An Observation Medicine Curriculum for Emergency Medicine Education
Audience and type of curriculum:
This curriculum, designed and implemented at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health, primarily targets third- and fourth-year emergency medicine (EM) residents, and is an immersive observation medicine rotation that can be integrated into existing emergency medicine residency training.
Length of curriculum:
The curriculum is designed for a dedicated rotation of two weeks for senior residents and can be expanded to 4 weeks.
Observation medicine is an extension of emergency medicine and is increasingly playing a role in the delivery of acute healthcare, with over half of all observation units (OUs) in the nation being led by emergency medicine.1 Despite this, many emergency medicine residencies have yet to establish a formal observation medicine curriculum. In a 2002 study by Mace and Shah, only 10% of emergency medicine residencies had a dedicated observation medicine rotation, despite 85% of emergency medicine residency directors believing this was an important part of emergency medicine training.2 The first description of a model longitudinal observation medicine curriculum did not appear until 2016.3 In order to prepare our graduates for the evolving demands of the EM workplace, we must provide diverse educational experiences that train and showcase the expanding skill set of future emergency physicians.
The primary goal of this observation medicine curriculum is to train current EM residents in short-term acute care beyond the initial ED visit. This entails caring for patients from the time of their arrival to the OU to the point when a final disposition from the OU is determined, be it inpatient admission or discharge to home.
The educational strategies used in this curriculum include experiential learning through supervised direct patient care, independent learning based on prescribed literature, and didactic teaching.
Education content was evaluated by the learners through pre- and post-rotation surveys, as well as written attending evaluations describing the progress of the learners during the rotation.
All residents reported increases in the confidence of their abilities to perform observation care.
Observation medicine is an increasingly vital aspect of emergency medicine, but education in observation medicine has not developed in tandem with its implementation. A lack of observation medicine training represents a missed opportunity for each trainee to gain a robust understanding of the interface between inpatient and outpatient care, and how to arrive at the most appropriate disposition for ED patients. Considering the wide breadth of clinical conditions managed in OUs and the variability of OU management at various learning sites, the curriculum must be tailored to the specific unit to maximize effectiveness of the learning experience.
Observation medicine, curriculum, education, clinical rotation.