Best Emergency Medicine Residency Programs (2024)

May 6, 2024
2 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/6/24

If you’d like to join a residency program where you’re constantly faced with life or death decisions, critical patients, and the unexpected, read on to learn about the best residency programs for emergency medicine. 

Whether you’re a huge fan of Grey’s Anatomy and were inspired by Seattle Grace’s Level 1 Trauma Center that treated all sorts of unbelievable cases, or you simply wish to work in a high-paced medical specialty with the greatest impact on patients, it’s essential you pick the right emergency medicine (EM) residency program to succeed. 

A renowned emergency medicine residency program will equip you with the right experience and practice to be able to swiftly handle urgent and life-threatening situations. To help you choose the perfect residency, this guide will go over the best emergency medicine residency programs the nation has to offer!

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Best Emergency Medicine Residency Programs

These programs are the best for training doctors to handle urgent medical situations. They provide comprehensive training in emergency care, preparing residents to work efficiently in high-pressure environments. Here are the top 8 emergency medicine residency programs.

How Competitive Is Emergency Medicine Residency?

After reviewing the best EM residency programs, you might be wondering what your chances are of landing a spot in this type of residency. 

Emergency medicine residency programs are generally competitive because there are always far more applicants than available spots. However, compared to other in-demand residencies such as neurology, it is far less competitive. 

To give you a better perspective on the competitiveness of EM, let’s look at some of the 2022 residency statistics. 3081 applicants applied to emergency medicine residency programs in 2022, but only 2702 of these applicants matched. 

In comparison, 1463 students applied for a neurology residency but only 761 actually matched into a program.

So, while emergency medicine is competitive, it is certainly not one of the most competitive residencies out there. There are also over 200 EM residency programs currently available, meaning students can apply to several programs to maximize their chances of matching!

FAQs: Best Emergency Medicine Residency Programs

If you have any remaining questions about the best emergency medicine residency programs, read on to find your answers.

1. Is Emergency Medicine a Competitive Residency?

Compared to other residencies, it has a medium level of competitiveness. While it’s not the easiest residency to get into, it’s far from being the hardest! 

2. What Makes a Good EM Residency?

Your residency is typically your last form of education before you become an independent doctor and can practice on your own, unless you also complete a fellowship. As such, you want to choose a program that offers the best and most diverse resources to help you succeed in your fast approaching medical career.

Look out for programs from high-ranking schools, as they can generally offer you more resources and opportunities. Otherwise, focus on the clinical rotations being offered.

You want a program that will let you see and experience as much as possible! Programs that are affiliated with several high-volume trauma training sites with different populations, such as women’s hospitals, children’s hospitals, or veteran’s hospitals, will best prepare you for your emergency medicine career. 

3. What Is Emergency Medicine?

Emergency medicine is a medical specialty that involves urgent and often life-threatening situations where patients need varying levels of care. EM physicians have to accurately diagnose, treat, and manage acute illness.

4. What Skills Are Required To Do Well In Emergency Medicine?

Students interested in EM must be able to adapt, handle pressure, and think quickly. This specialty is also very unpredictable! There’s no telling what kind of emergency you’ll encounter, so you must be comfortable with the unfamiliar and willing to consistently learn and problem-solve to be an effective EM physician.

While all specialities of medicine deal with patient loss, emergency medicine physicians often deal with critical patients and thus deal with patient loss frequently. Accordingly, aspiring EM physicians must be prepared for this and have the right resources and support to handle it.

5. How Many Emergency Medicine Programs Are Offered in the U.S.?

In 2023, there were 272 EM programs offered in the U.S.

6. Is Emergency Medicine a Popular Specialty?

Yes! It is one of the top specialty choices for students. Thousands of applicants apply to this specialty every year. 

7. How Long Are Emergency Medicine Residency Programs?

The majority of EM residency programs are three or four years long.

Final Thoughts 

Emergency medicine is a highly rewarding specialty, but it’s definitely not for everyone! It’s a difficult field to get into, and arguably even more difficult to stay in. Matching with one of the best emergency residency programs is a great way to maximize your chances of enjoying and thriving as an emergency medicine physician!

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