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Department Website: med.unc.edu/emergmed

Faculty Member Contacts

Howard Choi
Assistant Professor
Director of Medical Student Education
howard_choi@med.unc.edu

Tracy DeSelm
Assistant Professor
tracy_deselm@med.unc.edu

FAQs / Additional Info

How do students get assigned a career goal advisor?
Students meet with the clerkship director (Dr. Howard Choi) during their EM401 EM AI clerkship.  Some students have more complex advising needs, for which Dr. Tracy Deselm will assist as students’ supplemental career advisor.  Unfortunately, due to the volume of students applying into EM we are unable to accommodate EM-specific career advising earlier than MS4.  An informational talk is given to MS3 students during their fall career fairs.

What should my Individualization Phase look like?
Most students are first exposed to EM during their CBLC block, when they do 3-5 shifts in the ED.  At this time, there is no official mechanism to facilitate additional ED shifts (e.g. shadowing).  Students interested in EM should focus on doing well on core clerkships, and most take Step 2CK during March of MS4.

Do all my rotations need to be in Emergency Medicine?
All UNC SOM students applying into EM are expected to take EM 401 (UNC Medical Center/WakeMEd EM Advanced Internship) sometime between March and September of MS4.  This counts as their one Standardized Letter of Evaluation (SLOE) for ERAS and counts as their home institution.  Students need a minimum of two SLOEs, at minimum, for their EM application.  Each away rotation students do dives them another SLOE.  This means that students must do one or more away rotations in emergency medicine in order to get their remaining SLOE.  Ideally students would do their away rotation in time for these SLOEs to be submitted to ERAS.  Please see additional information for SLOE resources.

Should I do an away rotation?  What in?
Please review the EMRA resources under additional information.  Our recommendation is that if students have a specific place/region you are set on going to for residency, you should strive to do an away rotation there during MS4 via VSAS. If you are neutral or undecided right now about where you want to go for residency, then please start thinking about what you are looking to for in residency, then consider doing an away rotation.  We are fortunate at UNC that we can do “internal away rotations” with the UNC system (e.g. Rex, Charlotte, Wilmington, etc).  Many students enroll in one of these “internal away rotations” to start.  There are two options: 1. Keep your “internal away rotation” and ultimately end up only doing that.  2. Keep your “internal away rotation” and drop it for an “external away rotation” later.  Keep in mind that this lets you default back to option 1 if the “external option falls through.  3.  A third option is to do an “internal away rotation” and an “external away rotation”…but this is only recommended to struggling students.

Do I need a rotation at UNC if I spent my time in Charlotte/Asheville/Wilmington?
Yes. All UNC SOM students applying into EM – regardless of their AHEC site – are expected to take EM 401 (UNC Medical Center / WakeMed EM Advanced Internship) sometime between March and September of MS4. This counts as their one Standardized Letter of Evaluation (“SLOE”) for ERAS and counts as their home institution.

When do I need to meet with my career goal advisor?  How do I prepare?
You will meet with the Clerkship Director during your EM401 EM AI rotation, and instructions will be given to you during your AI about how to prepare for this meeting. Unfortunately due to the volume of students applying in to EM, we are unable to accommodate EM-specific career advising earlier than MS4. An informational talk is given to MS2 and MS3 students during their fall “career fairs”.

How many letters of recommendation do I need?  From whom should I get them?
Please refer to the EMRA resources under additional information.  Each EM clerkship you complete will automatically write you a departmental SLOE upon completion of their rotation. You generally need two SLOEs. A third SLOE may be beneficial if you have red flags or had a challenging rotation. Note that you can also include “traditional” narrative reference letters in your application as well, in addition to the SLOEs! E.g. if you did very well on your medicine clerkship. A letter of reference from a physician in a specialty other than EM carries less value than a SLOE, but you may have a mentor or advisor from a different specialty who has worked closely with you who can write a strong letter of support.

When do I ask for my letters?  What do they need?
As above.

How do I determine the best programs I should apply to?
Only you can determine the program that is the best fit for you. … Picking a residency program based upon “reputation” should be avoided. There is no ‘best’ residency program, only a set of programs that will be the best fit for you based upon your future goals, learning style, and lifestyle.”  Please refer to the EMRA guide under the additional resources.

I just got this great piece of news…do I need to notify programs
Sure

My LORs aren’t in, and ERAS just opened!
While having both SLOEs uploaded by ERAS releasing applications to programs can be to your advantage, it’s not a deal-breaker; many programs will still consider you with only one SLOE at the time of file review and interview offer — both will just need to be uploaded by time of applicant ranking.

I am waitlisted for an interview at X and I’d really like to see that program.  What do I do?
See below

I didn’t get an interview at X program.  Should I send them a “letter of intent”?
Sure

Should I send thank you letters to programs?
Sure.  Please see EMRA guide under additional resources.

Should I send a letter to the program I am planning to rank #1?
Sure.  Please see EMRA guide under additional resources.

How do I respond if a program reaches out to me after my interview?
Please see EMRA guide under additional resources.

Additional Resources
https://www.emra.org/books/msadvisingguide/msag/