Course ID: MED 997BG
Discipline:  Surgery
Prerequisites:  Year 4 standing
Available Sites:  Saginaw
Duration: 4 weeks


The purpose of the EMS rotation is to provide the medical student with a broad experience in the delivery of health care in the prehospital setting.  They will also develop understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the prehospital care team including dispatchers, first responders, EMTs, paramedics and EMS Physicians.  They will become familiar with the challenges of caring for patients in an uncontrolled, dynamic environment. 

Key Objectives

  • Understand the care of medical and trauma patients before their arrival to the emergency department
  • Formulate an appropriate differential diagnosis and management plan for prehospital patients
  • Develop a core of knowledge about the medical body of knowledge of prehospital emergency medicine
  • Obtain a focused history and physical examination in a prehospital patient with an undifferentiated illness or injury 
  • Recognize seriously ill patients and how to treat immediate life threats
  • Learn skills essential to the general practice of prehospital emergency medicine
  • Discuss ways in which modifications to the existing EMS system could assist in meeting the health care needs of the medically underserved populations.
  • Evaluate patient care practices and understand and explore how these will be affected by the dynamic and uncontrolled prehospital environment
  • Develop a deeper understanding of a focused EMS topic, examine how this applies to the student and the system, develop a plan for integration of any necessary changes, and share these findings with the EMS office (the end of rotation presentation).
  • Understand how prehospital clinical information is presented to receiving facilities
  • Participate in the presentation of clinical information to receiving facilities
  • Describe and understand EMS system design and function
  • Understand how physician medical directors provide medical oversight to prehospital providers
  • Develop understanding of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and how this is applied to disaster situation
  • Describe the role of members of the prehospital healthcare team
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively and respectfully with patients, families, physicians, other health care professionals, and colleagues in the medical team environment and across the continuum of care
  • Interact appropriately and professionally with members of the prehospital health care team
  • Interact appropriately and professionally with patients in an uncontrolled, dynamic environment
  • Maintain professionalism in challenging and uncontrolled environments

Assessment Method

College of Medicine standard elective assessment will be completed by supervising faculty at conclusion of elective clerkship.

Scheduling Information

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