Diane Gorgas, MD
Diane Gorgas, MD, FACEPAssociate Professor and Residency Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
As the emergency medicine residency director at Ohio State, I’m pleased to have the chance to share with you some of the most enjoyable and educationally unique features of our training program. Although every residency strives to teach their residents the basics of emergency medicine, we at Ohio State have a few educational philosophies that make our approach to resident education especially exciting and innovative.
First and foremost, we have an outstanding patient population here at the University’s main campus. We see everything from penetrating trauma as a Level I trauma center, to tertiary-care transplant and cancer patients, to the relatively straightforward college community of which we are an integral part. The acuity of illness and injury at the OSU Main training site is nearly unparalleled in EM training programs, with our admission rate over 25% and an ICU admission rate of 15%. Our trauma patients feature injuries that vary across the entire spectrum of mechanism and severity. EM residents are responsible for trauma stabilization and management. In addition to the many high-acuity patients seen daily in the ED, our training program also offers residents elective time in our department’s Clinical Decision Unit (CDU), affording them an outstanding introduction to Observational Medicine.
The unique blend of patients at OSU Main is augmented by the fantastic training environments both at the ED at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and OSU East. NCH, which is a Level I trauma center, is a large, tertiary care facility that has over 100,000 ED visits annually. This volume is largely managed by OSU EM residents, in collaboration with over 30 Pediatric EM board certified outstanding and enthusiastic attending physicians. One of the most valuable educational resources any training program can offer its participants is exposure to critically ill and injured children; this is a daily occurrence at NCH.
During their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years, our residents rotate at nearby OSU East, which provides much-valued community ED experience that compliments our academic main campus.
We believe in educating “outside of the box.” In literal terms, this means offering a much-beloved PGY-3 rotation in Hawaii for our residents, which – in addition to a month in paradise—offers a fantastic educational opportunity to work in a community HMO setting. We also provide a robust and well-received international rotation in Haiti and are expanding this experience into Kenya and Ethiopia, as well. The Ohio State University Office of Global Health is working hand in hand with Emergency Medicine faculty in administrating a $2.5 million grant looking at health care initiatives in conjunction with Partners in Health in Boston and international medicine guru Paul Farmer, MD.
The stellar teaching and training environment at Ohio State is something we have worked hard to achieve, and year after year we see with pride its benefits in our residency graduates. Our faculty strive to make every case a teaching case, a concept which is exemplified by our teaching rounds in the ED, in which we feature cases with interesting clinical findings, and which are then subsequently written up and disseminated to the entire training program.
We also strive for diversity in didactic education. Our weekly didactic conferences are well attended by both faculty and residents. Lectures frequently are given by invited guests from within the field of Emergency Medicine, as well as by a breadth of subject matter experts with whom we interact daily in the clinical setting here at OSU. The traditional lecture sessions are interposed with ample time for small group sessions, skills lab experiences in our state-of-the-art simulation center, and multidisciplinary conferences with trauma surgery, psychiatry, radiology, and pediatrics. We also feature a well-developed and very popular online asynchronous curriculum, which allows for flexibility in completion while still counting towards conference participation. Journal are scheduled on a monthly basis and represent interactive two-hour sessions featuring small-group discussions about the evidence behind some of our core clinical tenets as well as the more provocative areas of controversy in medicine.
We believe that great educators come from great educational programs. It's our goal at Ohio State to be the leader in helping to shape the greatest educators in Emergency Medicine, whether they work in academics, or in the community. We live this philosophy on a daily basis, emphasizing the importance of residents as educators. For any level resident, opportunities abound for teaching interns, rotators, medical students, students in allied health fields, and EMS personnel. Moreover, we use our simulation lab to teach residents how to be teachers, undergoing teaching workshops and subsequently being supervised one-on-one with faculty while teaching medical students. We also have started an academic achievement track here at OSU, with special opportunities for those residents planning an academic career with an interest in education or research.
Here at Ohio State, we have committed to providing residents with access to the best current medical informatics and technology. Medical records are all computerized, and can be accessed by i-Pads funding for which is provided at the beginning of residency. All radiographs are also digitized and available throughout the hospital from computer, making review of imaging for teaching purposes efficient and convenient. Ultrasound has become a mainstay of the educational process at OSU. We have one of the best, most comprehensive ultrasound training programs in the nation, with a comprehensive, longitudinal curriculum that begins in the first month of EM training and continues through graduation.
With access to the resources of a large university and the expertise of accomplished faculty, OSU offers multiple opportunities for advanced fellowship training in EM. Including in ultrasound, EMS, and administration.
Overall, the residency training program at OSU has an outstanding and varied patient population with high levels of acuity, is staffed by enthusiastic and knowledgeable faculty, and has a singular focus on giving residents the best education possible. Almost despite all the technical advances in education afforded here, we have been able to maintain and carry forward a cohesive, caring, and compassionate training program, where our participants arrive as residents, and leave as valued family members.