Background : Medical student advisors may lack a detailed understanding of the Emergency Medicine (EM) interview and match requirements. Even experienced EM advisors encounter situations beyond their comfort, requiring a discreet and nuanced approach. The Council of EM Residency Directors (CORD) Advising Students Committee in Emergency Medicine (ASC-EM) identified a need for a secure forum for questions from advisors and created a consult service to leverage member expertise.
Objective : The objectives of the consult service are to increase the support for advisors of EM-bound students, answer questions about complex or perplexing student situations, and improve student match outcomes through quality advising. ASC-EM members often receive informal questions. It was hypothesized that a consult service utilizing ASC-EMs expertise could provide a streamlined way to provide advice and resources for situations arising among those advising students.
Methods : Consult questions are accepted from any faculty who advise prospective EM applicants. A consult email address was created and templates were generated for consistency. “Team consult service” faculty sign confidentiality agreements to protect sensitive information. The team leader de-identifies the consult, clarifies key information, and ensures reviewers are not from the students’ institution. Teams of 3 faculty draft a consensus response within 1 week. The team lead tracks consultations and outcomes, including match results.
Outcomes : The consult service proposal was approved by the CORD Board in Spring 2018 with near immediate implementation. Given the timeframe since implementation, there are not yet sufficient data to evaluate the effectiveness of the initial consultations received. Review of data will be performed after the 2019 match cycle is complete. Informal feedback from advisors and dean groups has been very positive.