Emergency Medicine Residency Curriculum Overview 

To provide an appropriate introduction to the Emergency Department, Albany Medical Center, and the practice of emergency medicine, all first-year residents begin training with a month-long orientation. This includes formal didactic and practical laboratory sessions on foundational clinical and administrative topics, in addition to an abbreviated clinical schedule of 10-13 shifts. On these orientation shifts PGY1s are paired with a co-intern, as well as an extra senior resident to aid the PGY1s in department flow. ACLS, ATLS, and PALS certifications are completed during orientation.

First-year residents focus on developing a strong background in emergency medicine and critical care. After orientation, first year residents spend seven four-week blocks in the Emergency Department, with an additional block dedicated to Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Inpatient rotations include four weeks each in Medical Intensive Care and Surgical Intensive Care. First year residents also complete two-week blocks in Anesthesia, Obstetrics, Ultrasound, and Orthopedic Consult Coverage. PGY1 Residents have 4 EMS shifts integrated into their EM blocks throughout the year. PGY 1 residents work an average 20 shifts per four-week block. During EM blocks, all residents work nine-hour shifts with eight hours of direct patient care and one hour for wrap up and patient sign out. Four weeks of dedicated vacation are integrated into the ED blocks.

Second-year residents spend most of their time in the Emergency Department in the high acuity A zone, managing critically ill medical and trauma patients. This is made up of 10 blocks in the Emergency Department which each contain approximately 2-3 pediatric shifts in a longitudinal fashion. PGY 2 residents work on average 19 shifts per four-week block. Four weeks of dedicated vacation time are integrated into the ED blocks. Inpatient rotations include rotations in the Cardiac Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care Units. Additional 2-week rotations provide experience in Toxicology and the opportunity for a selective in areas such as critical care, EMS, toxicology, and sports medicine at the resident's discretion. Residents are encouraged to join or initiate a research project during their second year. The second-year class is supported for a trip to a state-level meeting.

The knowledge and experience gained in the first two years culminates in a progression of leadership to teach junior residents and medical students. The third year is made up of 10 blocks in the Emergency Department,  which each contain approximately 2-3 pediatric shifts in a longitudinal fashion. Third-year residents have one dedicated Community Emergency Medicine block at Saratoga Hospital where they enjoy a large degree of autonomy while working alongside emergency medicine-trained attendings in a community practice setting. Additional two week blocks of EMS and Administration are included in this year, as well as a 4-week elective block of the resident’s choosing. Popular electives include Toxicology, Radiology, International Emergency Medicine, and Research. PGY-3 residents work on average 18 shifts per four-week block. Four weeks of dedicated vacation time are integrated into the ED blocks. The third-year class is supported for a trip to a national meeting (usually the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Scientific Assembly).

YearBlock 1Block 2Block 3Block 4Block 5Block 6Block 7Block 8Block 9Block 10Block 11Block 12Block 13
PGY-1EM OrientationEM/VacationEMPeds EMEM/VacationEMOB-UltrasoundEM/VacationEMMICUEM/VacationSICUAnesthesia-Ortho
PGY-3EM/VacationEMCommunity EMEM/VacationEMEMEM/VacationEMS - AdminEMEM/VacationElectiveEMEM

Conference occurs every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This time is completely protected for all residents on EM blocks. Residents on off service blocks have at least two hours of protected conference time each week. Included in conference time are monthly steering meetings to address issues that are important to our residents.

We have an 18-month block system conference schedule. During each block residents are assigned readings from the textbook of their choosing and Rosh Review questions (provided by the residency) to help facilitate deeper learning and interaction with the material. During these system blocks, hands-on skills sessions and SIMs in the SIM center are targeted toward the system being covered.

Adult Emergency Department
As the only academic medical center in northeastern New York, we serve not only as the primary hospital for our urban center but as the referral center and only Level 1 Trauma Center for over three million people. The Department of Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical Center sees over 80,000 visits per year, with an admission rate of 34 percent.

This includes over 4,500 trauma activations making us the busiest trauma center in the state of New York. Our department has a 70-bed main department, currently divided into four zones (A, B, C and D), and a ten bed fast-track (E). The main department has two dedicated trauma bays for initial stabilization and management of trauma patients which includes overhead radiography, in suite X-ray development and dedicated CT scanner.

After initial stabilization patients are moved from the trauma bays to other rooms on the A side to keep the trauma bays open and ready. The B side has two dedicated medical resuscitation rooms, and a dedicated eye room. There are three dedicated X-ray rooms and two dedicated CT scanners located within the department to expedite patient care. Eight point of care ultrasound machines are available for resident use throughout the department.

Pediatric Emergency Department
The Massry Family Children's Emergency Center, the only one in northeastern New York and western New England, is located adjacent to but physically separate from the adult ED and provides a specialized environment where children and teenagers are tended to by experts in pediatric emergency medicine. The department houses 34 pediatric beds. This includes two dedicated pediatric trauma bays and one dedicated pediatric medical resuscitation room.

Intensive Care Units
Residents spend two months in the first year (MICU and SICU) and two months in the second year (CCU and PICU) on off-service rotations in the intensive care units in the hospital. Albany Medical Center is home to a multitude of intensive care and intermediate care beds:

  • Surgical and Neuroscience ICU - 30 beds
  • Medical ICU - 15 beds
  • Cardiac Care Unit - 16 beds
  • Pediatric ICU - 19 beds
  • Cardiac and Vascular Surgery ICU - 12 beds
  • Neonatal ICU - 60 bassinets
  • Medical/Surgical Intermediate Care - 17 beds
  • Neuroscience Intermediate Care - 28 beds
  • Pediatric Intermediate Care - 10 beds

The Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center (PSCCC) at Albany Medical College allows residents to develop diagnostic and clinical skills in immersive simulated medical scenarios reinforcing what they learn in their clinical practice.