Practice-Based and Lifelong Learning

Artifact: ALIEM Bridge to EM

The layout of my 4th year of medical school has been drastically different from previous years, in that I’ve had extensive amounts of time off clinical duties. Because of the way interview season and my longitudinal courses played out, I’ve been more or less out of the hospital for ~5 months. While I’ve definitely been making the most of this time off and enjoying it before residency starts, I realized a couple months in that I had been neglecting keeping up with any studying, simply because I wasn’t being tested or being challenged in the hospital. It’s also one of the first times I’ve had no solid structure in my studying goals. Previously, I had a final or a board exam to study for, which allowed me to have a narrowed focus and learning objectives set out before me. With this realization, I decided I would need to be more intentional about my learning going forward.

The first thing I needed to do is set learning objectives for myself. Without a goal to strive towards, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I plan to go into emergency medicine, so my learning goals would need to cover a wide variety of topics. That being said, there is certainly an “emergency medicine” approach to these topics. I decided to use a textbook called “Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice”, which does an incredibly thorough review of EM topics. My plan has been to read one chapter of this book every 2-3 days, taking notes as I go along and reviewing old notes.

During one of my interviews, a physician directed me towards an amazing resource for preparing to be an intern in emergency medicine. It’s called the ALIEM Bridge to EM1, assembled by a popular emergency medicine blog. It consists of podcasts, journal articles, blog posts, and more. It’s an incredible FOAMed resource that seems very comprehensive. This resource provided me with a framework within which I can work towards my learning objectives. The whole experience taught me a lot about how important it is to take ownership of your learning and use the resources available to you in order to develop a strong learning plan.

My goal is to finish this 8-week program, and I plan to start it 2 months prior to residency beginning. This way, I’ll have further built a foundation with which I can go into intern year.



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