Cooper University Hospital (CUH) offers a three-year training program to prepare physicians for the practice of emergency medicine. CUH’s ED has an annual census of approximately 80,000 patients, of which 26% are pediatric patients. With a large Hispanic population in Camden, Cooper offers residents a tremendous amount of cultural diversity during residency. In addition to a large inner city patient population many patients from the surrounding suburbs are cared for in our ED. This unique patient mix provides residents tremendous learning opportunities from the diverse pathology encountered on a daily basis. Over 20% of our patients are triaged with a high acuity level and approximately 25% are admitted to the hospital, making CUH ED acuity high relative to other sites. CUH expanded the ED recently to a 42 bed state of the art facility to meet the increasing patient volume. In addition to clinical experience in the ED, residents gain clinical experience working alongside ED faculty in our urgent care centers situated in the suburbs of South Jersey.
Residents gain the basic skills and knowledge that are the foundation of emergency medicine (EM) through an established curriculum. In the clinical arena residents are provided clear graduated and progressive responsibilities per PGY year that fosters the development of educational, leadership and administrative skills set. They learn to recognize and respond to the acutely ill and injured patient while developing mature clinical judgment and the technical skills necessary for the provision of emergency medical care. The clinical and didactic experience coupled with close faculty mentoring provides each resident the training required to become outstanding EM physicians and academicians. Cooper EM graduates have been highly competitive and successful in both the community and academic setting. Many graduates have completed EM fellowships (informatics, EMS, pediatric EM, ultrasound, toxicology, sports medicine, disaster and shock research) and currently hold academic EM positions.
Over the past few years, Cooper has developed a robust resident experience in the systems based practice of EM. Residents receive significant education and feedback on billing/charting, patient satisfaction, case management, patient safety and process improvement. This education on the “business of Emergency Medicine” provides residents a tremendous skill set as they transition to independent practice.
Cooper University Hospital is a Level I Trauma Center, serving a population of 2 million in South Jersey. With over 2,200 trauma visits annually, Cooper has the busiest Level I trauma center in the state. These statistics do not include the trauma patients triaged to the ED, many of whom have significant traumatic injuries.
In addition to the clinical experience in the Cooper Hospital Emergency Department, residents spend four months total in the Emergency Department at Virtua Memorial Hospital of Burlington County during their second and third years. This busy, high-acuity community hospital ED (over 70,000 visits annually) staffed with all board-certified EM physicians, is an outstanding complement to the residents’ training at Cooper University Hospital. In this rotation, the residents see both adults and pediatric patients presenting with a wide variety of suburban injuries/illnesses.
Cooper’s EM program is able to offer residents a unique experience in EMS and Disaster Medicine. The Division of EMS/Disaster Medicine brings expertise in Emergency Medicine Services, Disaster Medicine, Air and Transport Medicine, Public Health and Weapons of Mass Destruction to provide a resource to the EM program, hospital, community, region and the State. Residents will understand the role of physicians in EMS medical direction and medical command. Residents will also learn how to protect staff and the facility, to collaborate with different organizations and agencies during the response and to provide appropriate care during mass casualty incidents.
Another unique focus at Cooper is our Pediatric Emergency Medicine Division, which has strong administrative support for high-quality emergency care and resident education. Twenty percent of our EM curriculum is focused on pediatric emergency medicine, taught by our own pediatric EM faculty. Rotations in the Pediatric Emergency Department and Pediatric ICU provide a superb foundation in the evaluation and treatment of children in the Emergency Department. You will graduate from Cooper’s program competent and comfortable seeing sick children of all ages.
Another strength at Cooper is our comprehensive training in bedside ultrasound. Extensive hands-on experience with our brand new machines coupled with the formal didactic curriculum provides each resident with an outstanding foundation in EM ultrasound. Ultrasound training begins immediately for all incoming residents. All faculty are trained in the performance of bedside sonography and we perform and interpret all of our own sonographic studies. Ultrasound is used for an unlimited variety of clinical and procedural applications, and the graduating residents are proficient in the performance of emergency bedside ultrasound.
In addition to the pediatric EM and ultrasound experience, residents gain outstanding critical care exposure while rotating on the trauma and medical intensive care services. Cooper’s critical care and EM faculty consists of several international leaders in critical care, many of whom have significant research interest in the early treatment of shock. Cooper also has EM faculty, specializing in toxicology and EMS/disaster medicine to provide residents with the most comprehensive EM training experience possible.
Over 30 EM boarded emergency faculty provide resident education and supervision at Cooper University Hospital. Interested fourth year students from outside institutions are encouraged to rotate through our ED. EM residents actively participate in the undergraduate medical education program.
There are 5.5 weekly hours of conference time for EM residents. The core curriculum is taught over an 18-month period in monthly modules. Each module is devoted to a core content area, e.g. trauma, critical care or infectious disease. Additionally, a resident development lecture series provides residents an opportunity to grow on a personal, professional and business perspective.
All lectures, procedure labs, ultrasound instruction and small discussions groups are geared towards providing a case-based, hands-on learning experience within a single core content area. Monthly module questions, directed reading lists and active faculty involvement ensures the resident acquires the necessary skills and knowledge. Residents are protected from their clinical duties in the Emergency Department during conferences. The majority of the curriculum is taught by EM faculty. To supplement the core curriculum, there is a weekly ECG conference or interesting case conference and a simulation lab.
Residents are encouraged to participate in the clinical research activities of the department. Core research faculty oversee departmental, resident, and student projects. The residents have an additional four weeks of elective time during their senior year. Electives include advanced ultrasound, toxicology, administration, medical student education, international activities, pediatric emergency medicine, and critical care.
There is an institutional focus on critical care, with the creation of a multidisciplinary team of emergency medicine, medical and surgical critical care staff who oversee the care of critically ill and injured patients. The faculty include an EM/IM/critical care faculty member who oversees the implementation of collaborative patient care and research protocols in the Emergency Department. Residents gain extensive clinical exposure to the treatment of patients in shock and post cardiac arrest syndromes including the initial evaluation and stabilization of post cardiac arrest patients transferred to Cooper for hypothermia treatment. This is supplemented by the EM Shock Fellowship which is specifically designed for EM graduates.
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