Structure and Curriculum

Learn more about the structure of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program by year and the curriculum, including educational goals and objectives.


First Year

The first year begins with an orientation, including ACLS, PALS, and ATLS courses. The four blocks in the Parkland Hospital’s ED, 1.5 blocks in Children’s Healthâ„   Children’s Medical Center's ED, several critical care rotations and other off-service experiences are carefully designed to furnish important clinical background pertinent to the practice of emergency medicine. We have a graduated EM intern orientation and a special EM intern conference series scheduled each month to provide didactic and hands-on workshops to assist the intern in gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to practice emergency medicine at the resident level.

In the Parkland ED, each intern has their own upper-level resident and EM attending who provide close supervision, guidance, and clinical teaching. There are approximately 18-20 shifts each block during the PGY-1 year.

Second Year

The second year residents have a significant increase in autonomy and responsibility in the Parkland Hospital ED under the very close supervision and guidance of their own attending. The clinical environment that includes a large volume of underserved patients provided an unparalleled opportunity to further develop the clinical skills required to practice emergency medicine. There is an average of 18-21 shifts each block in the Parkland ED during the PGY-2 year. Each shift is 10 hours with 2 hours of overlap in between.

This year includes a longitudinal experience in pediatric EM in which these residents have several shifts in the ED at Children’s Medical Center embedded into their Parkland ED rotation. There are other opportunities to further enhance their ability to care for the critically ill.

The second year experience is rounded off by a selective rotation in which these residents briefly rotate at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and have two weeks to design their own elective based on their interest and experience. Residents also receive special training in pre-hospital care and are given multiple opportunities to do online medical direction and handle transfer calls from community emergency physicians requesting a higher level of care.

Third Year

During the third year, residents refine all of the skills acquired during the second year of training. They assume administrative responsibility for the ED, including patient flow and patient care. EM skills are polished in five other community rotation sites around the DFW area to help supplement the County EM experience at Parkland Hospital. Management techniques and patient care skills are maximized during this year. PGY-3 work an average of 16-19 shifts each block in the Parkland ED. Each shift is 10 hours with 2 hours of overlap in between. Senior residents are required to do a scholarly activity and performance improvement project by the completion of their training.

The EM curriculum is divided into 39 blocks (each 4 weeks long) and includes rotations in the Emergency Department as well as other locations.  The three-year curriculum provides an exciting, effective, and logical pathway for emergency medicine training.

A conference series which covers the core content of emergency medicine, journal clubs, grand rounds, and several interactive small group discussions and simulations complete the curriculum. The result is a well-rounded, very knowledgeable, and clinically competent individual who is capable of practicing emergency medicine in any clinical environment and is highly recruited from EM physician groups around the country. 

Clinical Curriculum


PGY-1 Year (4 of 13 blocks are EM):

  • Parkland EM (3 blocks) 4 blocks
  • Pediatric EM at Children's (2 blocks)
  • Trauma (1 block)
  • VA MICU (1 block)
  • Toxicology (1/2 block)
  • Clements (1/2 block)
  • Labor & Delivery (1/2 block)
  • Ob/Gyn (1/2 block)
  • Adult Anesthesia (3 weeks)
  • Pediatric Anesthesia (1 week)
  • Emergency Ultrasound/Radiology imaging (1 block)
  • Burn ICU (1/2 block)
  • Neuro ICU (1/2 block)

PGY-2 Year (8 of 13 blocks are EM):

  • Parkland EM and Pediatric EM at Children's (8 blocks)
    • Children's EM2
    • Parkland EM2
  • Trauma (1 block)
  • Pediatric ICU (1/2 block)
  • Neonatal ICU (1/2 block)
  • MICU (1 block)
  • Plastic Surgery (2 Weeks)
  • SICU (2 weeks)
  • Clements/Selective (1 block)

PGY-3 Year (11 of 13 blocks are EM):

  • Parkland EM and Pediatric EM at Children's (7 blocks)
    • Children's EM3
  • Teaching Resident for Parkland EM (1 block)
  • Trauma/Community EM (1 block)
  • Community/Rural/Trauma EM (2 blocks)
    • Methodist Hospital ER
    • THR Presbyterian Hospital ER
    • Medical City Dallas Hospital ER
    • THR Hunt Regional
    • THR Harris Methodist Fort Worth
  • Elective (2 blocks)

Residency Conference

The weekly conference at UT Southwestern Medical Center consists of a teaching lecture series, practical lab sessions (e.g., airway, resuscitation skills, ultrasound, hand, suture, cadaver), simulation training, oral board review, small group discussions, continuous quality improvement and continuous quality review conferences, and a special educational series for radiology, ECGs, and evidence-based medicine. PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents are required to give a 30 minute “resident grand rounds” presentation at the conference each year.

Our weekly residency conference is only 4 hours as the residents have the flexibility to complete their 5th hour of the conference through asynchronous learning and are given a wide variety of educational opportunities to meet their individual learning needs.

Our grand rounds is once a month and are given by some of the most well-known educators in emergency medicine such as Dr. Peter Rosen, Dr. Judith Tintinalli, Dr. Jeff Klein, and Dr. Amal Mattu. Our journal club is the evening before at a local restaurant where our grand rounds speaker is our guest faculty discussant and has the opportunity to spend a nice evening in a more social setting with our EM faculty and residents. Lastly, there is a 30-minute board review session before every Thursday conference until the day of the in-service examination in February. 

How to Apply

The Emergency Medicine Residency Program accepts applications through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). We participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), and it will be necessary for you to participate.

The following MUST be submitted through ERAS to complete the application process:

  • ERAS application form
  • Dean’s letter
  • Official medical school transcript
  • USMLE and/or COMLEX: Candidates should pass USMLE Steps 1 and 2 on the first attempt. Although there are no minimum scores required, candidates with above average scores (225 or more) will be more competitive for the residency. 
  • Three letters of recommendation - at least one of these MUST be from emergency medicine faculty and be recorded on the Council of Residency Directors Recommendation (CORD) form
  • A recent passport-style photograph  

Following a review of the application materials, select candidates will be invited to participate in the interview process. This UT Southwestern program will participate in the NRMP match process for matriculation.

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International Medical Graduates

We accept applications from international medical graduates (and U.S. graduates) only through ERAS. Our Residency Program is very competitive and receives more than 1,000 applications for each new class of 22 trainees. Last year we interviewed more than 200 candidates. 

As you consider applying to our Emergency Medicine Residency Program, please be advised of the following:

  • You must be certified by the ECFMG.
  • We accept non-U.S. citizen applicants only with ECFMG-sponsored J-1 visas for residency training at UT Southwestern. We do not sponsor or accept H-1B or O-1 visa applicants for residency training. Further information is available through the University’s International Office.
  • You must be eligible for a Postgraduate Training Permit from the State of Texas to train here. Information is available from the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Candidates must pass USMLE Steps 1 and 2 on the first attempt. Candidates with scores of 220 or greater will be more competitive for the residency.  

There are no restrictions on year of graduation. Medical training in the United States is not a requirement; however, candidates with prior medical training in the United States will be more competitive for the residency.

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