Residency Frequently Asked Questions
- The emergency departments. Our broad base of training is founded in the Williams P. Clements, Jr. University Hospital, the Parkland Hospital, and the Children's Medical Center Dallas emergency departments, which together triage over 240,000 adults and children annually. Additionally, we train in four community training sites, providing our residents with the experience they need to successfully work in any environment. For each shift, our attending to resident ratio is either one attending to two residents or one to one.
- Acuity. Over one of every four patients treated in the Parkland emergency department is admitted. Similarly, the acuity of patient care in the Children’s Medical Center Dallas emergency department is very high. Our residents perform resuscitations every shift. The acuity of the Clements University Hospital emergency department is 45%.
- Pediatric emergency medicine. 29 pediatric emergency medicine board-certified faculty, as well as many of the adult emergency medicine faculty, supervise all our resident patient care in one of the busiest pedatric emergency departments in the country which was the first of three Level 1 pediatric trauma centers in Texas. Residents have an unusually strong opportunity to perform resuscitations, procedures, procedural sedations, and more.
- Medical toxicology. 15 board-certified or board-prepared toxicology faculty supervise the busy toxicology service, including the very popular Medical Toxicology rotation for our residents. In addition, residents have the opportunity to take calls for the North Texas Poison Control center.
- Emergency medical services and disaster medicine. Nine Emergency Medicine faculty have special interest in this exciting area of Emergency Medicine, and provide lectures and training often. Opportunities in ground and air transport are available. Residents can teach in nationally-accredited EMS education programs. Residents also participate in disaster response efforts locally. During Hurricane Katrina, residents helped treat the more than 8,000 patients seen in our faculty-supervised medical unit at the Dallas Convention Center. Our EMS division receives over one million dollars in grants to provide training in disaster education through the National Disaster Life Support Program.
- Grants and research. Our faculty are principal investigators on nearly $17 million in grants, including two NIH centers. One focuses on resuscitation research and the other on burn research.
- Fellowships. Currently, our program offers fellowship opportunities in Clinical Ultrasound, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency & Disaster Global Health, Emergency Medical Services, Hyperbaric Medicine, Medical Education in Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Simulation-Based Medical Education. We are lucky to have faculty leaders in each field who provide unparalleled mentorship and resources.
- Event medicine. There are multiple opportunities for residents to participate in event medicine, including providing emergency medicine support for the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, and Stars, concert venues, and the Texas Motor Speedway.
- Electives. There are a number of scheduled elective blocks, including an expense-paid two month away rotation in international medicine in New Zealand in the EM3 year.
The emergency departments at our clinical sites are some of the highest-volume emergency treatment facilities in the country. Each triages over 110,000 patients annually. By triaging minor and low risk complaints to clinics in the facility, the emergency departments oversee a large volume of high-acuity patients resulting in an excellent educational experience for our residents. Parkland Hospital's emergency department encompasses more than 120,000 square feet containing 122 bed spaces, including 14 fully monitored critical care beds. 86 of those beds are handled by our residents. Parkland is a Level I Trauma center and Burn Center. Children’s Medical Center Dallas is a pediatric tertiary care referral center and the one of three Level I pediatric trauma centers in the Southwest. These state-of-the-art facilities are dynamic emergency centers that provide our residents with a patient-driven learning experience and a clinical practice that is unparalleled.
UT Southwestern prides itself on the diverse nature of its residents and staff. Our residents enjoy the challenge of a busy shift and take personal satisfaction in serving a diverse patient population. Those who are self-motivated can progress in their learning quickly, while those needing more supervision will find the faculty readily available and always willing to guide. Our current residents take an active role in the recruiting and applicant interview process and value both a strong work ethic and laid back personality in a co-resident.
First year residents generally join an upper-level resident on one of four teams staffing the emergency department. However, each resident (intern or upper-level resident) will typically work directly with attending faculty when providing patient care, thus capitalizing on the ability to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to practice emergency medicine at the resident level.
The second-year focus is on emergency medicine and critical care, generally taking the majority of trauma and medically unstable patients. The resident leads a patient care team in the emergency department. As the year progresses, the resident's responsibilities for patient care will progress as well.
During the third year, residents assume more responsibility for managing patient flow in the emergency department, and take on a larger teaching role for interns and medical students. Management techniques and patient care skills are maximized during this year. The PGY-3 has independent medical command with the UT Southwestern/Parkland BioTel EMS System and accepts transfer calls for patients from other hospitals. In addition, third year residents have multiple community emergency department rotations where they gain exposure to the different practice models and patient populations.
The time spent in the emergency department at each of our clinical sites varies based on the year of residency.
- PGY-1: 200 hours. Shift number varies depending on staffing. 11-hour shifts generally scheduled 9a-8p and 10p-9a with one hour of overlap for sign-out.
- PGY-2: 190 hours. 17-19 shifts, 14-16 if vacation block.
- PGY-3: 180 hours: 14-17 shifts, 12-14 if vacation block.
- PGY-2/PGY-3 consist of overlapping 10-hour shifts. The 10-hour circadian rhythm schedule has a built in 2-hour overlap to improve sign out. The shift times are 6a-4p, 2p-12a, and 10p-8a. Each year residents have three weeks of vacation.
We offer six weeks of training in the Children's Medical Center Dallas emergency department during in the PGY-1 year. Approximately 3-4 shifts of each emergency medicine block are spent at Children's Medical Center Dallas during the PGY-2 (10 hour shifts) and PGY-3 years (9 hour shifts). Also, PGY-2 residents act as integral team members of the Pediatric ICU for one block and Neonatal ICU for 1/2 block.
Pre-hospital training is definitely a strength of our program. These training opportunities include but are not limited to:
- UT Southwestern/Parkland BioTel EMS System. This Parkland-based command center provides our residents with online medical control for the Dallas EMS and multiple suburban EMS systems.
- Dallas Fire and Rescue Department. This relationship provides our residents an opportunity to be on the sidelines with paramedics at a number of Dallas professional sporting events.
- Many other department-based active disaster response, governmental emergency medical security, and tactical medicine programs in partnership with the UT Southwestern Department of Emergency Medicine and Parkland BioTel EMS System.
Teaching is an integral part of our program's training curriculum. Residents will assume teaching roles in the internship year (via the weekly conference) and this responsibility grows throughout the residency. As a PGY-2, the second year resident is the senior resident in each "pod," and is responsible for assisting and guiding lower-level residents. By the third year, residents will play a major role in the teaching conferences. The residency also offers a very unique rotation; each third year resident serves as teaching resident for one block and is responsible for the medical students rotating in the emergency department. Additionally, residents may opt to do a medical education selective.
UT Southwestern is active in research and publishes multiple original articles, posters, abstracts, and book chapters per year. It is amazing to be taught in the emergency department by the same people who are leading researchers in their specific areas of Emergency Medicine. For the past few years, residents have gotten into small groups and designed research projects together, many of which have been accepted for presentation at state-wide and national conferences. Residents have an opportunity to design a research month for an elective and spend focused time on a research project lead by any one of our department faculty. Emergency Medicine faculty are principal investigators currently on nearly $17 million in grants.
Residents partake in a “360 degree” evaluation program, both providing and receiving evaluations from faculty, peers, nursing, and support staff. The addition of this constructive feedback program across all levels of the department has been a great success.
Our residents are employed by Parkland Hospital. Residents receive biweekly payments of their house staff salary with standard yearly increases for inflation. Our program salary is well known as one of the best in the country. Combined with an excellent cost of living in Texas and no state income tax, this leads to a comfortable lifestyle for residents of all backgrounds.
In addition, Medical/Dental/Vision plans exist and as well as a great retirement plan that will match your contributions 1:1 up to a set limit. For specifics on the salary and benefits see the Parkland GME homepage.
Parkland employs multiple ultrasound-specific faculty that implement ultrasound labs throughout the year. These faculty also work especially with interns during their one-month ultrasound rotation. Our residents routinely use ultrasound for invasive procedures including central lines, paracentesis, peripheral IVs, arterial lines, and regional nerve blocks. Residents use ultrasound regularly during shift and receive real-time feedback regarding accuracy of exams.
We hold monthly journal club meetings to critically appraise recent journal articles applicable to emergency medicine. These are usually held at a restaurant or faculty member’s house. We also host a monthly podcast club at faculty members' homes where we discuss the most recent EMRAP over dinner and drinks. The residents also make Facebook groups where gatherings and events are posted and shared with everyone. We are welcoming family that is always looking to grow and add more members. Faculty will also often host get-togethers for everyone to partake in, including flag football, pool volleyball, bowling, and more.
*Note: the majority of these in-person activities have been suspended for the time being given the COVID-19 pandemic but are still being held virtually.