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There is a critical and growing need for emergency physicians and emergency medicine resources worldwide. To meet this need, physicians must be trained to deliver time-sensitive interventions and life-saving emergency care. Currently, there is no internationally recognized, standard curriculum that defines the basic minimum standards for emergency medicine education. To address this lack, the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) convened a committee of international physicians, health professionals, and other experts in emergency medicine and international emergency medicine development to outline a curriculum for foundation training of medical students in emergency medicine. This curriculum document represents the consensus of recommendations by this committee. The curriculum is designed with a focus on the basic minimum emergency medicine educational content that any medical school should be delivering to its students during their undergraduate years of training. It is not designed to be prescriptive, but to assist educators and emergency medicine leadership in advancing physician education in basic emergency medicine content. The content would be relevant, not just for communities with mature emergency medicine systems, but also for developing nations or for nations seeking to expand emergency medicine within current educational structures. We anticipate that there will be wide variability in how this curriculum is implemented and taught, reflecting the existing educational milieu, the resources available, and the goals of the institutions’ educational leadership.
The International Federation for Emergency Medicine believes that:
This curriculum establishes an international consensus on the core content of undergraduate level emergency medicine training with the goal of elevating the quality of acute care worldwide through an expansion of basic emergency medicine education. This curriculum further reflects the importance of emergency medicine as a medical profession worldwide. The document is organized sequentially, as a framework rather than a comprehensive plan. Educators using this curriculum should make use of the framework to develop educational programs that are contextualized and specifically meet local educational requirements. This model allows easy adaptation of any of the features and provides an example of an expanded 4-year curriculum for a single learning objective.
The clinical settings and environmental context for medical education varies widely throughout the world. To attain minimum basic competency in emergency medicine core learning objectives, medical students must be given a variety of opportunities for professional development. These opportunities should be longitudinal in nature, begin early in the preclinical years, and extend into clinical contexts that allow focus on acute and emergency conditions. The following basic guidelines should structure the educational process of achieving core competencies in minimum emergency medicine knowledge and skills.
During undergraduate and early training every medical student should:
These learning objectives are designed to allow easy modification to the local needs and are written so that objective measures of performance and competency can be designed to measure attainment of the learning objective.
To assist educators in crafting a curriculum that fits local needs, we have provided an example of a 4-year plan for a single learning objective. Educators may use this as a guide to construct individual-, national-, and institution-specific models for content delivery. This method is not intended to be prescriptive, but to provide a simple model for tailoring content to the unique educational models that exist throughout the world.
Learning objective # 5: recognize and initiate first aid for airway obstruction
The views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and not those of the editors, editorial board or publisher.