abound. These relationships provide Emergency Medicine residents with opportunities to participate in providing services related to sporting events and other related activities.


The EMS rotation/experience spans all three years of the program. In the first year, the focus is on 911-based ground EMS including shifts with the Fairfax City Fire Department and DC Fire/EMS, and time at the DC Unified Communications Center. EMS can be pursued as an elective for the residents in addition to the regularly scheduled EMS rotations through out the curriculum. Second year residents focus on critical care out-of-hospital medicine and may choose to fly with our MedSTAR helicopter crews or ride with the MedSTAR critical care ground ambulances. Third year residents are involved in EMS education, oversight, protocols, and call review.There are also opportunities for our residents to gain experience in medical direction and base station on-line medical command. Residents with interests in EMS can explore additional opportunities with FEMA urban search and rescue, tactical medicine, mass gathering medicine, disaster preparedness, and additional aeromedical experiences.


Simulation is integrated into resident education throughout training and often focuses on high-stakes, low-frequency scenarios and procedures. Residents frequently complete a simulation elective, in which they develop cases and procedural models with our exceptional simulation faculty and fellows. Residents have developed simulation content including Difficult Delivery, Neonatal Resuscitation, Resuscitative Hysterotomy, Colles’ Fracture Reduction, Priapism Aspiration and Injection, Care of the Transgender Patient, and Death Notification.


A passion for medical education runs throughout our entire program, with a strong belief in the mantra of “Resident as Educator.” Residents often choose electives in Medical Education, with opportunities to teach medical students, residents, undergraduate students, EMTs, and even EM faculty. Residents have been invited to give high-level presentations at regional and national conferences. We provide our residents with formal teaching on providing feedback, bedside teaching, and building a great talk.


Our department is on the forefront of EM Telehealth, and we ensure our residents have access to telehealth education opportunities. Senior residents work a telehealth triage shift, rapidly (and remotely) evaluating newly-triaged ED patients, starting workups and initiating treatment. Residents may choose to complete a telehealth elective. Additionally, our residents have co-authored peer-reviewed telehealth publications.


Leveraging our two-year health policy fellowship, our superb health-policy faculty, and our location in the heart of Washington, DC, our EM residents have a variety of opportunities to broaden their health policy educations. We have two longitudinal health policy tracks, including one focusing on Social EM. Residents may also choose to peruse an elective in health policy, which frequently results in some form of publication.


Our residents have helped lead multiple initiatives across our Emergency Departments, including integrating high sensitivity troponins into clinical practice and initiating an ED Observation program. With strong emergency physician leadership throughout our health system, residents have opportunities to impact care delivery on a departmental level and even system-wide.


Residents often use electives to hone their EM skillsets. Residents who complete the resuscitation elective spend time in the ED caring for the sickest-of-the-sick patients and have opportunities to hone their skills and teach subclavian central lines, chest tubes, arterial lines, echocardiograms, etc. Residents can sharpen their musculoskeletal and concussion management skills with by perusing the Sports Medicine elective. Residents often choose the Medical Legal elective to learn what happens at the interface of medicine and the legal system. Residents have also completed electives in Homeland Security, Toxicology, and Disaster Preparedness


Residents have a wide array of elective opportunities outside of DC! Residents interested in Rural EM can explore electives at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital (near the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland) and at Tahoe Forest Hospital (on the California side of Lake Tahoe). Residents interested in sports medicine, especially ski and snowboard injuries, have completed an elective at the ski clinic in Park City Utah. Residents also regularly pursue electives with the Indian Health Service in Gallup, NM, and in Zambia.