University of Kansas Emergency Medicine Residency Update

In July 2021, we began the 12th year of our residency program. Our program currently accepts 10 residents per year for our three-year residency program. We have graduated 62 residents and we currently have 25 graduates practicing in the State of Kansas and another 11 practicing in the greater Kansas City, Missouri area. Our program has met its goal of increasing the supply of residency trained emergency physicians in Kansas.

COVID has had a significant impact on residency training. This past year, there were no visiting students allowed at most medical centers. Interview season for the 2020-2021 year was conducted virtually. For recruitment, we participated in virtual residency fairs, live virtual sessions, and had an increased social media presence. Our residency program received approximately 900 applications for our 10 residency positions, and we conducted over 120 virtual interviews. Our newest class of residents came from eight different medical schools and seven different states. Our clinical volume decreased initially during COVID and some rotations were affected. Educational conferences and residency gatherings were also affected. Currently, patient volumes have returned to record levels and other aspects of the residency have mostly normalized.

Our main clinical site is the University of Kansas Hospital, which has a modern 50+ bed Emergency Department and an annual patient volume of over 60,000. We are a level 1 trauma center, burn center, cancer center, comprehensive stroke center and cardiac center. The University of Kansas Health System has experienced amazing growth over the past decade. The hospital has built several new state-of-the-art healthcare facilities over that time including a new hospital tower and new health education building. Our residents are fortunate to have access to two modern simulation centers as well as large classrooms in the health education building that allow us to have in-person education sessions while maintaining social distancing.

One strength of our residency program is that we have a very diverse, very complex, and high acuity patient population that provides a great training experience. Our emergency department admission rate is 38%. Another strength of our program is our diverse faculty. Five faculty are ultrasound fellowship trained, two are board certified in toxicology, three are board certified EMS, and two are dual boarded in EM/IM. All 25 faculty members are heavily invested in resident education. Also, because our residency program is still smaller in size, we have a very cohesive group of residents and maintain a family feel.

Our program provides excellent training in point of care ultrasound. We have a regular simulation curriculum and utilize cadaver labs for learning rare procedures. Our residents can provide medical care at Kansas City Royals games, Kansas City Chiefs game, and the Kansas Speedway as part of an event medicine rotation. We partner with Life Star of Kansas to provide an Air EMS opportunity and we partner with Children’s Mercy Hospital to provide pediatric training.

For physicians interested in fellowship training, our department has an Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship and an Education fellowship. Our Ultrasound fellowship trains fellows to be leaders in point of care ultrasound, teaches them how to run quality assurance programs and become ultrasound directors. We currently have two ultrasound fellows this year. Our Education fellowship prepares fellows to become leaders in undergraduate medical education or graduate medical education. Our department has also begun the application process to start an EMS fellowship. Obtaining an EMS fellowship will help the State of Kansas coordinate care between the rural areas and the tertiary care medical centers.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide an update on our residency program! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jeffrey G. Norvell, MD MBA RDMS
ACEP Councilor for Kansas
Program Director
Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Kansas Medical Center