EVMS Emergency Medicine

 Message from Program Director


Barry Knapp Faculty profile photo

Welcome to the Emergency Medicine (EM) residency program at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). Our program was founded in 1981. EVMS EM is the oldest EM training program in the state of Virginia. We are located in beautiful southeastern Virginia. We border the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, just north of the Outer Banks.

Our program is perfectly suited for those who desire an intense clinical and academic experience taught by a nationally renowned faculty. Our program graduates residents who are highly qualified to enter careers in either clinical or academic medicine. We emphasize bedside teaching/learning and pride ourselves in our resident’s clinical expertise upon graduation. Our program instills an evidenced-based approach to clinical problem solving which benefits residents throughout their entire career.

Clinical rotations emphasize acute and critical care. Twenty-two months of your training is spent in the emergency department (ED). Our primary teaching hospital, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (SNGH; 70,000+ annual visits) is the tertiary care referral and Level I Trauma and Burn Center for the entire region, including northeastern North Carolina. The ED patient population is high-acuity, with an admission rate of 20%; nearly one-third of admissions go to the ICU. At our Level I Trauma Center you will see an equal mix of penetrating and blunt trauma. In addition, our residents benefit from “real world” community emergency medicine experiences at a Level III Trauma Center- Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital (SVBGH; 49,000 annual visits) and a rural emergency experience at Sentara Obici Hospital (SOH; 44,000 annual visits).

In addition, EVMS EM residents rotate at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter’s (CHKD; over 51,000 annual pediatric ED visits). CHKD is the only specialized pediatric hospital in the state of Virginia and is physically connected to our primary teaching hospital (SNGH). Residents rotate through the Pediatric ED for one month during each of their PGY years. As a PGY-II, residents spend one month in the Pediatric ICU. Pediatric airway and procedural sedation skills are advanced during a two-week Pediatric Anesthesia / Sedation rotation. Along with the dedicated pediatric experience at CHKD, pediatric skills are reinforced during general ED rotations (SNGH, SVBGH, SOH). On average, 20% of the ED population is less than 18 years old.

Our weekly Grand Rounds and monthly evidenced-based Journal Club format allow for extended faculty exposure and exchange of clinical ideas and information. To augment the didactic experience, residents spend half of each Grand Rounds day in the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning. In the simulation center, residents rotate through faculty-lead small group educational sessions that help to reinforce didactic teaching. Topics are educational block specific but usually include ultrasound, resuscitation scenarios and “hands-on” procedural competency. Our program currently pays for resident subscriptions to both HIPPO EM and ROSH Review to ensure ready access to educational and study materials. It’s not surprising that our residents routinely score in the top one-third in the nation on the annual ABEM In-training Examination. To stimulate both research and class team building, we send our PGY-I class to the Annual Meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) each year.

The EVMS Emergency Medicine faculty are well established and nationally recognized. Five faculty have received the ACEP National Faculty Teaching Award. Four faculty are Oral Board Examiners for the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). Our Chairman, Dr. Counselman, is a nationally recognized leader in Emergency Medicine and recently served as President of the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is a former recipient of EMRA’s Residency Director of the Year Award (2003) and the ACGME Parker Palmer Courage to Teach Award (2005). Our faculty engage in many different areas of research, including: asthma; pneumonia; ultrasound; EMS; simulation; ED administration; and evidenced-based teaching. We are well published in peer-reviewed literature (see Research section).

Ultrasound experience is a critical tool for today’s graduating resident to succeed in emergency medicine. Our dedication to ultrasound education is rivaled only by the best of training programs. We have three Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS) in our core faculty. Ultrasound education begins during the first-year orientation, continues through frequent bedside teaching, our monthly lecture series, required ultrasound rotation and month long elective. Our Ultrasound Fellowship helps to stimulate your advanced ultrasound interests and research.

Our curricula includes significant exposure to emergency medical services (EMS). Residents have a one-month rotation that requires riding with a medic unit from Norfolk Fire Rescue. Our faculty serve as medical directors for all major EMS systems within the Tidewater area. Faculty are heavily involved in emergency preparedness/response, including FEMA, MMRS and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT). There are ample opportunities for more intense involvement with these organizations. Residents also have the option of flying with Nightingale Air Ambulance. Nightingale is the only local area air ambulance and serves the region, including the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

If you would like to train at an outstanding Emergency Medicine residency program, while living in a warm climate near the beach, we encourage you take a hard look at our program. Please feel free to give us a call (757.388.3397) or e-mail me with any questions (knappbj@evms.edu).


Barry Knapp, MD, RDMS, FACEP
Residency Program Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
Eastern Virginia Medical School