Author: Alexis Pelletier-Bui, MD, Co-Clerkship Director & Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, on behalf of the CORD Student Advising Task Force
As one of the curators for the Student Advising Task Force (SATF) Medical Student Advising Resource List, I have solicited feedback from numerous emergency medicine-bound medical students and newly minted EM interns throughout the country for their thoughts and recommendations regarding existing medical student advising resources. The most valuable resources that students and residents cite, by far, is other individuals – clerkship directors, deans, their peers and residents who have just gone through the application and match process. While having a human being to act as a mentor and sounding board is ideal, we realize that many students are not fortunate enough to have access to an EM residency program or EM mentors at their school. We also recognize that some advisors may be new in their roles or others so established that they may not be aware of the newest resources available. We are cognizant that some students, no matter how much advice they receive from advisors and mentors, still like to research additional advice and perspectives – and all of the resources available can be overwhelming or possibly even contradictory or untrustworthy. Hence, the creation, and yearly revisions, of the SATF Medical Student Advising Resource list.
This list is a one page compilation of the best advising resources available to emergency medicine-bound students. The list has been vetted by CORD, CDEM, EMRA & AAEM- so you know it is advice you can trust. It is divided into three parts: overall advice, advice on the application/match process, and performance improvement for the EM clerkship. One resource from each of these sections will be highlighted in this post.
Overall Advice: EMRA Advising Resources Page
The EMRA Advising Resources Page page is chock-full of advice. It includes links to some of our favorites: the EMRA Medical Student Survival Guide (one of our other overall recommendations), and ALiEM: EM Match Advice, EM Advisor, and NRMP’s Charting Outcomes in the Match (basically, the three resources comprising our entire application/match process section).
There is a section that can help you navigate finding an away rotation with links to the SAEM clerkship directory, the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) website, directories of wilderness medicine and international medicine electives, and a list of EM rotations that provide travel stipends/scholarships for underrepresented minorities.
There is also a section highlighting EMRAcast’s 2010 Medical Student Advising Podcast series covering the topics of interviews, preparing your match list, and pearls and pitfalls from EM matched medical students at University of Maryland.
Another component of this site is “Your Roadmap to Residency,” which covers topics relevant to each medical school year that are written & edited mostly by members of the EMRA Medical Student Council. Be careful to check the dates at the bottom of some of these posts, though, as they may be a little dated. For example, there is a post,“Disaster Plan: Understanding the Scramble,” which is completely irrelevant now that the scramble has been replaced by the SOAP.
Advice on the Application/Match Process: EM Advisor
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date application/match process advice, your best bet will be EM Advisor. This is a blog written by Adam Kellogg, immediate past-chair of the SATF, and Lucienne Lufty-Clayton, current chair of the SATF – both associate residency directors at UMMS-Baystate Health. There are two main components to this website:
- Static resource pages: These are high yield topics that are periodically updated (for example, EM rotations – Preparations and Expectations and a 13-part application process series including Advice for Osteopaths, Advice for IMGs, Letters of Recommendation, Interview Scheduling, etc). These can be found listed on the right side of the website.
- Posts with topics timed relevantly to the EM application cycle (for example, Applying Wisely in September, Acing the Interview in October, A Guide to the “Perfect” Rank List in January). There are several ways to access the posts. When you go to the main page, posts will be listed in reverse chronological order with approximately 1-2 posts per month, beginning in November 2012. One of the great things is the ability to separate out posts by clicking on one of several high yield topics at the top banner of the page: applying, match, interviews, rotations, resources, letters, rank list, choosing EM, SOAP, and VSAS. You can further separate out topics by labels on the right side of the page or by searching for a particular topic.
Another great perk of this site is the ability to tap the contributors for specific advice by responding directly to a post, which the contributors answer pretty quickly.
Performance Improvement: David Wald’s Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer
There are a ton of resources out there to improve your emergency medicine knowledge base, but this is the first book (and only one to my knowledge) written for the sole purpose of helping medical students think like an emergency physician. This 142-page guide is not a book to replace Tintinalli’s, Rosen’s or other core content emergency medicine textbooks. This is essentially a “how to” primer on understanding the unique field of emergency medicine and how to function and shine on your emergency medicine clerkship. Topics in this 24-chapter book include, “Differences Between the Emergency Department, the Office, and the Inpatient Setting,” “Performing a Complaint-Directed History and Physical Examination,” “Developing Your Plan of Action,” “Diagnosis: Is It Possible? Is It Necessary?,” and “Interacting With Consultants and Primary Care Physicians.” It is a cannot-miss read for any emergency medicine-bound student aiming to excel in the emergency department.
It was very difficult deciding which three resources to highlight in this post, as all the resources listed on the SATF Medical Student Advising Resource List are high yield for emergency medicine-bound students. I urge you to check out the list and keep an eye out for the 2017 updates, which should be posted soon!