FAQs

Do your residents see enough patients?

Answer: Absolutely!  When considering total volumes at a potential residency training program, please keep in mind several things. First, remember that the patients per hour per resident is much more important than the total volume for the ED.  The literature has shown that an average EM resident will see close to 1 patient per hour as an intern, progressing to close to 2.5 patients per hour by the time they are ready to graduate.  Our residents easily see these average numbers per hour throughout their residency.  The second consideration is the number of providers present in the ED also evaluating patients.  Our EDs are primarily resident driven, meaning that the residents do the majority of initial patient evaluation in the ED.  There are no physicians in triage, attendings primarily evaluating patients, or a large number of midlevel providers to compete with for patients.   Bottom line is that you will see a large number of patients, many of whom will be critically ill, and exceed the national averages for procedural volume should you chose to train with us.

Why do you do medicine night float?

Answer:  Simply put, medicine night float has been a resident favorite rotation for years.  Unlike standard ward rotations, residents work autonomously with supervision from senior residents, interfacing with the Emergency Department for admissions and responding to emergencies occurring on the floors.  This rotation allows EM residents to develop rapport and working relationships with our medicine colleagues.  Every year when this rotation is reviewed, the residents feel very strongly in favor of keeping it a part of our program.

What do your graduates choose to do after WVU?

Answer:  Anything they want!   We believe strongly in our mission to train residents to practice in any emergency setting.  Over the past several years, our graduates have obtained community-based jobs in very difficult markets (Denver, Phoenix), academic jobs both at WVU and other centers, and competitive fellowship positions (ultrasound, sports medicine, international emergency medicine), as well as hybrid community/academic positions, and rural employment opportunities.

Do your residents get enough procedures?

Answer:  Absolutely! Rest assured, you will meet and exceed national averages for all procedures during training at WVU.  Our Department firmly believes in owning all procedures within the scope of EM practice.  While we consult when appropriate, the vast majority of procedures are performed primarily by EM residents. 

How do residents receive feedback? 

Answer: We feel that effective feedback is essential to making you the best Emergency Physician you can be.  Frequent feedback is the norm, not the exception.  Residents receive feedback in multiple formats including—informal end of shift discussions, daily formative evaluation cards, debriefing of resuscitations, summative monthly evaluations (EM and non EM rotations),  360 degree evaluations (peers, nursing, patients, ancillary staff), and during semi-annual reviews with the PD or APDs.  In addition, our culture supports the theory that feedback is a gift, is done in a constructive, nonjudgmental manner, and be available upon resident request if there is a specific area the resident would like feedback in. 

Is there a USMLE score cutoff?

Answer:  We do not use a minimum score cutoff to select applicants for interview.  Board scores are simply a piece of the entire application, and while important, we review the entire application prior to making an interview invite decision.

What type of resident is successful in your program?

Answer:  There is no stereotypical WVU EM resident.  In general, residents who are successful in any program are those who are willing to work hard, learn as much as they can while ensuring their own personal wellness.  Our residents are willing to lend a hand to their colleagues willingly when they experience difficulty and work together as a team.  We look for residents who will uphold high professional standards and work well with others in the institution, helping to maintain our strong reputation throughout the institution.

What is the reputation of the ED at WVU?

Answer: Our Department enjoys a strong reputation as a clinical department at WVU and WVU Medicine.  We are financially sound, clinically productive, and well respected by others in the institution, as evidenced by faculty members being chosen for leadership roles at higher levels of the institution. 

Do your residents pass their boards?

Answer: Yes, our residents certainly come out of residency ready and able to pass both their written and oral exams and achieve ABEM certification. Both our oral and written board rolling 5-year average pass rates are well above the national averages. Residents are prepared for taking these exams during residency training, via oral board preparation sessions regularly scheduled in our didactics, including preparation for the new E-Oral Format.  In addition, for written boards, there are regularly scheduled board review sessions and each resident gets a subscription to Rosh Review, an interactive EM board question bank, to complete as they prepare for inservice examinations and, ultimately, their written boards.

Are residents allowed to moonlight?

Yes.  PGY3 residents who are in good standing in the program and have made adequate progress on the annual in-training examination are permitted to moonlight.

Who runs the traumas?

Answer:  Our relationship with trauma surgery is very collaborative and collegial.  All airways in trauma are performed by the Emergency Medicine resident under the supervision of the Emergency Medicine attending.  The EM resident works alongside the Trauma team to help direct the resuscitation and perform indicated procedures, including central line placement, ultrasounds, and chest tube placement.

What is your EMS experience like?

Answer: Currently, our dedicated EMS month is during the third year of the curriculum.  During this month, residents have the opportunity to choose between working with ground EMS or flying with our Health Net crew.  For residents who have a particular interest in EMS, this experience can be made longitudinal in nature and spread out across all three years of training.  Opportunities for participating in event medicine are easily accessible and available to all residents regardless of their level of training.

Are international rotations supported by your department and institution?

 Answer: Yes. Our department and institution fully supports the opportunity to participate in global health opportunities. There are multiple pre-approved sites for potential rotation.  Residents typically use an elective month in order to participate in international opportunities, and as with all elective months, we are usually able to be flexible in scheduling. 

What do residents typically do on their elective rotations?

Answer:  Anything they want!  With all honesty, residents do a variety of elective rotation types and are usually individualized to meet the personal career goals and interests of the particular resident.  In addition to standard elective months such as research, administration, etc, residents have created their own rotations—with specific ones over the past few years including additional focused ICU months, Rural EM at our rural EM site, international medicine, palliative care, peds anesthesia, and teaching/pretending shift months—to name a few.

What do your graduates say about their training once they are in the “real-world”?

 Answer:  We unanimously receive very positive feedback from our graduates regarding the training that they received during their residency. Our graduates feel that they have been trained to be successful in caring for patients regardless of environment type or patient population.  Although pediatric training in EM is one of the more nationally recognized weak spots of the specialty, our graduates report that they feel extremely competent in caring for critically ill pediatric patients and actually report their longitudinal pediatric training as a strength of the program.