PEM Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you?
We're a Program dedicated to teaching excellence in emergent pediatric patient care.  Moreover, we're a regional center of excellence known for training leaders in pediatric emergency medicine for over 20 years.

Who are you looking for?
People dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarly activity and patient care who are not afraid to laugh at themselves.

How do you teach?
We use as much hands on or interactive training as possible during all aspects of learning. We employ web based technologies, faculty didactics, simulation and cadaver labs, a core fellows’ lecture series, journal clubs, mid-week audio ipod lectures, airway courses and ultrasound courses (just to name a few!). Our fellows are exposed to every aspect of pediatric emergency medicine.

Can I pursue an advanced degree?
Yes, fellows can earn a MPH, a Masters of Science in Medical Education, or a Masters of Health Administration degree. A fellow can also opt to participate in a Certificate program in Global Health. All coursework is free of charge to the fellow and done online offering maximum flexibility.

What scholarly resources are available?
Expert in-house biostatistics support is available as are faculty members with an interest in mentoring fellows with clinical research. Fellows will have access to our Summer Scholars Program where medical students and pre-medical students from around the country are available to help with ongoing scholarly projects.

Can I moonlight?
Yes, Moonlighting is merit based, available within the division, and available in all three years of training.

How many scholarly activity months will I have?
11-12 months can be dedicated toward scholarly activity. In addition, many other months (anesthesia, sedation/child abuse, sports medicine, critical care transport) also afford some additional time to work on scholarly projects.

How long are the ED shifts?
8 hours

How many shifts do I work during an ED month?
14 shifts per month

Who makes the schedule?
The fellows work together to make their own schedule with a senior fellow who takes requests and crafts the actual schedule.

Do you use the fellows to staff the ER during hours that the attendings prefer not to work?
Absolutely not! Our primary purpose in having a fellowship is not for extra staffing but because we all enjoy teaching. Fellows will never find themselves completely alone in the department and our fellows actually work less weekends and overnights than most of our faculty.

Will I have some autonomy to staff/ treat/ disposition patients on my own?
Absolutely! We think it is important that you leave our training program immediately ready to independently staff a high-volume chaotic ED anywhere in the country. During your second and third years of training you will be able to function independently within the department in staffing patients with the residents—a pediatric emergency medicine faculty member is always immediately available (and physically present in the department) for consultation when needed.

Can you tell me about the critical care rotations?
Fellows are exposed to critical care for two months during their first year. During the trauma month fellows participate in the care of traumatized patients in the trauma ICU, surgical ICU, and PICU. The other critical care month is spent with time equally split between dedicated time working in the PICU (2 wks) and time working as a member of our critical care transport team (2 wks).

Where do your fellows come from?
From all around the country including the mid-West and West Coast - view recent EVMS PEM alumni.

Can I do an out of hospital elective such as International Health?
Yes. Should you be interested, the division will pay for you to participate in one of several EVMS sponsored medical mission trips during your third year of training. Many other international electives are also available through either Physicians for Peace (headquartered in Norfolk) or Operation Smile (also headquartered in Norfolk). Fellows are also given the opportunity to participate in a 2 week wilderness medicine elective (offered through our good friends at Blue Ridge Poison Control). If none of this sounds exciting enough for you then you are also welcome to set something up on your own with a little advanced planning (must be approved by the EVMS GME office).

Will I learn emergency ultrasound?
Learn it? You’ll be teaching it by the time you leave. We challenge you to find a PEM fellowship with a better pediatric emergency ultrasound curriculum. In addition to regularly scheduled US didactics, you will take 2 formal emergency medicine ultrasound courses during your first 18 months with us and you will have a dedicated emergency medicine ultrasound rotation in the Spring of your second year. On your 2 wk rotation, supervised by the EM ultrasound fellows and director, you will have the opportunity to perform well over 100 exams and even become certified in specific POCUS exams applicable to our field.

Can I really live in Norfolk/ Virginia Beach?
Yes indeed!  Some of our current and many of our past fellows live down at the beach to take advantage of their time in our coastal community. Many residents and fellows prefer the eclectic and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods of Ghent/ West Ghent surrounding the hospital. Those interested in commuting from Suburbia or interested in top rated public schools will find an easy commute from both Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

This area is consistently rated one of the best places to live and raise a family. Want sun and sand? We’ve got that with a couple of world class beaches 20 minutes from the hospital. Want mild winters and four seasons? We have that too—summer is great but the fall and the spring bring some of the best days at the beach if you are a local. Want easy access to places elsewhere? No problem—our central location along the East Coast and active international airport make getting from here to wherever you need to go easy.