Emergency Medicine

Medical Student Electives in Emergency Medicine

M3 medical student electives in Emergency Medicine

M3 Student Elective

As a third-year student, you may know what specialty you want to go into, or you may still be trying to find that right fit. That’s why our goal for this rotation is not to train a future EM physician (that’s what the M4 elective is for!), but to expose you to the breadth of medicine from the acute care setting. Whether you decide to go into EM or not, acquiring the skills we use to quickly assess and intervene on the undifferentiated patient will help hone your clinical skills for a future in any field.

About the Rotation

Our rotation is composed of multiple clinical and educational activities and is offered in blocks 5–11 at the MCW Milwaukee campus.
Shifts in the Emergency Department

Shifts in the Emergency Department

You will be an integral member of a team of residents and attendings and be involved in the care of patients at our main site at Froedtert Hospital and our freestanding department in New Berlin, the Moorland Reserve Emergency Department. You will be overseen by residents and faculty and will have the opportunity to assist with procedures, assist with medical and trauma resuscitations.

STAR Center Education Modules

STAR Center Education Modules

These interactive activities teach a review of common chief complaints through oral cases, hands on skill lab, and end with a high-fidelity simulation where YOU are the doctor who must diagnose and treat the patient.

Learn more about the STAR Center
Ultrasound at the Bedside

Ultrasound at the Bedside

Join our ultrasound faculty and residents at the bedside to learn the basics of ultrasound examination on real patients in the ED.

Medical Ethics Case Discussions

Medical Ethics Case Discussions

Making decisions in the emergency department can be difficult. We are faced with questions about patient autonomy, judicious use of resources, inter-family conflict. Using real examples in the ED, join our in-house bioethicist Dr. Ashley Pavlic (who you may also work with) through a guided discussion of your own cases using the founding principles of medical ethics.

Toxicology Rounds

Toxicology Rounds

Spend the morning rounding with the toxicology team (which includes multiple EM faculty) at the Wisconsin Poison Center.

Faculty Students Patient Simulator

M4 Student Elective

This challenging four-week rotation offers experience in the exciting world of emergency medicine. Students taking this rotation will learn about a wide breadth of pathology across all systems, utilizing critical thinking and clinical stills to hone their ability to tackle the challenge of the undifferentiated patient. Regardless of your career plans, this elective will help prepare you for the upcoming challenges of intern year. For students pursuing a career in emergency medicine, you will gain the knowledge, experience, and procedural skills needed to form a strong foundation prior to beginning residency.

About the Rotation

Our rotation is composed primarily of weekly didactic sessions and clinical shifts in the emergency department and is offered in blocks 1–12 at the MCW Milwaukee campus.
Shifts in the Emergency Department

Shifts in the Emergency Department

You will work as a member of the ED team at Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee County’s busy Level 1 trauma center. As a member of the team, you will see and manage patients in conjunction with your attending physician as well as resident team members. You will assess and treat the undifferentiated patient, be involved in critical care discussions and decisions, and learn important procedural skills required to be an emergency medicine physician.

Didactic Sessions

Didactic Sessions

Weekly didactic sessions will dive into higher level thinking and analysis of important emergency medicine topics, including the approach to many chief complaints, lab interpretation, EKG evaluation, and patient care management. These sessions are designed to be interactive sessions to push your knowledge even further.

STAR Center Labs

STAR Center Labs

You will have the opportunity to participate in high fidelity case simulations to further develop your critical thinking skills as well as team management strategies, while under the safety of the STAR Center simulation lab. In addition, you will learn about trauma management, bedside ultrasound, and splinting and suturing techniques.

Learn more about the STAR Center


For any student applying to Emergency Medicine, a “SLOE” (standardized letter of evaluation) is a necessity. Students applying to emergency medicine residency will receive a written SLOE from this rotation, based on your clinical performance. Mid-rotation feedback will you to focus on improving your skills throughout the rotation.

Subspecialty electives in Emergency Medicine

Medical Student Subspecialty Electives in Emergency Medicine

Our Department is fortunate to have numerous faculty who are leaders in many Emergency Medicine subspecialties. Through many of the electives we offer, students can explore whatever "nice" of Emergency Medicine they want! You can learn how to diagnose and treat poisoned patients with nationally-renown toxicologists, practice skills needed to provide medical care in the wilderness, ride along with first responders, and more. Check out our amazing offerings below, and do not hesitate to reach out for any questions about any of these electives!

The Department of Emergency Medicine offers a variety of student electives in exciting specialty topics.

This elective introduces student to the field of medical toxicology by involving them in the care of poisoned patients here at Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital, as well as throughout the state of Wisconsin. Students report to the Wisconsin Poison Center, where they will work directly with Specialists in Poison Information (SPIs) as well as Clinical (PharmD-ABAT) and Medical (MD) Toxicologists.

As part of a team including pharmacists, residents, and fellows, they will gather information and help to formulate treatment plans for medication overdoses, plant exposures, envenomations, household chemical ingestions, and other toxicologic conditions. Our rotation has a daily didactic component, providing direct education from experts in the field on both common and rare poisonings. Students will also prepare a 30-minute lecture on an approved topic at the end of their rotation.

Medical toxicology is highly relevant to medical students interested in pursuing a broad range of medical specialties, including but not limited to pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, critical care and many others, or to anyone looking to gain a stronger grounding in pharmacology.

This 4-week elective is held between September and May.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

The Department of Emergency Medicine offers an elective in EMS Medicine for 3rd and 4th year medical students. The elective includes a well-rounded experience in all aspects of prehospital medical care. Our EMS Division provides medical oversight for urban, rural and state-wide EMS and disaster preparedness organizations and as a student you will have the opportunity to learn about EMS in all these different settings. You will also get to work alongside our EMS Fellow, a physician currently learning more about how to be an EMS physician.

Specific opportunities during the elective may vary as some EMS activities do not occur each month. Potential rotation experiences may include:

Clinical EMS Medicine
Ambulance, Flight and Physician Response Vehicle ride along experiences

Quality Improvement
Participate in EMS QI projects, attend clinical case review meetings

EMS Training/Education
Develop and implement training for EMS providers

EMS System Design
Attend state physician advisory committee meetings

Medical Oversight
Review EMS patient care guidelines

Disaster Preparedness
Participate in local disaster drills

Students will attend weekly Emergency Medicine Residency Grand Rounds in addition to EMS Grand Rounds for our fellowship program. Students will also be required to participate in the EMS Resident Review Meeting at the end of the month, where EM residents currently completing an EMS experience meet to discuss concepts of quality improvement, clinical care, and training as it pertains to EMS.

This 4-week elective is held between September and December.

Population Health in the Emergency Department

This is a new elective exploring population health in the Emergency Department and addressing the social determinants of health, emphasizing the biopsychosocial disease model. The curriculum will focus on the care of vulnerable populations including patients who are injured, have psychiatric disease, have chronic disease, are in prison, or are refugees. It is open to any fourth-year medical students who are interested regardless of specialty choice.

The course is comprised of a variety of learning experiences:

  1. ED shadowing experience: Students will meet a patient in triage and stay with them throughout their journey through the ER.
  2. Longitudinal component: Through partnership with the Enhanced Care and Hospital Discharge Program, students will follow a patient longitudinally throughout their month, and follow the services from primary care meant to keep patients from having to use the ED.
  3. ED-based component: Students will have the opportunity to shadow our ED-based colleagues who focus on addressing social determinants of health, including social work, and case management.
  4. Small group didactics: Students will become competent in doing a social determinants of health assessment which will include case studies, mock patient interactions, and literature assessment.

All students will be required to do a final capstone project.

This 4-week elective is held once a year in December. Accommodations for residency interviews can be made.

Point of Care Ultrasound

We are proud to offer an emergency medicine point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) elective for 4th year medical students with a strong interest in emergency medicine. POCUS is an integral component of emergency department care used to aid in resuscitation, safely guide procedures, assess trauma patients, and make timely medical decisions. Ultrasound is performed at the bedside by the clinician taking care of the patient and provides information not obtainable by physical exam alone. Education in ultrasound is considered a fundamental component in emergency medicine residency training. By participating in our elective, students will develop a strong foundation in POCUS on which to build upon going into residency.

The rotation takes place in our level 1 adult trauma center at Froedtert Hospital and the Milwaukee VA. Our sites provide a high volume of patients with a wide array of acuity, providing for ample ultrasound scanning opportunities. During the elective our goal is to ensure students will learn the basic operations of an ultrasound machine, the psychomotor skills needed to acquire images, the ability to identify relevant anatomy, and when to incorporate POCUS into patient care. Students will receive direct 1-on-1 scanning with ultrasound fellowship trained faculty, scan independently, and work closely with other emergency department faculty and residents. In addition to scanning patients in the department students will participate in weekly ultrasound image review, didactics, general emergency department conference, along with time to complete reading on fundamental topics.

Students will be assessed on their participation, proficiency in ultrasound image acquisition, objective testing, and a short end of the rotation presentation.

This 4-week elective is held between July and November. A Standard Letter of Evaluation (SLOE) can be provided for students going into emergency medicine.

Wilderness Medicine

The practice of medicine is evolving rapidly. The sheer volume of data leading to advances in medicine it daunting. Medical students and physicians alike spend a tremendous amount of time and effort keeping up with the evidence and honing their practical skills. At the same time, we are seeing rapid growth in adventure travel and individuals pushing the body's physical limits and outdoor gear capabilities in austere environments. Despite the vast amount of knowledge and skills we collect during our medical training we often struggle to treat individuals in such environments.

The Wilderness Medicine Student Elective at the Medical College of Wisconsin introduces students to the challenges encountered in austere environments. At the end of the course, they will have basic knowledge about the epidemiology of injuries and illness in the wilderness setting, the ability to prevent, and when necessary appropriately respond to, medical situations in an environment with very limited resources. The course is comprised of a combination of didactics both in the classroom and outdoors, simulation, and hands-on training of both wilderness survival skills and patient management. There will be a required regionally based camping trip as well as a required trip to Ozark National Scenic Riverways for further skill building. The final course evaluation will be based on a combination of professionalism, mastery of taught skills as well as final written and practical examinations.

This 4-week elective is held once a year in April.

Meet the Team


Samuel Corbo, MD

Assistant Professor; Co-Director, MS-4 Clerkship; Assistant Director, Residency Program


Andrew Farkas, MD

Assistant Professor; Course Director, Toxicology Elective


Thomas Grawey, DO

Assistant Professor; Associate Program Director, EMS Fellowship; Course Director, EMS Elective


Ashley Pavlic, MD, MA

Assistant Professor; Co-Chief, Division of Global and Population Health; Course Co-Director, Population Health in the ED, Fourth Year Medical Student Elective; Course Co-Director, Continuing Professional Development; Faculty Co-Lead, GME Global Health Scholars


Bill Scheels, MD

Assistant Professor; Course Director, Ultrasound Elective


Taylor Sonnenberg, MD, MSGH

Assistant Professor; Co-Chief, Division of Global and Population Health; Course Co-Director, Population Health in the ED, Fourth Year Medical Student Elective


Joshua Timpe, MD

Assistant Professor; Director, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine; Assistant Director, Residency Program; Course Director, Wilderness Medicine Elective


Morgan Wilbanks, MD, FACEP

Assistant Professor