Medical Students  


Welcome to the Emergency Medicine course! Whether your contribution to medicine will be made in Emergency Medicine or another specialty, emergencies occur in all specialties and in life (e.g. “Is there a doctor on the plane?”). Thus, it is vitally important for you to have the tools to deal with common emergencies that you are likely to encounter during your residency or even in life.


The 4 week Emergency Medicine course will introduce the student to emergency medicine and the initial management strategies for common life threatening emergencies. Students will develop an approach to common undifferentiated patient complaints and a practical skill set in: acid-base emergencies, basic airway management, electrocardiogram interpretation, and electrolyte emergencies. Students will also complete Basic Life Support (BLs) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training. During the week, there are daily didactic sessions as well as procedure labs and high fidelity simulations. Clinical shifts are spread across a variety of practice settings (adult and pediatrics) and offer a broad exposure. Students work closely with emergency medicine faculty and residents to identify sick patients and develop differential diagnoses and management plans. Students also have the opportunity to participate in procedures and trauma resuscitations and Ground EMS ridealongs.



We strive to build on your current knowledge base to accomplish the following objectives::

·         Introduce initial management strategies for common life threatening emergencies, including a systematic approach to the priorities of resuscitation. 

·         Develop an approach to commonly encountered undifferentiated patient complaints, including abdominal pain, altered mental status, chest pain, and shortness of breath. 

·         Develop a practical skill set in: acid-base emergencies, advanced cardiac life support, basic airway management, basic life support, electrocardiogram interpretation, and electrolyte emergencies.

·          Perform focused histories and physicals to develop ranked differential diagnoses for common complaints (abdominal pain, altered mental status, chest pain, and shortness of breath) that include high morbidity and mortality conditions and guide the use of diagnostic tests.


·         Perform concise, clear patient presentations to faculty and consultant physicians

·         Employ knowledge support tools such as evidence based diagnostic criteria, management guidelines, and point of care information resources to inform patient care.

·         Integrate into the Emergency Care Team and employ flexible communication strategies with patients, families, and all members of the Emergency Care Team (e.g. physicians, nurses, paramedics, technicians, and prehospital providers).




Our visiting student program is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will post additional information about when (or if) we are able to accept visiting students..


 Diversity Scholars Visiting Student Program 

We here at Vanderbilt University Medical Center truly value diversity. The Diversity Scholars Visiting Student Program is designed to expose medical students from underrepresented in medicine (URM) backgrounds to our clinical departments and foster interest in Vanderbilt residency training programs.

This program would provide financial assistance for current fourth-year medical students to complete a four-week clerkship at Vanderbilt in one of our outstanding clinical departments. Eligible students must be in good standing at an accredited medical school in the US. Ultimate acceptance into this program is dependent upon acceptance for an away clerkship by the registrar and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Office of Enrollment Services. Accepted students will be provided with monies to offset application fees, travel to Nashville, and housing costs during their four-week clerkship. Any questions about this program should be directed to the Office for Diversity Affairs at (615) 343-8299. Click here to complete the application.

We hope you decide to join us!



Course Director:

Kendra Parekh, MD
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine 
Director of Undergraduate Medical Education 
You may contact Dr. Parekh via email by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about this program please contact:




Lisa Warpinski
Department Education Specialist
703 Oxford House
Nashville, TN 37232-4700

Phone: 615-936-0095
FAX: 615-936-1316

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