Message from the Program Director

Portrait of Dr. Sean Geary

Welcome to the Albany Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency. Congratulations on your interest in a career as an emergency physician, and thank you for your interest in our program.

You might say that I know Albany Medical Center well. I spent a decade at Albany Medical Center leading up to my time as Program Director. I completed my emergency medicine residency and surgical critical care fellowship here. I also spent two years as one of our program’s Assistant Program Directors before becoming Program Director in 2020.

We endeavor to create an experience where residents learn all elements needed to be exceptional emergency physicians practicing in any environment, while providing individualized opportunities to explore more focused elements of emergency medicine. We do so through an atmosphere of professionalism, education, and mentorship.

Take a minute to read the letters below from my colleagues, Dr. Pauze, our Department Chair, and our Chief Residents. They do a phenomenal job highlighting some of the most exciting features of our training program.

I also want to highlight a few of my favorite aspects of our residency program. One of the most important aspects of an emergency medicine residency program is the engagement of residents in developing and bettering their training. To this end, we have monthly steering meetings to solicit resident feedback and actively engage residents in improving their education and work environment. Along with this theme, each class participates in a quality improvement project to improve the program for years to come. Some of the recent advances have included redesigning our eye room for improved patient care, scheduling changes based on resident feedback such as early sign out the night before conference to allow for a full night of sleep, and exchanging the NICU rotation for an orthopedics rotation.

In addition to flexibility and feedback, I am proud of our educational experience outside the emergency department. Over 75 percent of our conferences are led by attendings. We also have regular visits to our advanced simulation lab and cadaver lab where residents can practice some of emergency medicine's most life-saving, intense procedures in controlled environments.

Finally, resident wellness is a top priority. From scheduled days off as a class for relationship building, to resident families for built-in support, to a weekly farm share of fresh produce from our local farms, our residents are happy, rested, and engaged in the community in meaningful ways.

Please explore our program, check out our video, and email our program coordinator Kara Giglia ([email protected]) to get on the list for our digital recruiting packet. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sean P. Geary, MD
Emergency Medicine Program Director
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Surgical Critical Care

Message from the Department Chair

Portrait of Dr. Denis Pauze

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Emergency Medicine. Founded in 1837, Albany Medical College is one of the nation's oldest medical schools and enjoys the benefits of an established role in the community with a wide network of alumni around the world, while continuing to adopt new practices in health care and education to stay on the leading edge in today’s modern world. Emergency Medicine has had full departmental status since 1985; our residency program was established in 1988 and has a longstanding and proud tradition of educational and scholarly achievement. Some highlights of our program include:

Our Faculty
More than half of our faculty are fellowship trained in subspecialties, including toxicology, research, critical care medicine, acute resuscitation, pediatric emergency medicine, emergency medical services, ultrasound, administration, simulation, and sports medicine. We have one of the largest emergency medicine-critical care groups in the U.S., with dual faculty appointments in surgical and medical critical care. Our faculty are also active on the international front, having worked or taught in China, Romania, Haiti, Iraq, Qatar, Peru, New Zealand, Antarctica, the Arctic, and various countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Facilities
Albany Medical Center has a high acuity Emergency Department offering a robust clinical environment for the training of tomorrow’s emergency medicine physicians. We have the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and the region's only Pediatric Emergency Department. We have 24/7 social work coverage, dedicated respiratory therapists, and experienced trauma nurses. Our Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center provides a safe and controlled environment for simulation-based training.

Our Curriculum
Our faculty and residents are constantly evaluating, adjusting, and reassessing our curriculum as part of a continuous quality improvement process. Resident input is incorporated at every level. Our curriculum includes pediatric exposure on a longitudinal basis throughout all three years of residency, integrated ultrasound including point of care echocardiography, and critical care incorporated into ED shifts side-by-side with emergency medicine-critical care attendings in addition to "upstairs" rotations. Residents also participate in a monthly cadaver lab and in simulations customized for all levels of emergency medicine trainees. Our longitudinal EMS curriculum includes medical control, education, and event coverage. Our community service programs include pipeline programs for students traditionally underrepresented in medicine, camps for kids with complex medical needs, and support of various community organizations promoting health and wellbeing.

Our Culture
Our supportive culture is based on our core values:

  • Academic and clinical excellence
  • Kindness, goodness, compassion, and caring
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusivity for all
  • Integrity, innovation, tenacity, resilience, and grit

I hope you find your visit to these pages to be useful and informative. Be well.

Denis R. Pauzé, MD
Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
Albany Medical College
Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Message from the Chief Residents

Hello EM Enthusiasts!

Thank you for your interest in our program! We are so proud and excited to be your chiefs for the upcoming year. We are made up of a hard-working, supportive group of residents and would like to share that with you.

Our training at Albany Medical Center is unparalleled. Our department serves a wide catchment area and therefore a vastly diverse population. From day one, we see medically complex, sick patients. We are procedurally competent early in our career and are respected in our off service rotations in terms of our ability to take care of the sick and perform critical procedures. We enjoy learning from each other and from our multidisciplinary fellowship trained faculty. We also continue to be the busiest Level 1 trauma center in the state of New York and see a mix of blunt and penetrating trauma on a regular basis. When you leave, you will be able to take care of the sickest patient in any department, academic, community, or rural.

Equally as important is the atmosphere of our program. We have met our closest friends here, and graduates have continued to be lifelong friends. We have the privilege to work alongside people who are more than just our colleagues, but our biggest supporters.

The Department
Due to the vast area we service in northeastern New York State and western New England and our New York State designation as a Level 1 adult Trauma Center and newly minted Level 1 pediatric Trauma Center, our residents are exposed to an exceptionally wide variety of interesting pathologies and care for more patients with traumatic injuries than any other hospital in New York.

Our adult Emergency Department has more than 70 beds, four trauma bays, two resuscitation bays, a psychiatric zone, a fast track for lower-acuity cases and an observation unit. Our pediatric Emergency Department has 34 beds, two trauma bays, and a dedicated procedure and orthopedic room; we also have the only children’s hospital in our region. Our imaging capabilities include six bedside ultrasound machines, two CT scanners, an orthopedic fluoroscopy machine as well as MRI accessibility. Our Emergency Department team includes emergency and pediatric Emergency Medicine attendings, advanced practice providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, technicians, social workers, support staff, and residents, twelve in each year.

Our Program's Structure
Whether you are considering pursuing a fellowship, remaining in academia, or joining a community practice, Albany Medical Center’s three-year residency program excels at developing well-rounded, competent Emergency Medicine physicians. Our residents spend a substantial portion of time in the adult and pediatric Emergency departments, and during PGY-1, they complete rotations in orthopedics, anesthesia, ultrasound, and labor and delivery. During PGY-1 and PGY-2, they complete four-week rotations in the medical, surgical, cardiac, and pediatric intensive care units as well as in toxicology. In PGY-3, they participate in a four-week community medicine rotation at Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs, NY, which is part of the Albany Medical Health System. They also participate in four-week emergency medical services and administration rotations. In addition, there are two- and four-week elective rotations in PGY-2 and PGY-3, respectively, which allow residents to explore their specific interests. Ample opportunities also exist for moonlighting both internally starting in second year and externally beginning in third year provided you meet a minimum standard on the in-service exam. We also have ACGME-accredited fellowship programs in ultrasound, EMS, and surgical critical care as well as non-ACGME accredited fellowships in administration, and resuscitation and emergency critical care. And finally, moonlighting is available internally as a PGY-2 and externally as a PGY-3. These experiences range from moonlighting in a resident role to being an attending at critical access sites in the region.

We have protected educational time dedicated to our conference and didactic sessions weekly. We practice procedures and run simulation cases in our cadaver lab and simulation center. Our journal clubs occur every month at restaurants and attendings’ homes, during which we discuss articles while enjoying food, drinks and good conversation; children and dogs are always welcome! There are also ample opportunities for research, quality improvement, volunteering, advocacy, and leadership both within the institution and within the community to suit whatever your interests may be.

Our department offers funds for research and attendance at regional and national conferences. In PGY-2, we attend sessions of the New York chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) at a beautiful resort on the shores of the stunning Lake George, just 45 minutes away, and in PGY-3, we attend national ACEP. During PGY-2 and PGY-3, we experience a highlight of our program: assuming the role of the medical command physician for the Regional Emergency Medical Organization (REMO), an emergency medical service system of six counties in the Capital Region of New York State. This also gives us the opportunity to practice event medicine at a local sports arena as part of the REMO experience.

Our faculty is second to none. They come from both academic and community backgrounds. An exceptional number of attendings are fellowship-trained in various subspecialties of Emergency Medicine, including surgical, medical and anesthesia critical care, toxicology and addiction medicine, ultrasound, pre-hospital medicine, sports medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, research, resuscitation, and administration. They also have valuable experiences in education, international medicine, and wilderness medicine. Furthermore, our attendings hold positions in leadership, including the President and CEO and the Director of Graduate Medical Education. We value our friendly relationships with our attendings, regularly enjoying post-overnight brunches, post-evening wings, and hiking and skiing together.

We value wellness at our program. Our residents are divided into “families” consisting of one PGY-1, PGY-2 and PGY-3 to cultivate mentorship, then combined families into “houses” to foster friendly competition throughout the year. Each family rotates coordinating a monthly wellness event, such pumpkin carving or an outing at a restaurant, for all the residents. In the early fall, we replace a conference with Wellness Day, which in the most recent years has been an attending vs resident paintball match. Moreover, time off is valued and each class has a dedicated day each half of the year for a class retreat. We also have close relationships with our nurses and advanced practice providers, and together created an Emergency Department wellness group, which coordinates get-togethers and celebrations with one of our nurses hosting a welcome BBQ each year.

Thank you, again, for your interest in our Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Please be in touch and reach out with any questions you may have. Congratulations on your decision to join the professional community of emergency physicians! We wish you all the best with your interview season and Match Day!

Melissa Gerfin, DO
Caleb Herrick, MD
Rachel Leavitt, DO
Mica Scalia, MD
Chief Residents 2023-2024
Department of Emergency Medicine
Albany Medical Center