Rush University Medical Center has launched an emergency medicine residency program, which aims to provide on-the-ground training to doctors in disaster and emergency planning, trauma care and emergency care.
The hospital announced that the program began on July 1 with 13 trainees. It’s expected to expand to 36 when the three-year residency is fully staffed, making it one of Rush’s largest residencies.
“This program really touches on all parts of our mission,” said Dino Rumoro, D.O., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and past president of the medical staff at Rush University Medical Center. “Training the next generation of providers is one of our greatest responsibilities, and we’re privileged to launch this program as another way to do that.”
Emergency physicians are in demand as part of the ongoing physician shortage, but there are barriers to entry for emergency medicine, including massive student debt.
At Rush, the residents will participate in a variety of elements of emergency medicine, including rotations in its emergency department. The hospital has one of the busiest ERs in Chicago, seeing more than 72,000 patients annually. The trainees will also work alongside other departments closely tied to the ED, like pediatrics and critical care.
The residents will also train in Rush’s emergency response programs, which target both large-scale disease outbreaks and other disasters, according to the announcement. They’ll undergo training on biohazard decontamination and will participate in emergency drills, including active shooter simulations.
“Our objective is to train outstanding clinicians who are prepared to handle any EM environment and to equip them with the skills to be efficient, capable and compassionate emergency physicians,” said Braden Hexom, M.D., the residency program’s director.
Medical schools and providers across the country are diversifying and expanding their training programs to ensure young doctors are more prepared for the challenges they may face in practice, including courses in everything from wilderness training to electronic health records to virtual reality.
Experts are calling for additional training in treating different types of patients, including transgender people.
And additional training isn’t just for up-and-coming doctors. Research suggests that ongoing training is useful for older physicians as well, who can benefit from practice to keep their skills sharp and training on new technologies.