Choosing where to train for residency is one of the most important career decisions a new physician will ever make. The clinical, social, educational, and professional experiences of residency training will create a foundation for life long learning and career sustainability after graduation. 

The UC Davis Emergency Medicine residency training program is an ACGME-accredited, 3-year, university-based program whose vision is to educate emergency physicians who will provide compassionate, state-of-the-art emergency care, and advance the field of emergency medicine in their careers as clinicians, educators, and researchers. Emergency room

The program offers a unique two-site training model. The primary site, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, is an urban, tertiary care academic medical center. It is the region’s only level-1 combined Adult and Pediatric trauma center, Sacramento’s safety net hospital for the underinsured, is home to the region’s only comprehensive burn center and comprehensive children’s hospital, and is one of four California Poison Control Centers. The secondary site, Northern California Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento, is an urban level-2 trauma center, and complements the primary site by offering robust clinical training in a number of subspecialties, including emergency medicine, within a comprehensive managed care network. 

Our large and diverse academic faculty teach residents using the most current educational methodologies in one of the country’s most advanced simulation centers, the Center for Virtual Care. The program includes clinical and didactic training in ultrasound, trauma, quality improvement and patient safety, and medical toxicology. The Department of Emergency Medicine supports seven fellowship programs whose fellows are all engaged in resident clinical and didactic education. Residents, fellows, and faculty are supported through a culture of wellness and work-life balance promoting career sustainability. 

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has continuously accredited the program since its inception in 1990. Those who complete the residency program are eligible for certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. 

Emergency medicine residents at UC Davis spend approximately 70 percent of their time at the primary training site and 30 percent of their time at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. The residency program is designed to meet or exceed all applicable ACGME requirements and to cover the entire core curriculum in emergency medicine.

The clinical schedule is designed to provide the educational experiences necessary to achieve clinical competence in the broad field of emergency medicine and includes dedicated clinical experiences such as medical ICU, surgical ICU, cardiac ICU, pediatric ICU, pediatric ED, anesthesia, ophthalmology, and toxicology, among others. Each rotation is selected primarily for its educational value. The clinical curriculum allows the selection of the best location for each experience.

ResidentsThe high quality of off-service rotations is a strong aspect of the program. The curriculum is evaluated annually by residents and faculty and is modified to meet educational goals and objectives. The program supports a culture of progressive responsibility for residents with supervision by board certified/board eligible emergency medicine attending physicians. Senior residents function independently by the end of their training.

Academic forum

An average of at least five hours per week is scheduled for academic conferences in emergency medicine. Academic Forum includes grand rounds, morbidity and mortality conference, simulation training, invited local and national speakers, quality improvement and patient safety conferences, mock oral board exam preparation, and presentations by residents. Clinical rotation schedules are arranged to allow maximum attendance at Academic Forum where faculty from both training sites lecture or facilitate small group discussions. Presenters utilize traditional lecture formats as well as interactive learning to teach emergency medicine practice and as such the vast majority of content is presented or facilitated by emergency physicians. 

Residents develop teaching and public speaking skills by presenting grand rounds, procedure conferences, morbidity and mortality conference case reports, and by facilitating case conferences. At monthly journal club, faculty and residents discuss selected emergency medicine topics and develop skills to interpret the medical literature and discuss practice implications of new published findings. Advanced certifications in ACLS, PALS, ENLS and ATLS are offered early in the training program. The Department offers national postgraduate Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences at nearby resorts.


The emergency department at UC Davis Medical Center sees over 80,000 patients each year with high admission rates to general, telemetry, and critical care beds due to the severity of illness and injury. More than 60 percent of all hospital patients at UC Davis are admitted through the emergency department. UC Davis Medical Center is the only level I trauma center for inland northern California and averages over 5,000 critical trauma activations per year. Eighty percent of trauma admissions are due to blunt trauma. 

UC Davis Medical Center is the designated online medical control base station for Sacramento and the surrounding counties’ EMS providers. During the EMS rotation, residents ride along with ground EMS units and also have the option to fly with one of the regional aeromedical helicopter transport companies. 

The medical center is the site of the Northern California Regional Poison Control Center. Residents rotate on the medical toxicology service in the PGY3 year and take calls in the center facilitating care for adults and children from all over California. 

The emergency department is a state of the art facility with 68 designated patient beds. Located in the Trauma and Emergency Services Pavilion complex, which opened in October 2010, it also has a dedicated pediatric pod within the main ED, in-department radiology services, stat laboratory facilities, adjacent cardiac catheterization and interventional radiology suites, and trauma resuscitation rooms that connect to operating theaters by elevator. The patient population is comprised of general adult and pediatric medical patients, tertiary referrals, and the full range of blunt and penetrating adult and pediatric trauma patients. Residents receive ample hands-on experience managing acutely ill and injured patients including advanced airway management, critical trauma and medical resuscitation, psychiatric stabilization, precipitous delivery, and many other types of emergency conditions. UC Davis Medical Center provides a substantial amount of the care to Sacramento’s underinsured patients; however, the hospital enjoys a much higher level of ancillary care support than generally exists at other urban hospitals.


The secondary training site, South Sacramento Kaiser Emergency Department, treats approximately 130,000 patients per year and is a level 2 trauma center, providing residents with the experience of a community-based emergency department within a managed health care system. The clinical experience at Kaiser is complementary to the clinical experience at UC Davis. Training within different payment model systems is advantageous for training physicians for future practice in a managed care environment.

Beginning in 2017, PGY2 residents will rotate at the Northern California VA (Veterans Affairs) Emergency Department at Mather Field in Sacramento. The Sacramento VA Medical Center (VAMC) is a 60-bed, newly remodeled inpatient facility and offers patients access to operating theaters, cardiac catheterization services, Sacramento VAMC emergency department, remodeled in 2016diagnostic angiography, and gastroenterology and endoscopy services. Advanced imaging is available. The VAMC emergency department is a 911-receiving facility and provides 24-hour care to veterans and the public. Emergency medicine residents are supervised by UC Davis emergency medicine faculty while at the VA.

Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year (2016-17 match cycle), the UC Davis emergency medicine residency program, in collaboration with the United States Air Force will offer two active duty training positions in each new residency class. Interested applicants from the USUHSHPSP-affiliated programs , and current active duty physicians should apply through the Joint Services GME Selection Board . Integrated Air Force residents will complete the same ACGME-accredited 3-year core emergency medicine curriculum as their civilian counterparts. Integrated residents will be on active duty orders throughout their training and will be entitled to pay and benefits commensurate to their rank and grade. Graduates of the program are eligible for board certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Upon completion of integrated residency training, Air Force graduates will enter into the Air Force Medical Corps as Emergency Medicine physicians (AFSC 44E3). The significance of this partnership cannot be overstated for the health of Air Force medical training and the future of military medicine in general.

-Visit our USAF Residency Match Program page


For more information please contact:

Rod Fontenette, MD, Major, USAF
Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, Davis

Rory Stuart, MD, Major, MC, USAF
Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, Davis

The UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine is consistently ranked in the top 5 clinical departments nationally for federal research funding (NIH) in emergency medicine.  Exposure to research methodology is integral to education in residency training. Clinical research continues to play a significant role in the academic development of the specialty. Residents complete a scholarly project presented in the senior year that may include a clinical research focus. 

The Department provides statistical and computer support for clinical operations, for its education programs and trainees, and its research mission. Clinical research is facilitated within the emergency department by opportunities for resident involvement in clinical research and quality improvement projects. Inter-professional quality improvement and patient safety conferences are held quarterly. Residents who wish to pursue a career in academic emergency medicine are encouraged, supported, and mentored. All residents are supported to be successful leaders regardless of their intended area of practice after graduation.