Distribution of Clinical Rotations Among Emergency Medicine Residency Programs in the United States
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Introduction: There are over 200 emergency medicine (EM) residency programs in the United States. While there are basic criteria defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), there can be significant variation between programs with regard to rotation distribution. Therefore, it would be valuable to have a benchmark for programs to understand their rotation mix in the context of the national landscape. This study aimed to provide a breakdown of the length and percentage of EM residency programs with each clinical rotation in the United States. This study also sought to examine trends and changes in EM residency programs since 1986. Methods: A list of all current EM residency programs was obtained using the ACGME website. All program websites were reviewed, and data were independently dual extracted by two investigators with discrepancies resolved by consensus with a third investigator. Programs without curricular data available online were queried via e-mail for the data. Programs were separated into 3- versus 4-year lengths. Mean, standard deviation, and range were calculated for each rotation. Results: A total of 200 of 202 programs (99%) had data available. Of these programs, 84.5% had a dedicated pediatric EM rotation with mean length of 9.7 weeks among 3-year programs and 12.1 weeks among 4-year programs. A total of 88% had a dedicated ultrasound rotation, 60% had a dedicated toxicology rotation, 73.5% had a dedicated emergency medical services rotation, 74% had a dedicated orthopedics rotation, 60% had a dedicated administration rotation, 29% had a dedicated research rotation, and 95% had dedicated elective time. Discussion: This study provides summative data regarding the rotation distribution among EM programs in the United States. Compared with prior data, there is less time dedicated to internal medicine rotations and increased pediatric, trauma, ultrasound, toxicology, and critical care experiences. These data will inform current and new EM residency programs when determining rotation selection.