Letter from the Chief Residents

Chief Residents 2016-2017

David Benjamin, MD
Jackie Kelly, MD
Alan Sazama, MD

Welcome to the Regions Emergency Medicine Residency Website!   We are excited to share with you some of the aspects of our program that make it unique.

First, the Emergency Department at Regions Hospital is the perfect blend of community, urban and academic medicine. Formerly St Paul Ramsey Medical Center, Regions Hospital is now the flagship facility within the HealthPartners Care Group. Because of its legacy as a county hospital, Regions continues its long-standing mission to provide care for immigrants and the impoverished, but has all of the resources you would expect at a privately owned hospital. This creates a unique blend of privately insured patients and under-served patients within the St. Paul metropolitan area, suburbs, and western Wisconsin. As a Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center, Heart Center, Stroke Center and Regional Burn Center, our hospital and emergency department provide quality and specialized care to a large community of people in the upper Midwest.

Second, we have a progressive and dynamic educational curriculum that is focused on the core medical knowledge within our specialty as well as other evolving aspects of emergency medicine such as education, research, quality and administration.  Our weekly dedicated conference time provides us with the opportunity to not only review key core content important for the practice of emergency medicine and passing our boards, but also to discuss cutting edge research in our field through journal club and our recently developed “Regions: RAP” an hour where we delve into the growing free open access medical education community (FOAMed) to learn where to find new content and how to critically appraise and apply it. As PGY3’s we have the opportunity to be the primary teachers for 3rd and 4th year medical students rotating through the emergency department as well as contribute to daily education of junior residents, rotating residents, and colleagues. Junior faculty shifts provide senior residents an opportunity to polish their ability to supervise, a skill that is often needed after residency. Quality and administration education is provided through our “Resident of the Day” shifts which are integrated into our ED months.  This curriculum design has been a key component in setting residents up for success in their post-residency careers, excelling in a wide range of clinical settings (both academic and community), as well as in fellowship training and administrative positions.
Third, being able to care for critically ill patients is a hallmark of emergency medicine which is why we place a strong emphasis on critical care and procedural competence. We spend a total of 26 weeks of our residency training in an ICU setting.  Each resident rotates in the MICU for 4 weeks in their PGY-1 and PGY-2 years, and 6 weeks each year (PGY-1, PGY-2 and PGY-3) in the SICU. There is a system of graduated responsibility starting as an active member of the critical care teams as a PGY-1 to the leader of the MICU team as a PGY-2 and leader of the SICU team both as a PGY-2 and PGY-3. In the SICU, emergency medicine residents are the only residents who provide 365 day coverage. This is a unique opportunity to gain procedural competence and work directly with our surgical and trauma attending staff physicians, building relationships that directly translate back to the trauma bay in the emergency department.

Fourth, PGY-1 residents are an active member in the management of critically ill patients from day one of their residency. PGY-1 residents are the primary team member responsible for airway management in all of the medical resuscitation patients in the emergency department and play a critical role in learning important procedures such as central line placement, fracture management, suturing, and chest tube placement. It is not uncommon for our new interns to intubate a patient on July 1st. As a PGY-2, residents manage the airway in all trauma patients and perform the majority of procedures on trauma and medical resuscitations within the emergency department. PGY-3 residents lead resuscitations in all medical arrests, serve as team leader on Trauma Team Activations and supervise the majority of procedures performed in the emergency department.  These experiences, in combination with our department’s high volume and acuity, give us ample experience in caring for critically ill patients throughout our training.

Lastly, and most importantly, a friendly and collaborative culture is the hallmark of our program. Residents, attending physicians, nursing and ancillary staff have an exceptionally collegial relationship. Shifts are fun and feedback is supportive, not punitive. We find adult learners thrive in this professional environment.

We truly believe that our educational curriculum, critical care experiences, and hospital administrative systems are unique; this combined with excellent support from our well-respected teaching faculty makes the Regions Emergency Medicine Residency program a great place to further your medical training. We would be happy to share more about our program and answer any questions you might have about our unique, collaborative approach to resident education. Please get in touch if you want to find out more!  Thanks for visiting!