Program Features

Our innovative curriculum builds upon our Department’s unique characteristics. As one of the most up-to-date Emergency Departments in Chicago, we feel the clinical experience is unmatched and residents will graduate with all of the essential clinical skills required of an Emergency Physician. However, we offer several additional program features that will provide our graduating residents with skills that go above and beyond the clinical expectations of an Emergency Physician.


Each week, residents are given 5 hours of protected learning experience. Conferences are high yield, interactive, and incorporate case-based and small group modalities as well as journal clubs, mock oral boards, and clinical case presentations. Both small and large group sessions are led by residents and our nationally recognized faculty. Some common themes include 5-minute EKGs and radiology, 5-minute Journal Club, M&M, Quality Improvement, ultrasound, and simulation. Joint lectures with other clinical departments at Rush, as well as other Chicago-based EM programs, facilitate interdisciplinary and interinstitutional collaboration. The curriculum repeats every 18 months, thereby exposing residents to all of the expected material at least twice prior to their graduation.

Didactics are theme-based, with lectures and labs grouped together to maximize continuity and comprehensive exposure to the material. Themes are assigned according to the weighted frequency by which topics are covered on the ABEM board certification exam, and the Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine. 

Individualized independent instruction is managed through online learning platforms to track progress, including EM Foundations, Rosh Review, HippoEM, and additional FOAMed instructional modules.


The Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation is a state-of-the art, multidisciplinary training center immediately adjacent to our departmental offices. We have one of the most immersive simulation experiences in the country, and spend over 25% of our didactic time in the sim lab. The Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation recently completed a major expansion. As one of the highlights of our program, it features real and simulated ED rooms with high-fidelity simulators, task trainers, and mass casualty environments. Simulation experiences occur in our clinical simulation lab, in situ in the ED, or as part of a procedural training exercise. Check out our Simulation Director Dr. Sara Hock speak about our didactics:

Quality Improvement

Residents learn the skills and language of quality improvement through an integrated program of self and peer assessment. From the first month, residents are integrated into the department’s quality improvement process. Residents are assigned to teams to review intubations, ICU upgrades, ED unscheduled returns, and focused case reviews. Through mentorship by faculty and senior residents, teams learn to identify quality indicators and patient safety. The teams work together to support senior level presentations and many residents expand on these experiences to develop quality improvement projects that have made significant impacts to operations in the Rush Emergency Department. 


Rush University Medical Center believes that equal opportunity and diversity in employment, education, and the delivery of health care are essential and must be furthered.  Living this mission statement is fundamental to our program, and our residents and attendings are active members of Rush’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Residents are given subsidized opportunities to travel to professional development programming, such as the annual SNMA Medical Conference. Rush Emergency Medicine also offers funded scholarship positions for students traditionally underrepresented in medicine to rotate in our Emergency Department, including, but not limited to, persons of color, LGBTQI-identified or gender non-conforming individuals, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those living with disabilities.

Women in Medicine 

Rush is home to the Center for the Advancement of Women in Healthcare, an incubator and advocate for gender equity in all levels of our nation’s healthcare workforce. More than 50% of the ED faculty are women, and overall 40% of Rush’s leaders are women, and 45% of Rush’s residents and fellows are women. The Rush Women in EM is a group of ED attendings and residents working to amplify one another and advocate for gender equity in the medicine, career advancement, and work-life balance. The group hosts a bimonthly lunch series, live speakers, and wellness events.  Rush faculty include the founder of the All-Chicago Women in EM Group, which meets frequently for networking, lectures, and social events. Members are active participants in the FeminEM Idea Exchange (FIX) conference and Women in Medicine (WIM) Summit.

Social & Global Emergency Medicine 

The Social EM & Global Health resident track is an optional course for Rush EM residents interested in learning more about social determinants of health, global health issues, and social programs to improve the lives of our immediate community.  The group often hosts live speakers who are involved with research, volunteerism, or advocacy groups locally and globally to accompany relevant online coursework. Rush EM residents also provide in-country support to emergency physicians in the Dominican Republic through established teaching programs in toxicology, ultrasound, simulation, and EMS. Locally, our residents are involved in neighborhood outreach, pipeline programming, and gun violence advocacy.

Journal Club

Every other month, our Journal Club meets for an evening of dinner, drinks, and a critical review of key publications pertaining to topics of our choice. Some recent topics have included low-risk chest pain clinical decision tools, TPA in acute stroke, management of tachyarrhythmias, and pharmacologic therapy for influenza.

Want to learn more? Check out our videos and webinars on the “How to Apply” page