Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine

The Medical Student Emergency Medicine Rotation Print E-mail

Welcome to the Emergency Medicine course! Whether your contribution to medicine will be made in Emergency Medicine or another specialty, emergencies occur in all specialties and in life (e.g. “Is there a doctor on the plane?”). Thus, it is vitally important for you to have the tools to deal with common emergencies that you are likely to encounter during your residency or even in life. The 4 week Emergency Medicine course will introduce the student to emergency medicine and the initial management strategies for common life threatening emergencies. Students will develop an approach to common undifferentiated patient complaints and a practical skill set in: acid-base emergencies, basic airway management, electrocardiogram interpretation, and electrolyte emergencies. Students will also complete Basic Life Support (BLs) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training. During the week, there are daily didactic sessions as well as procedure labs and high fidelity simulations. Clinical shifts are spread across a variety of practice settings (adult and pediatrics) and offer a broad exposure. Students work closely with emergency medicine faculty and residents to identify sick patients and develop differential diagnoses and management plans. Students also have the opportunity to participate in procedures and trauma resuscitations and Ground EMS ridealongs.

We strive to build on your current knowledge base to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Introduce initial management strategies for common life threatening emergencies, including a systematic approach to the priorities of resuscitation.
  • Develop an approach to commonly encountered undifferentiated patient complaints, including abdominal pain, altered mental status, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
  • Develop a practical skill set in: acid-base emergencies, advanced cardiac life support, basic airway management, basic life support, electrocardiogram interpretation, and electrolyte emergencies.
  • Perform focused histories and physicals to develop ranked differential diagnoses for common complaints (abdominal pain, altered mental status, chest pain, and shortness of breath) that include high morbidity and mortality conditions and guide the use of diagnostic tests.
  • Perform concise, clear patient presentations to faculty and consultant physicians.
  • Employ knowledge support tools such as evidence based diagnostic criteria, management guidelines, and point of care information resources to inform patient care.
  • Integrate into the Emergency Care Team and employ flexible communication strategies with patients, families, and all members of the Emergency Care Team (e.g. physicians, nurses, paramedics, technicians, and prehospital providers).


We welcome interested visiting students and invite you to spend an exciting, educational month with us! All visiting students must have completed core rotations in Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Neurology, Psychiatry, Obstetrics, and Gynecology. Visiting student spots are available in June, August, September, and October. All rotations follow the VUSM academic calendar and visiting students must be available for the duration of the rotation. Dates for the 2015-2016 academic year are:

  • June: May 26 to June 19, 2015
  • August: August 3 to August 28, 2015
  • September: August 31 to September 25, 2015
  • October: September 28 to October 23, 2015

Interested students should apply through VSAS (visiting student application service). Click here to apply. Emergency Medicine is an amazing specialty and due to the increasing number of residency applications, we cannot automatically guarantee you an interview for a residency position after completing an away rotation with us. We hope you decide to join us!




Course Director:

Kendra Parekh, MD
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Director of Undergraduate Medical Education
You may contact Dr. Parekh via email by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information about this program please contact:

Cheri Crum
Department Education Specialist
703 Oxford House
Nashville, TN 37232-4700

Direct: 615-936-0095
FAX: 615-936-1316

You may also contact Cheri Crum via email by  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


  2014-2015 VMS IV Academic Calendar *


Section Month Dates Holidays & Breaks 42-day deadline for Emergency
Medicine, Primary Care, and Immersions
28-day deadline for all other
4th year electives
13 May (13) May 12 - June 6, 2014 April 1, 2014 April 11, 2014
May 26, 2014 Memorial Day -
No classes/clinical
14 June (13Y) June 9 - July 3, 2014 April 1, 2014 April 11, 2014
7 July July 7 - Aug 1, 2014 May 26, 2014 June 9, 2014
8 August Aug 4 - Aug 29, 2014 June 23, 2014 July 7, 2014
September 1, 2014 Labor Day - No
9 September Sept 2 - Sept 26, 2014 July 22, 2014 August 5, 2014
10 October Sept 29 - Oct 24, 2014 August 18, 2014 September 1, 2014
11 November Oct 27 - Nov 21, 2014 September 15, 2014 September 29, 2014
Nov 27 - Nov 30, 2014 Thanksgiving - No
12 December Nov 24 - Dec 19, 2014 October 13, 2014 October 27, 2014
Dec 20 - Jan 4, 2014 Holiday Break - No
1 January Jan 5 - Jan 30, 2015 November 24, 2014 December 8, 2014
Jan 19, 2015 MLK, Jr. Day
Program - No
2 February Feb 2 - Feb 27, 2015 December 22, 2014 January 5, 2015
3 March Mar 2 - Mar 27, 2015 January 19, 2015 February 2, 2015
March 6, 2015 Fourth Year
March 20, 2015 Match Day
4 April Mar 30 - Apr 24, 2015 February 16, 2015 March 2, 2015
May 8, 2015 Commencement
5 May (14Y) Apr 27 - May 22, 2015 March 16, 2015 March 30, 2015
May 25, 2015 Memorial Day - No
6 June (14Y) May 26 - June 19, 2015 April 14, 2015 April 28, 2015


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