Adult Emergency Medicine

Goals and Objectives

The resident must acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical basis of the specialty, including its foundations in the basic medical sciences and research.

Appropriate procedural and pharmacotherapeutic manoeuvres are central to these abilities.

At the completion of training, the resident will have acquired the following competencies and will function effectively as a:

Medical Expert

  • Effectively perform a consultation, including the presentation of well-documented assessments and recommendations in written and/or verbal form in response to a request from another health care professional including: community family physicians, referring emergency physicians and other specialists for a patient requiring emergency care.
  • Recognize and respond to the ethical dimensions in medical decision-making, specifically in an emergency medicine practice context where consent is not always obtainable.
  • Demonstrate compassionate and patient-centered care.
  • Demonstrate medical expertise in situations other than patient care, such as advising hospital and/or regional health authorities; advising government agencies or providing expert legal opinions.
  • Apply the basic scientific and clinical knowledge necessary to rapidly assess and manage patients with acute and/or undifferentiated illness or injury, ranging from life-threatening events to common minor presentations.
  • Be aware of his/her knowledge, skills and personal limitations, and be able to seek advice as necessary resulting in subsequent performance enhancement.
  • Triage and set appropriate priorities when dealing with single or multiple critically ill patients.
  • Perform accurate and complete clinical assessments of patients presenting with non-specific clinical complaints and syndromes.
  • Effectively identify and explore issues to be addressed in a patient encounter within an emergency medicine practice, including the patient’s context, beliefs and preferences.
  • Generate differential diagnoses that are well organized and compatible with known clinical and laboratory information and include both likely entities and less common but serious/life threatening conditions.
  • Demonstrate effective clinical problem solving and judgment to address patient problems, including interpreting available data and integrating information to generate differential diagnoses and management plans.
  • Use timely and selective clinical reassessments to optimize and facilitate patient care.
  • Select medically appropriate investigative methods in a resource-effective and ethical manner with attention to their diagnostic utility, safety, availability and cost.
  • Ensure informed consent is obtained for investigations, when indicated and feasible.
  • Appropriately document and disseminate information related to the investigations performed.
  • Ensure that adequate follow-up is arranged for the results of investigations.
  • Recognize and manage crisis situations/critically ill patients in a calm, prompt and skilful manner.
  • Ensure informed consent is obtained for therapies, when indicated and feasible.
  • Ensure patients receive appropriate end-of-life care.
  • Select and perform minor diagnostic procedures relevant to all age groups and to the daily practice of emergency medicine.
  • Select and perform minor therapeutic procedures relevant to the daily practice of emergency medicine for all age groups.
  • Select and perform care and techniques of simple and complex wound repair for all age groups.
  • Possess a fundamental knowledge of the indications, contraindications, methods and potential complications of the less common but necessary medical therapeutic and investigative procedures employed in the practice of emergency medicine.


  • Develop rapport, trust, positive and ethical therapeutic relationships with patients and their defined family units.
  • Accurately elicit and synthesize relevant information and perspectives of patients, defined families units, colleagues, and other professionals.
  • Accurately convey relevant information and explanations to patients and their defined families units, colleagues and other professionals, empathetically providing effective, clear and thorough explanations of diagnosis, investigation, management and expected outcome, even during times of crisis.
  • Develop a common understanding on issues, problems and plans with patients, their defined family units, and other professionals to develop a shared plan of care.


  • Participate effectively and appropriately in an interprofessional health care team.
  • Effectively work with other health professionals to prevent, negotiate, and resolve interprofessional conflict.


  • Work collaboratively with others in their organizations.
  • Recognize the importance of the fair allocation of health care resources, balancing effectiveness, efficiency and access with optimal patient care.
  • Participate in systemic quality process evaluation and improvement, such as patient safety initiatives.
  • Describe the process for addressing adverse events.
  • Employ information technology appropriately for patient care.

Health Advocate

  • Respond to individual patient health needs and issues as part of patient care.
  • Identify opportunities for advocacy, health promotion and disease prevention with individuals to whom they provide care.
  • Identify the determinants of health for the populations that they serve.
  • Promote the health of individual patients, communities, and populations.


  • Maintain and enhance professional activities through ongoing learning.
  • Recognize and reflect on learning issues in practice.
  • Pose an appropriate learning question.
  • Access and interpret the relevant evidence.



Updated April, 2020

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