Didactic Curriculum

Our residency goal is to provide an outstanding learning environment for our residents while providing excellent care for our patients. Didactics – a formal curriculum as well as bedside and ED chalk talks – are an integral part of our resident’s daily experience. We believe an excellent fund of knowledge is best achieved using varied and flexible teaching techniques. We are constantly introducing new and innovative approaches into our didactic curriculum, frequently based on house staff input.

This is the foundation of our didactic curriculum. It is structured in thematic blocks (Trauma, Cardiology, etc.) on a two year rotating schedule. The format is very interactive and consists of a mix of:

  • Didactic lectures by Senior Residents and Attendings

  • Small group sessions led by our Attendings or visiting faculty from Children’s Oakland

  • Simulation sessions in our state of art on campus sim center

  • Procedural skills sessions

  • Resident Case Conference (M&M)

  • Alumni are frequently invited back to present interesting cases or topics

  • Approximately once per month Grand Rounds Presentations from national experts

  • Once per month Trauma/EM joint conference from 7:00 – 8:00 AM 

  • Twice per year mock oral boards for R2s and above

Once a month, on the 3rd Thursday afternoon, there is a department wide journal club and follow-up case conference. Follow-up conference is a rapid fire series of interesting cases recently presenting to our ED, with emphasis on their final diagnosis and outcomes. It is presented by one second year resident and one attending. Journal club provides a forum for reviewing the latest practice changing research to affect Emergency Medicine. Journal often takes place at a local restaurant or the home of an attending (unfortunately this is virtual for now, but remains a fun and relaxed environment).

Aside from the formal curriculum, didactics are integrated into clinical ED shifts in a number of ways. Bedside teaching has always been one of the cornerstones of the residency. In addition to frequent on shift teaching provided by Attendings, our senior residents participate in teaching shifts during the fourth year of residency. This provides the opportunity for mentorship experience for fourth year residents in addition to an enhanced learning experience for junior residents. Daily didactics also include three “mini conferences” in the ED, in which the attending physician presents an interesting or difficult case for analysis. All the staff and medical students working in the ED participate, with the goal of expanding differential diagnosis and management skills. These “mini conferences” are presented over breakfast, lunch, and dinner and make up a very important part of residency life.