Observation medicine encompasses the management of patients for a timeframe of 6 to 24 hours to determine their need for inpatient admission. This is best provided in a dedicated observation unit, ideally in the emergency department. Outgrowths of this model include hybrid observation units and hospitals which become accredited Chest Pain Centers. Observation medicine covers many areas of medicine, including: clinical, administrative, education, research, advocacy, disease prevention, and public health. Training opportunities in these areas will be made available to the fellow, allowing fellows to pursue a wide range of career goals.
The Emory University School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine offers a one or two-year Observation Medicine Fellowship. This fellowship is ideal for Emergency Medicine residency graduates who want to become leaders in the rapidly emerging field of Observation Medicine. An interactive approach will allow the fellow to develop both the clinical and administrative skills needed to successfully direct an Observation Unit. The Observation Medicine Fellow will have a faculty appointment with Emory as a Clinical Instructor in Emergency Medicine.
Training consists of 5 components
- Clinical commitment: Fellows are expected to work 64 clinical hours per month as Attending Physicians in the Emory Healthcare and Grady Memorial Hospital Emergency Departments.
- Administration: The Observation Medicine Fellow functions in the role of an assistant unit director under the direct guidance of the unit director. This role allows the fellow to be involved in the design, quality assurance and metrics for the observation unit. The fellow will become familiar with payment structure and reimbursement of patients in observation status. Fellows will also learn the skills needed to become the director of an accredited Chest Pain Center.
- Education: The Observation Medicine Fellow will help educate residents, faculty and staff on clinical protocols, patient selection, and troubleshooting within the unit. The fellow will act as an advocate to help other staff properly utilize the Observation Unit.
- Research: The Observation Medicine Fellow will design and carry out an original research project of their choice to allow them to develop an area of expertise in the field of Observation Medicine. This will culminate in the preparation of a manuscript for submission to an appropriate PEER reviewed journal.
- Didactics: Fellows choosing the 2 year program will typically complete a Master’s Degree Program in either public health or business administration. Fellows will also participate in regular didactic sessions relevant to observation medicine.
Each fellow will be expected to meet a set of individual objectives that will allow them to accomplish their goals. In addition, upon completion of the Fellowship, participants will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:
- Serve as an Observation Unit Director capable of both initially implementing a unit and managing it successfully.
- Develop educational programs on relevant topics in Observation Medicine for practitioners, trainees or students in their future units.
- Become a national leader in observation medicine by serving on ACEP, SAEM or SCPC committees.
- Design and conduct a research project with the goal of presentation at a national conference and preparation of a manuscript.
- Demonstrate clinical excellence in Emergency Department Observation Medicine.
- The fellow will be sponsored by the Department to attend an Observation Medicine conference or the Society of Chest Pain Centers Annual Meeting.
- The fellow will be sponsored to attend one academic meeting (SAEM/ACEP) to present their research and participate in the Observation Medicine Interest Groups.
- The fellow will be expected to attend the Department of Emergency Medicine’s New Faculty Orientation and the Fellows Curriculum series.
- The Department of Emergency Medicine holds a quarterly faculty development session that would be relevant to the Observation Medicine Fellow.
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