Course ID: MED 797X/997X
Discipline: Not patient care.
Prerequisites: 8 or more weeks of core clerkships.
Available Sites: Saginaw
Duration: 4 weeks


This elective rotation is a four (4) week introductory, structured clinical and simulation experience designed to provide the student experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of critically ill patients. The student will be exposed to evidence-based practices for the care of critically ill medical and trauma patients. This elective will provide students the opportunity to become certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). In addition, supervised exposure to critically ill patients in the emergency department will provide a clinical context for simulation experiences. NOTE: Course fees for ACLS and PALS apply with registration via Covenant HealthCare Simulation Center.

Key Objectives

  • Consistently apply an organized diagnostic approach to the care of critically ill patients 
  • Outline current evidence-based treatment for the following conditions: SIRS, sepsis, acute respiratory failure, ARDS, hemorrhagic shock, obstructive shock, and acute organ failure. 
  • Describe basic ventilator function, initial ventilator settings, and interventions for commonly encountered lung pathology.
  • Define the following concepts: situational awareness, shared mental model, check-back, huddle, call-out, mutual support, closed-loop communication.
  • Demonstrate competency in the following simulated procedures: Cardiac monitoring, peripheral IV placement, urinary catheterization, endotracheal intubation, central line placement, and arterial line placement.
  • Successfully complete American Heart Association ACLS certification.
  • Successfully complete American Heart Association PALS certification.
  • Participate in the resuscitation of critically ill patients.
  • Gain experience in sedation and analgesia in the critical care unit.
  • Lead resuscitation team in the care of simulated patients with various presentations of critical illness. 
  • Describe and demonstrate characteristics of high functioning medical resuscitation teams.

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