EM Clerkship Objectives

Objectives for the Dalhousie Medical School Clerkship (Years 3 and 4)

Level Two: Med 3 & 4 Objectives

Goal Statement:

By the end of the clerkship, a Dalhousie medical student will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to successfully enter any residency program.

Key Objectives for the Clerkship:

By the end of the clerkship the student will be able to competently:

  1. Conduct a clinical interview that includes effective verbal and nonverbal communication and results in the obtaining of complete, accurate data appropriate to any clinical situation. (SC1a, SC1c, SC2a, SC4a)
  2. Conduct a clinical examination of patients of all ages and interpret the findings. (SC1a, SC2a)
  3. Demonstrate clinical problem solving skills, including the ability to diagnose and initially manage with supervision, common acute and chronic illnesses. (SC2b, SC2d, SC3a-g; LLL1, LLL5; P3, P5; CC4)
  4. Communicate effectively, orally and in writing, including recording in the patient chart, writing orders, presenting cases, prescribing, sending referrals, and summarizing patient care and recommendations. (SC1b-d, SC4a-b; P1-2)
  5. Describe the indications for and methods used in common diagnostic investigations and interventional procedures and interpret the results. (SC2c-d; SC3c, SC4a-b; P2, P5)
  6. Demonstrate competence in patient education regarding strategies for health promotion and disease and injury prevention. (SC1a-c, SC1f, SC3b, SC3d, SC3g, SC4a; CC1-3; P2, P4)
  7. Demonstrate the attitudes and professional behaviors appropriate for clinical practice. (SC4a; P1-7)
  8. Identify and use appropriate sources of information to support the delivery of patient care. (SC4c; LLL1, LLL3, LLL6)
  9. Communicate and collaborate effectively as a member of an interprofessional team. (SC1c-d)

Level Three: Emergency Medicine Clerkship Unit Objectives

Goal Statement:

By the end of the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Unit, a Dalhousie medical student will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to successfully perform an organized targeted history and physical exam on patients presenting to the ED with undifferentiated complaints in order to formulate differential diagnoses, including an initial investigation plan subsequent to accurately and succinctly presenting and documenting the history, physical exam, investigations, management plan and discharge instructions.

Key Objectives for the Unit:

By the end of the clerkship the student will be able to:

  1. Apply clinical knowledge to recognize and prioritize life- and limb-threatening illnesses and perform preliminary assessment (“sick” vs. “not sick”) of undifferentiated emergency patients. (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)
  2. Formulate a differential diagnosis for the presenting condition, listing the four most likely diagnoses and four “can’t miss” diagnoses. (2.1, 2.3)
  3. Formulate an initial investigation plan based on a tentative differential diagnosis. (2.3)
  4. Describe and safely perform (independently) the following procedures, while minimizing patient risks and discomforts. (2.3)
    1. Phlebotomy
    2. Arterial blood gas
    3. Placement of an intravenous catheter
    4. Insertion of a Foley catheter
    5. Lead placement for ECG
    6. Open a minor procedure tray and don gloves using sterile technique
    7. Infiltrate a simple laceration with local anesthetic
    8. Repair of minor laceration with simple interrupted sutures
  5. Use effective, non-judgmental and empathetic communication to establish a positive therapeutic relationship with patients and their families and effectively communicate discharge instructions to patients in an understandable fashion. (2.4)
  6. Identify how risk factors in patients based on the broader determinants of health impact and contribute to the presentation of patients to the ED. (2.6)
  1. Discuss how preventative care and health promotion is integrated into emergency care and practice these concepts in the care of patients (e.g. injury prevention). (2.6)
  2. Relate the role of the ED in the health care system, the role of the EM Physicians within that system, the indications for consultation in the ED and the role of other health professionals in the ED. (2.8)
  3. Develop and practice the professional behaviours and collaborative relationships required to work effectively in partnership with other professionals to provide patient care within the unique environment of a busy ED. (2.7, 2.9)
  4. Describe and discuss the concept of triage. (2.1. 2.3, 2.8)
  5. Describe the factors that determine if a patient can be safely discharged home including severity of acute medical illness, comorbidities, cognition and supports. (2.2, 2.3)

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