Pediatric Emergency Medicine – Overview

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a tertiary-care referral center for children in Connecticut, as well as neighboring parts of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is one of only two free-standing children’s hospitals in New England. Connecticut Children’s is designated as a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. The hospital provides the full range of pediatric subspecialty care, including pediatric general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, oromaxillofacial surgery, ENT, neurosurgery, urology, and all of the medical subspecialties. The hospital is located in a culturally diverse neighborhood, and enjoys a mixed patient population including African Americans, Caribbean nationalities, Central and South Americans, Eastern Europeans, Southeast Asians, and Caucasian Americans of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

The Emergency Department (ED) at Connecticut Children’s has an annual census of greater than 60,000 patients. The ED is staffed by 16 PEM-trained attendings. In addition, the ED employs PAs, APRNs, and general pediatricians who focus on treating the lower acuity patients in the ED. 

Our fellowship is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) under the Emergency Medicine Residency Review Committee. Our program offers two tracks:

Fellowship core educational activities occur on Tuesdays throughout the year. Pediatric Grand Rounds at 8 a.m. is followed by ED divisional meetings. Each month there is one business meeting, one collaborative practice meeting (including advanced practice providers and nursing), and two divisional educational meetings which consist of lectures, journal clubs, or simulation sessions. Divisional meetings also include a monthly Research Meeting and PEM Peer Review. After the divisional meetings, there are weekly educational sessions dedicated specifically to the fellows. Once a month this fellow session includes a simulation session focused on resuscitation skills and procedures. Once a month is an ultrasound session that includes image review conference, literature review, and supervised bedside scanning. Other fellow dedicated activities include monthly acuity conference case presentations, journal clubs, radiology and EKG review, as well as group discussion of board review questions. In addition, fellows participate in trauma simulation for the ED staff that occur twice a month and monthly mock code simulations in the ED for the EM residents.

Fellows receive a generous Education Resource Allowance to be used to further their education. These funds can be used to purchase of books, memberships, and electronic devices, as well as for travel to educational/academic conferences. Fellows typically present their research at national meetings such as Pediatric Academic Society and AAP NCE. Our fellows generally attend the annual PEM Fellows’ Conference as first years. In addition, fellows will attend the annual New England Regional PEM Fellows’ Conference that draws attendees from all the New England PEM fellowship programs. Other conferences attended by fellows include BASE Camp (NY), and the Regional PEM and Critical Care Fellows’ Ultrasound Course (RI).  All PEM fellows will become certified in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) as well as be certified as PALS instructors.

As our fellowship is accredited under then Emergency Medicine Residency Review Committee, we naturally have a close relationship with the UConn Integrated Emergency Medicine Residency which is primarily based at Hartford Hospital. This relationship affords us multiple education opportunities for our fellows including participating in the EM residency’s two-day Ultrasound Boot Camp at the start of fellowship. Fellows have also done simulation electives at the EM-run state-of-art Center for Education, Simulation, and Education (CESI) at Hartford Hospital.

The fellows have ample opportunity for teaching. Residents rotating through the ED include Pediatric residents from the Connecticut Children’s/UConn program, Emergency Medicine residents from UConn, and Family Practice residents from UConn and Eastern Connecticut Health Network. In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to supervise rotating fourth year UConn medical students. In addition to bedside teaching while precepting medical students and residents, there are many formal teaching venues. Fellows will be responsible for several lectures and journal club talks in our divisional CME lecture series. In addition, each fellow will give one formal lecture annually to the EM housestaff. The fellows take an active role in leading annual procedure workshops for the pediatric housestaff. Fellows often assist with facilitating pediatric simulations for the EM housestaff at CESI.