Presidential Address: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Presidential Address: Where Do We Go From Here?

The Presidential Address from CDEM's business meeting at SAEM17has always been a time to reflect and look forward.

The Presidential Address at our SAEM Business Meeting has always been a time to reflect and look forward. This year, we did so framed within CDEM’s 6-point mission.

  1. To advance the education of medical students in the specialty of EM and acute care medicine
  2. To provide a forum for EM clerkship directors and medical student educators to communicate, share ideas and generate solutions to common problems
  3. To foster undergraduate medical education research
  4. To advance the professional development and career satisfaction of EM clerkship directors and medical student educators
  5. To develop relationships with other organizations to promote medical education
  6. To serve as a unified voice for EM clerkship directors and medical student educators

CDEM has advanced each of these missions over the past nine years. Now for the next 3–5 years as we determine where should we put our efforts, I ask: How can CDEM be of most use to you?

1. Advance Undergraduate Medical Education in EM

So far, we published a Clerkship Director’s Handbook, Clerkship Coordinator’s Handbook and Medical Student Primer. We have designed and later refined a fourth-year curriculum in Emergency Medicine and as well as third-year and pediatrics curricula. This was accompanied by two free national exams, an Emergency Medicine shelf exam (collaborating with the NBME), and a curriculum website. Additionally we’ve co-created two videos with EMRA.

Looking forward, the landscape of undergraduate medical education is changing to include entrustable professional activities and milestones while technology gets faster, smaller and more powerful. So how do you think CDEM should keep up?

  • Update the curriculum?
  • Does the CDEM curriculum need to reflect these changes in UME? Can we tailor materials for EM to address all 13 EPA’s?
  • As a fourth year course, should we make EM a capstone assessment of the AAMC’s CEPAERs.
  • Update student materials?
  • The EM Student Clerkship Primer and CDEMcurriculum website, as primarily text based modules, are somewhat passive. Should we add cases, videos, flipped classroom module and assessments to make the material more interactive.
  • Extend our reach earlier into UME?
  • Can we extend EM’s footprint into the M1 and M2 year? For example, we can collaboratively create national clinical reasoning course materials or undergraduate simulation curriculum.

2. A forum to share ideas and generate solutions to common problems

In the past 9 years, we’ve used our list-serv and later the SAEM community to talk with one another. We network at CORD AA and SAEM AA. We have student and faculty blogs, a podcast and 2 Twitter feeds (@CDEMfaculty and @CDEMstudents). In the next few years, how do we share our ideas?

  • Give a bigger footprint?
  • The website currently focuses on student materials. Should we broaden it’s scope while keeping the student content readily available? Or add authors to the blog?
  • Sort out the Academic Assemblies?
  • Admittedly the CORD AA and SAEM AA are fairly close in time (and often space). How can we better tailor each conference to suit our needs?

3. To foster undergraduate medical education research

The WestJEM supplement and new AEM Education + Training journals offer our members publication venues and we have a brand newly established CDEM Scholarship committee.

  • Should we extend our hands to other educational research group to collaborate? Perhaps other members of the Allicance for Clinical Education (ACE)?
  • Should we work with editors of the journals to better delineate what they want to see in our submission to increase the quality of our work and increase the probability of acceptance?
  • Should CDEM endorse surveys to increase exposure and completion rates?
  • How can we better foster research between CDEM members?

4. Professional development

CDEM has provided its members with a national stage for presentations, publication venues, collaboration and leadership in national organizations. The CORD mentoring lunch, pairing senior and junior CD’s, was very successful this year.

A few potential new directions:

  • Include non-member clerkship directors?
  • Any conversation is limited by the fact that there are quite a few clerkship directors not represented in CDEM. How can we bring them into the discussion or encourage to join CDEM? What do they need?
  • Should we develop content and/or cater to core academic faculty who are not in residency or clerkship leadership positions?
  • Create mentoring programs?
  • Would junior members benefit from a long-term mentoring program with more senior members? Senior members could benefit by including this on CV’s for promotion.
  • Most CD’s follow one of a few paths: stay a CD, become a PD (then maybe chair), or enter the dean’s office. Would career specific mentoring help?
  • More stuff for your CV?
  • Should we expand the number and scope of our awards? National recognition helps when it comes time for promotions. For example, receiving an award for “service to CDEM” given to people not on the executive committee but who have put forth a lot of effort on CDEM committees and other projects may look good on a CV.
  • More presentation and leadership opportunities for junior members. The committee structure can serve as a pipeline to CDEM leadership and beyond.
  • Provide professional development for coordinators?
  • the EM Clerkship Coordinators Handbook provides essential information to our coordinators. Should we advance this by providing coordinator specific material?

5. Relationships with other organizations

We currently work with EMRA, CORD, SAEM, AAMC and ACE.  Are there other groups with whom we should be collaborating?

  • Working with SNMA to increase diversity in EM?
  • Working with other SAEM academies?
  • Working with other ACE members (i.e., Neurology Clerkship Directors for stroke modules, COMSEP for Pediatric research).

6. A unified voice for EM UME educators

CDEM acts as the advocate for students on the AAMC Standardized Video project. It was brought up that we change the text of this part of our mission to reflect that we act as advocates for our students.

To serve as a unified voice for EM clerkship directors and medical student educators and advocate for medical students.

  • Additionally, we should push to be involved and informed on topics involving students, like discussions on SVI

Next Steps

These are just a few suggestions stemming from the meeting at SAEM AA 17. CDEM has done a lot nearing the end of its first decade. It will keep growing, and together we can determine in what direction we’ll evolve. Please share your thoughts.

Thank you,

Rahul Patwari, MD
CDEM President 2017–2018

  1. Manthey, David E., et al. “Report of the task force on national fourth year medical student emergency medicine curriculum guide.” Annals of emergency medicine 47.3 (2006): e1-e7.
  2. Manthey, David E., et al. “Emergency medicine clerkship curriculum: an update and revision.” Academic Emergency Medicine 17.6 (2010): 638–643.
  3. Tews, Matthew C., et al. “Developing a Third‐year Emergency Medicine Medical Student Curriculum: A Syllabus of Content.” Academic Emergency Medicine 18.s2 (2011): S36-S40.
  4. Senecal, Emily L., et al. “Anatomy of a clerkship test.” Academic Emergency Medicine 17.s2 (2010): S31-S37.
  5. SAEM Tests,
  6. CDEM Curriculum,
  7. EMRA/CDEM Student Presentation In The ER,
  8. Kwan J, Crampton R, Mogensen LL, Weaver R, van der Vleuten CP, Hu WC. Bridging the gap: a five stage approach for developing specialty-specific entrustable professional activities. BMC Med Educ. 2016 Apr 20;16:117. doi:10.1186/s12909–016–0637-x.
  9. Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer (2008).
  10. Emergency Medicine Clerkship Coordinators Handbook.
  11. CDEM Faculty Blog:
  12. CDEM Student Blog:
  13. EM Stud Podcast: