Sunday, June 29, 2014

Learning Resource: Closing the Gap

For fourth year students interested in Emergency Medicine this is the time when most are finally getting to do EM rotations. There are a lot of objectives packed into these four week blocks. You need to figure out if this is really the kind of medicine you want to practice. You need to "audition", showing your aptitude and fit for EM, and secure letters of recommendation evaluation. You also want to start improving your clinical skills and getting some procedural experiences under your belt.  The latter is where todays post come in.

The scope of EM practice includes numerous procedures, including high stakes ones like pericardiocentesis, cricothyrotomy, and resuscitative thoracotomies. While you will learn to do these eventually, at this stage it will be higher yield to focus on the procedures that are more readily available, like wound management. You should get opportunities to do wound repair during your rotations and your future residency will expect you to arrive with some degree of experience with basic wound closure techniques.

The world of FOAMed (Free Open Access Medical Education) is overflowing with great resources for procedural education. The "Closing the Gap" site,, is a particularly nice resource that consists of a set of videos and annotations covering the majority of wound repair techniques you need to know. Start with simple interrupted sutures, check out the corner stitch, and work your way through the advanced techniques, like layered closure.