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Characteristics of Emergency Medicine Residency Programs in Colombia


Introduction: Emergency medicine (EM) is in different stages of development around the world.Colombia has made significant strides in EM development in the last two decades and recognized it as amedical specialty in 2005. The country now has seven EM residency programs: three in the capital city ofBogotá, two in Medellin, one in Manizales, and one in Cali. The seven residency programs are in differentstages of maturity, with the oldest founded 20 years ago and two founded in the last two years. Theobjective of this study was to characterize these seven residency programs.

Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with faculty and residents from all the existingprograms in 2013-2016. Topics included program characteristics and curricula.

Results: Colombian EM residencies are three-year programs, with the exception of one four-yearprogram. Programs accept 3-10 applicants yearly. Only one program has free tuition and the rest chargetuition. The number of EM faculty ranges from 2-15. EM rotation requirements range from 11-33% oftotal clinical time. One program does not have a pediatric rotation. The other programs require 1-2months of pediatrics or pediatric EM. Critical care requirements range from 4-7 months. Other commonrotations include anesthesia, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics,ophthalmology, radiology, toxicology, psychiatry, neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, and trauma. Allprograms offer 4-6 hours of protected didactic time each week. Some programs require AdvancedCardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support, with someprograms providing these trainings in-house or subsidizing the cost. Most programs require one researchproject for graduation. Resident evaluations consist of written tests and oral exams several times per year.Point-of-care ultrasound training is provided in four of the seven programs.

Conclusion: As emergency medicine continues to develop in Colombia, more residency programsare expected to emerge. Faculty development and sustainability of academic pursuits will be criticallyimportant. In the long term, the specialty will need to move toward certifying board exams andprofessional development through a national EM organization to promote standardization acrossprograms.

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