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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I submit an application? 

  • Applications are accepted through ERAS, administered by the AAMC.   


Do you need Step 2 CK before applying? 

  • Nice to have, but not necessary. We understand that not all applicants will be able to schedule and take Step 2 CK to be available at the time of application. You DO need to have passed it to become a resident here. 


Do you accept COMLEX scores for DO candidates? 

  • We encourage you to submit USMLE scores in addition to COMLEX scores, but we do accept applications with COMLEX scores only. 


Is training in the United States essential? What types of visas do you offer? 

  • We do require some degree of US training in your background, such as prior internships or rotations. 

How do you schedule interviews? 

  • We use the ERAS scheduler 


Does interviewing early or later in the interview session affect your chances of matching? 

  • Not at all. We want you to come check us out when it’s convenient for you. 


What’s interview day like?  

  • Interview day is held over Zoom. It is a chance to meet with leadership and residents and learn about our program. There is dedicated time to talk to residents without faculty presence. 

Is there a social event associated with the interview? 

  • Socials will occur 4-5 times each interview season, asynchronous from the interview day. They will occur over zoom.  


Do you need to be from the East Coast/will it impact whether you match at Temple? 

  • Nope. We train folks from all over the country and can put you in touch with current or former residents from your neck of the woods. 


How many residents do you accept each year? 

  • 14  


What sort of ED schedule do you guys have? 


  • In our high acuity “Red” Zone: 

    • We follow “Circadian scheduling”–basically bumping the shift forward a bit each day. As an intern, you start at 7am-5pm for two days, then 1pm-11pm for two days, then 9pm-7am for two days, then get the rest of that day and all of the next off before coming back. 

    • The 24-hour turn-around between each pair of shifts is clutch.   

    • While in the Red Zone, interns work 10-hour shifts and 2nd and 3rd year residents work 8-hour shifts. (So it’s 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm, and 11pm-7am for upper years.) 

  • In Yellow Zone, Jeanes ED, and Episcopal Hospital ED 

    • All eight-hour shifts for all classes! Shifts are either 8AM-4PM or 4PM-12AM 


How many shifts do you have per month? 

  • In Red Zone: You follow the Circadian schedule wherever you start in it until the block is over. ~20 shifts 

  • Yellow Zone (~14 shifts), Episcopal & Jeanes (~16 shifts) 


Why do interns work 10-hour shifts in Red Zone? 

  • We built it in so that the interns overlap during the busy points of the day, which lets your oncoming intern show up ready to rock while you get to ramp down, tidy up your cases, and get out right at the end of your shift.  It’s great.  


How far in advance are shifts posted? 

  • You get your annual schedule for ED months in June. 


Is it difficult to get time off for personal events? 

  • Not really. With enough advance notice the chiefs can jujitsu almost anything before the schedule is released, and since you have your schedule a year in advance it’s easy to arrange swaps thereafter. We have folks getting married, going abroad, having babies, attending conferences, going to concerts…normal people stuff. 

Clinical Experience

What are the demographics of the patients I will take care of at Temple? 

  • We are passionate about the patients we serve. Temple is a large, safety-net hospital with well-regarded specialty care, drawing many patients from the North Philadelphia and the Philadelphia suburbs that are diverse in their racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are proud that Temple University Hospital ranked #1 in PA and #13 in the nation for racial inclusivity by the Lown Institute in 2021. Episcopal Hospital, one of our urban, satellite sites, treats a patient population that is primarily underserved and speaks Spanish as their first language. Jeanes hospital is one of our satellite sites located in the suburbs, with a patient population reflective of that. 


How are traumas managed between trauma surgery and EM? 

  • Trauma patients are treated jointly by the EM team working in the department and the trauma surgery team.  

  • The ED team is responsible for the “right side of the patient”, including central line placement, right sided chest tubes, the EFAST. The EM-3 is in charge of the trauma airway. 

  • Due to the considerable amount of trauma seen in our department, all residents from both specialties have more than ample opportunity to become experts in the management and procedural aspects of trauma care. 

  • We see an equal mix of blunt and penetrating trauma. We think our trauma experience provides an excellent framework for training you in the team-based care of some of our most critically ill patients. 


Does anesthesia get involved with emergency department airways? 

  • In-house anesthesia is available and rarely will be called at the discretion of the ED team, but they are not notified and do not respond unless we call them. 

  • Temple residents get quite comfortable with difficult medical and trauma airways. The EM senior residents manage trauma airways, and the EM junior residents manage medical airways. The EM attending serves as the “back-up” for both trauma and medical airways if needed by the residents.  


What ancillary resources are available for managing patients? 

  • We have social work in the ED from early morning to late night and case management on-call to assist in acquiring equipment, medications, disposition, and follow-up to best meet our patient population’s needs and improve their health outcomes.  

  • Our transport team is also charged with telephone follow-up to check on patients' improvement, medication acquisition, and follow up appointments.  

  • We have a dedicated ED pharmacist who is a wonderful asset for everything from finding inexpensive treatment options for patients without insurance to complex resuscitation of crashing patients. 


What EMR do we use? 

  • The inpatient, outpatient, and ED settings are all on EPIC. 


Do you have dictation software? 

  • We absolutely do! We use Dragon 


What is our pediatric exposure? 

  • There are four dedicated pediatric months, with a Pediatric ICU experience at St.Christopher’s Hospital for Children as an intern, and one Pediatric EM block each year at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, we provide a longitudinal pediatric EM experience throughout the residency program with intermittent shifts at St. Christopher’s throughout the three years of training. We do this to provide complete exposure to the seasonal variations in pediatric presentations and to avoid the degradation of pediatric knowledge and skills during adult EM months. 

  • Additionally, our residents care for a mixed adult/pediatric population during EM months at Jeanes and Episcopal, and care for both adult and pediatric patients in our main ED.  

  • Our residents are routinely sought out to take an active role in the management of sick pediatric patients at our outside rotation sites. 


What other clinical sites are incorporated into your program? 

  • Refer to our Facilities page for extended info on all our residency sites. 


How many ICU months are integrated into our residency? 

  • There are a total of 5 ICU months. 1st year: Pediatric ICU and Medical ICU; 2nd year: Burn ICU and Surgical/Trauma ICU; 3rd year: Medical ICU.  

  • As a bonus, in the Medical ICU, the third year EM resident and the EM intern make up their own team. 


But seriously. Ask any resident about the unique and diverse patients we serve and have the privilege to treat.  We’re confident the strength of the clinical experience at Temple will be evident when you get to know us. We see a variety of presentations of pathology, severity of illness, social determinants of health, and get extremely comfortable with procedures.  


What are our conference times/hours? Journal clubs? 

  • Every Thursday, we have protected conference time from 8:00AM-12:00PM. Journal club is once a month and it is also protected time (held outside of the hospital). Protected time means attendings staff the ED while you learn. 


How is the clinical curriculum structured? 

  • Refer to our curriculum page for all the detailed information on clinical blocks. 


How are residents evaluated? 

  • Residents receive verbal feedback during every shift. In addition, there is a written daily evaluation that residents can access online. Finally residents also receive a semi-annual global evaluation to help track progress and provide suggestions for improvement. Meetings are scheduled twice annually with the program leadership to review evaluations with the resident and provide suggestions for growth and career enhancement. 


How do residents evaluate and improve the faculty and the program? 

  • Resident input matters, and the program leadership is quite open to it. Faculty and program evaluations completed by the residents are anonymous.  The program leaders have an open-door policy and are available night and day to discuss any issues. 


What mentorship opportunities does Temple provide? 

  • Every intern is paired with an attending mentor. This mentor has a mentee in each class, creating a mini-mentorship family.   

  • We are also a close-knit community of residents, and senior residents play a large role in the education and mentoring of junior residents. 

  • Our residency program also offers a Women’s Mentoring Group for all of the female residents and attendings at Temple.  Once every few months, the group gets together, over a fabulous dinner at one of the attendings homes, to discuss issues unique to women in medicine or sometimes just to hang out together. It’s a nice opportunity to get to know faculty outside of the clinical setting. 


How does Temple facilitate work-life balance within the curriculum schedule? 

  • We get your ED schedule out for the year in June, allowing you to plan your life outside the hospital for most of the year. We also have a swap-crazy residency. If you need off--you will be able to get off.  

  • Our program takes resident wellness seriously. Our schedule for ED months is designed to improve sleep patterns and assures that when residents have time off they are well-rested enough to enjoy it. In addition, the block scheduling allows for easy shift switches to accommodate a resident’s personal schedule. Our journal clubs and conferences are protected time so that all residents may attend and shifts on these educational days are shortened. 

  • Once a month we schedule a Residents Night Out (RNO) after our journal club, to spend time together as a large group. In the past, we’ve organized trips to a haunted prison, the local axe throwing club, and dragon boat racing on the Schuylkill (no experience required). During this time the ED is covered solely by attendings so that the residents in the ED may have the evening off. 

  • Every year we have a full residency retreat with only residents that occurs during orientation. The graduating PGY3 class covers the department so that the new crew can meet and bond.  


Temple Hospital Stuff 


Where do we park? 

  • Parking is free! There are two garages. We can park in the one directly attached to the hospital for our evening and overnight shifts. The other garage is located just across the street.  


Do we get caf money? 

  • We have plenty of hospital money. Most residents have a surplus of $$ and often can purchase snacks and goodies for the lounge! You will not want for cash (unless you ball out daily).  


How is the food? 

  • Truthfully—it's not bad. You have all the essentials and will be able to feed yourself on off-service rotations. 

  • Breakfast potatoes are fantastic. 


Do you need a car in residency? 

  • No. You can totally get away with not having a car in residency. It has been done. HOWEVER, your life is definitely easier if you have a car. During PGY2 and PGY3, people find cars useful to get to Jeanes and Episcopal. 


Where do residents hang-out at work? 

  • We have a great resident lounge right down the hall from the ED. This is where we come after shift to decompress and finish up charts. It’s also a popular place to hang out on call, and is equipped with a flat screen TV, video games, a fridge, a coffee maker, and the world’s best couch. 


Who stocks the Keurig? 

  • The chiefs ensure a well-stocked Keurig funded by the department. For fancy-pants coffee, Earth Cup is our hospital’s coffee shop and is located close to the ED for quick coffee runs. There’s a Starbucks across the street. You will not want for caffeine.


Where do residents live? 

  • Residents live all over the city. We have people living all over the heart of Philadelphia in a variety of neighborhoods. This includes Rittenhouse, Fairmount, Graduate Hospital, The Gayborhood, Fishtown, and Northern Liberties. We also have residents living a bit further away in places like Manayunk, East Falls, as well as Philadelphia suburbs 

  • Philly is a nice balance; it’s a major city with tons of activities and amenities that doesn’t break the bank. Residents drive or take the subway to work (garage parking across the street from the hospital is free). 


What’s the parking scene like? 

  • Depends on your neighborhood. It can be harder in Center City and the close-by neighborhoods. 

  • Public transit is accessible in Philly and can get you to work and to most places in the city. The city is also compact—so Uber/Lyft rides are short and relatively inexpensive. 


Do the residents hang out outside of work? 

  • Yes! Some of our favorite activities are biking, disc golfing, thrift shopping, dog walking, food eating, and beer gardening. We are a nice mix of singles, couples, and families with kids. 

  • We have an active group chat filled with invitations to get up to some fun with your co-residents 


What do people do in Philly? 

  • Philly is a compact, large city with lots to do. There is a thriving food scene with all cuisines represented. 

  • Always festivals, concerts, and street fairs going on in the city 

  • There is a great trail along the Schuylkill River that you can bike/run along. It can be taken all the way out to Valley Forge 

  • Wissahickon Park is a large, tree-lined area with hiking trails, a stream, and a main trail. 30 minutes from center city driving 

  • Easy bus/train to NYC, Baltimore, DC. 

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