Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine

777 Bannock Street, MC #0108

Denver, Colorado 80204

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Apply for our electives by searching for Emergency Medicine in Colorado on VSAS.​

The Department of Emergency Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) and the University of Colorado offers three four-week rotations in Emergency Medicine for Senior Medical Students.  The educational purpose of these rotations is to provide the student with an exposure to the discipline of Emergency Medicine.

Clinical Track Elective (EMED 8004 & 8005)

Offered January through early May

  • EMED 8004 = University of Colorado Hospital

  • EMED 8005 = Denver Health Medical Center


This rotation is designed for the senior medical student who may be applying to primary care or other specialties who wants to gain exposure to emergency medicine. Students will gain familiarity with the unique approach to the emergency patient, the evaluation of the acutely ill and injured, and the concepts of resuscitation, which will be beneficial in any clinical setting.  The objectives, clinical experience, responsibilities, and didactic opportunities of the rotation are outlined below.

Career Track Elective (EMED 8006)

Offered early May through December

This rotation is specially designed for the senior medical student who has decided on emergency medicine as a career and will be applying to emergency medicine residencies.  In addition to the Clinical Track curriculum, the Career Track Elective also includes:

  1. Career Advising: Students will be assigned to a faculty and resident advisor who will meet separately with the student during the rotation.

  2. Clinical Advising: Each student will work multiple shifts with their faculty advisor to foster the development of a working relationship, ongoing clinical feedback and mentorship.

Objectives for Knowledge and Skills
  1. To improve history taking and physical diagnosis skills in the format of a problem oriented approach.

  2. To encourage the use of an ongoing problem list in thinking about the emergency patient.

  3. To hone abilities in test ordering to provide maximal useful information with minimal risk and expense.

  4. To foster the ability to identify acutely ill patients and respond quickly and appropriately to their needs.

  5. To understand that the emergency patient is best cared for by a coordinated team consisting of paramedics, nurses, technicians, emergency physicians, consultants, and ancillary staff.

  6. To gain further insight into the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of various diseases.

  7. To improve technical and procedural skills, including (but not limited to) intravenous access, airway management, fracture and dislocation care, wound care, foreign body removal, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, gastric lavage, electrocardiography, physician performed laboratory tests (urinalysis, hematocrit, and microscopy), and lumbar puncture.

  8. To correctly interpret the results of diagnostic tests in light of the patient's condition.

  9. To make treatment plans (including medication and therapeutic prescribing) and arrange continuing health care.

  10. To sharpen documentation skills in order to write a clear, concise, internally consistent record.

  11. To see beyond the patient's clinical problems into the moral, ethical, legal, social, and economic issues of emergency care.

  12. To always enhance the humane qualities that affect the interactions between physicians, patients, and patients' families.

  13. To foster exemplary relations with both staff and patients.

  14. To help develop responsibility, maturity, and poise that will serve the student throughout his or her professional life.

Clinical Experience and Responsibilities

The clinical experience takes place in the Emergency Departments at Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) and the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), both of which are core training sites for the Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine. 


Fourteen students will be accepted each month and each student will have 11 shifts at DHMC and 5 shifts at UCH.

The DHMC Emergency Department, Denver Emergency Center for Children, and the Adult Urgent Care at Denver Health treat 126,000 patients a year. DHMC is the only Level One Trauma Center (ACS) in the city of Denver and is the base hospital for the Denver Department of Health and Hospitals Paramedic Division. UCH is a Level One Trauma Center (ACS) in Aurora, CO, and its Emergency Department treats >100,000 patients a year. The student, as the primary care giver, evaluates and treats patients who present to these Emergency Departments that are staffed by Emergency Medicine Residents and Board Certified or Board Eligible Emergency Medicine Attending Physicians.  This Supervision is provided on-site, 24 hours a day, every day. 

The student is expected to provide the necessary emergency care for assigned patients, including invasive procedures when appropriate.  If the procedure requires a greater level of skill and experience, it is performed by the Emergency Medicine Resident, Emergency Attending Physician, or specialty consulting service.  Effort is made, however, to always include the Medical Student.  The type and scope of procedures, of course, varies with the needs of the individual patients.  This precludes the development of a list of procedures that "will be accomplished by the medical student during the rotation."

Didactic Opportunities

The student is invited to numerous conferences in Emergency Medicine during the rotation.  The conferences include:

  1. Weekly Mortality and Morbidity (M&M) Conference at DHMC (1st/3rd/5th Wednesdays of the month) or UCH (2nd/4th Wednesdays of the month), from 7:30-9am, followed by an additional 3.5 hours of lectures

  2. A monthly splint and suture lab

  3. Medical Student Core Lectures every Monday morning

  4. Daily Student/Intern Teaching Rounds at the start and end of every shift with the Attending Emergency Physician


Following the end of the rotation, the Student receives a written evaluation.  This is a composite evaluation based on the comments made by the Attending Staff and Emergency Medicine Residents. Opinions are solicited from the nursing staff when it is deemed helpful. Copies of this evaluation are sent to the Student's Medical School, made available to the Student, and kept on file in the Emergency Medicine Offices. The areas that are specifically evaluated include:

  1. Knowledge of medicine

  2. Clinical judgment

  3. Data collection

  4. History and Physical

  5. Relationship with patients and staff

  6. Responsibility/motivation

Application for the Medical Student Elective 

Applications for electives are accepted via VSAS (University of Colorado School of Medicine EMED 8005 or 8006) starting March 1st. 


If you have questions regarding the information presented here regarding our electives, please contact us!

Taryn Mackey

Student and Intern Clerkship Coordinator
Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine

Manuel Montano, MD

Director of Medical Student and Intern Clerkship

Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine

Staff Physician, Denver Health Medical Center