Course ID: MED 997AH
Discipline: Surgery
Prerequisites: MED 930 Emergency Medicine Core Clerkship (exception Year 3 standing at St. John Hospital and Medical Center)
Available Sites: Saginaw, Detroit (St. John Hospital and Medical Center), Detroit (St. John Providence - registration fees apply*), Midland
Duration: 4 weeks


The Emergency Medicine (EM) rotation is a unique opportunity in medical education where students can be the first to examine then develop an evaluation and treatment plan for the patient with an undifferentiated complaint. The Emergency Department (ED) has patients with complaints across all of disciplines of the medical field and requires diagnostic test interpretation of all kinds (including laboratory, ECG, and radiologic studies) as well as treatment plans in which the practitioner must be understanding of medication, procedural techniques and accessing resources from elsewhere in the medical system.

Key Objectives

  • Obtain a concise, accurate history and physical exam focused on the chief complaint 
  • Recognize immediately life-threatening conditions based on the initial complaint and assessment 
  • Develop a differential diagnosis that includes both “most likely” and “worst-case” diagnoses 
  • Develop an evaluation and treatment plan for the undifferentiated complaint, common diagnoses, and life-threatening presentations 
  • Understand the indications, costs, risks, and evidence behind commonly performed emergency department studies and procedures 
  • Present cases (to resident, attending, admitting and/or consultant physicians) in a concise and organized fashion 
  • Monitor the response to interventions and communicate findings with the treatment team 
  • Communicate effectively with patients, their family members, and emergency department personnel in ways that demonstrate respect, compassion, honesty, and collegiality 
  • Formulate disposition and follow-up plans for discharged patients with regard to their access to medical resources and available social support 
  • Provide patients and families anticipatory guidance related to presenting complaint, and assess their comprehension of discharge instructions prior to disposition 

Assessment Method

Daily shift assessments will be obtained from supervising residents or attending. These will be compiled to complete the College of Medicine standard elective assessment form.

Scheduling Information

Interested students should contact CMU College of Medicine Department of Distributed Clinical Education at

*Students who request placement at St. John Providence will be responsible to pay a registration fee of $200.  Electives at St. John Providence occur on a monthly schedule rather than a block schedule, and may require additional adjustments to fit the student’s schedule.