Rush Orientation frequently-asked-questions.
  1. What is the mission of the Rush ER?
  2. What are the important dates of the rotation?
  3. Where do we meet on the first day?
  4. Is there anything I need to do before the first day?
  5. What are the names and numbers I need to know?
  6. What can I put my stuff while working?
  7. What is EPIC ASAP and how do I get access?
  8. When are the lectures?
  9. What do we do with the review questions?

The Mission of the Rush Emergency Department

The mission of the Rush Emergency Department is to provide patient and family centered comfort and care in a trusting environment focused on an excellent clinical outcome for every patient. Patients will be guided through the many transitions of the clinical spectrum of care while prioritizing safety and quality of clinical outcomes. As students, you can play a big part in this. Remember that a visit to the Emergency Department is a difficult experience. As physicians, our job is to provide compassion. Take that extra moment to ask yourself, “what would I want need if I was this patient?” and then try to provide it for them. ↑ Return to top. ↑

Rotation Calendar

This table provides the usual dates for these activities. Please note these may change based off of Holidays or sim-lab availability, and the final dates will be sent to you by Karmen Howard several weeks before the start of the rotation. Please note that all sessions are mandatory unless otherwise indicated. 
Date/Time Session/Location Resources Assessment
1st Mon 8:00 PM Orientation Armour Academic Center – Room location details to be emailed prior to start of rotation. How to Approach the ER Patient Critical Thinking in the ED Participation
1st Mon 1:00 PM Airway Lab Rush Simulation Lab CDEM Airway Module Airway Procedures Sim Lab Participation Checklist
1st Mon 1:00 PM Resuscitation Lab Simulation Lab Pulseless arrest Sim Lab Participation Checklist
3rd Mon 8:00 AM Suture Lab CDEM Wound Closure Module Sim Lab Participation Checklist
3rd Mon 8:00 AM Trauma Simulation Lab Trauma Module Sim Lab Participation
3rd Mon 11:00 AM EBM Session Sim Lab – Please note this session will begin immediately following completion of the Trauma Sim Lab EBM Article Presentation/Group Discussion Participation
4th Mon 10:00 AM NBME Clinical Mastery Review Session Zoom Optional Participation
4th Fri 8:30 AM NBME Exam (Rush Medical College Students Only) TOB Final Exam
4th Fri 1:00 PM SAEM Exam (Visiting Students Only) Location provided at orientation Final Exam
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Where do we meet on the first day?

For the Rush and Rush Oak Park sites, we will meet in the in a room specified on your welcome email in the Armour Academic Center. This is a mandatory session. On the first day, we will:
  • Review the course objectives and discuss structure of the rotation.
  • Review how to approach the ER patient.
  • Make your schedule among your classmates (following guidelines listed below).
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Do I need to do anything before the first day?

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What are the names and numbers I need to know?

  • Clerkship Director: Thomas Alcorn:
  • Associate Clerkship Director: Sophia Bodnar:
  • Assistant Clerkship Director: Amy Marks:
  • Clerkship Coordinator: Karmen Howard
    • Phone: (312) 942-8802
    • Email:
  • Pod B: 7-0170
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Where can I put my stuff while I’m working a shift?

You shouldn’t bring your belongings to the Emergency Room. There’s no place to safely stash it. You do not need to bring a computer to your shifts, there will be computers in the department that you can use. Do not leave unattended belongings in the emergency department, including electronic devices as we cannot guarantee their safety. Luckily we have a locker room in which you can put your stuff. Medical students have three lockers assigned to them (which you will share during your rotation). These are:
  • Locker #: 01 162
  • Locker #: 01 163
  • Locker #: 01 171
The combinations are here, but it’s password protected to keep your stuff safe. Don’t want those floating around the Internet. We’ll get that to you during orientation. Here are the rules of the locker room. Please don’t circulate the combinations to other people. These combinations protect your stuff, so let’s keep it protected. You’ll have to share lockers, so don’t bring too much stuff since the lockers are not big.
  • This locker room is unisex. Curtains are placed in spaces to try to best create visual barriers but the space was not intended for staff to fully disrobe in public. Instead, male and female bathrooms were installed with key card readers to allow space for changing your clothes.
  • The locker room houses physicians, nurses, technicians, patients access staff, students, residents and anyone who works clinically in the ED.
  • Knock before entering.
  • Clean up after yourself. The bathrooms have showers so keep the area clean.
  • Keep your lockers clean.
  • Your locker may be moved from time to time to adjust to changes in staff mix.
  • Finally, and most importantly, respect your colleague’s privacy.
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EPIC is the Rush System’s electronic documentation system. It is meant to house all the information in the medical center electronically. ASAP is the Emergency Department’s portion of this program. Many of the pieces will be similar to pieces you may have used on the floor, however there are many sections which are different. Therefore the training is mandatory for all students doing the rotation.
  • You will be assigned a learning program, Epic – Emergency Provider, in Rush Learning Hub for the Rush Medical Students.
  • URL:
  • ID: user applies own Rush network ID
  • PW: user applies own Rush network PW
  • For visiting students, instructions on how to complete this training will be emailed to you prior to the start of the rotation.
The gist of writing your notes boils down to this:
  1. Open patient’s chart
  2. Go to Notes
  3. Add New note
  4. In the top of the note window type: ED Note
  5. Service: Emergency
  6. Insert smart text: this has a list of note templates, there is one that is called Emergency Med H&P- Med Student or something like that.
There is a learning curve to use the system, but most students have picked it up fairly quickly. However, here are a few pointers I’ve picked up from past students:
  • If your patient is stable (and if your attending is busy), write up the chart while you are waiting. This will be a time intensive task the first few times.
  • Being unlicensed not-yet-physicians, you can not sign your own orders. You should still enter them and “pend” them. This means they are pending attending approval before they will be followed-through. After presenting your patient to the attending, together review your pended orders. The both of you can use this time to analyze your thought process.
  • Some attendings will prefer to put the orders in themselves instead of accepting your pended orders. Please do not take this as a judgement on your thought process. Accepting pended orders is a minor nuisance but has proven frustrating for some. If this is the case, use the time to discuss with the attending what you would like to order and why. The attending can put the orders in the computer, but you should provide the clinical reasoning and thought process.
  • Don’t worry about reminding your attending to cosign your notes. The computer will remind them to do that.
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When are lectures?

There won’t be any formal lectures purely for the medical students, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t didactics. We have several online videos to prepare you for our class time. This page has our didactic schedule. Some of the material will come from a national curriculum for fourth-year students taking Emergency Medicine. This was created, written and edited by clerkship directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) from across the country. The online lecture videos allow us to move the lectures to home, making room in class time to spend on simulation. In the sim lab, you’ll be able to use the information you learned reading and watching the videos. Resident lectures are held every Thursday from 7am to 12pm (and occasionally 8am-1pm). These are not required, but you are welcome to attend if you would like more education or if you’re interested in seeing more about how the residency functions and connecting with our residency team. The schedule and topics will be discussed during orientation. ↑ Return to top. ↑

What should we do before the review session?

Take the NBME Emergency Medicine Self-Assessment Test: Form 1. For Rush Medical College Students, you will be provided voucher codes for this. For the review session, the point of the session is three-fold:
  1. To learn how to approach ED-specific questions on multiple-choice tests.
  2. To give yourself a sense of how prepared you are for the exam on Friday. And
  3. to cover some high-yield facts and information for the exam.
Please make sure that take the NBME test before the session. The session is optional but strongly encouraged. It’s helpful regardless of if you’re taking the NBME exam (Rush Medical College Students) or the SAEM exam (Visiting Students). ↑ Return to top. ↑