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

The UC Davis Emergency Medicine residency training program is an allopathic, 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. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).Emergency room

The program offers training in seven different clinical sites. 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 trauma center (combined Adult and Pediatric), Sacramento’s safety net hospital for the uninsured and underinsured, home to the region’s only comprehensive burn center and comprehensive children’s hospital, and one of four California Poison Control Centers.

Northern California Kaiser Permanente is California's largest managed care network. South Sacramento Kaiser is a Level-2 trauma center with annaul volume exceeding 125,000 patients. Sacramento Kaiser Permanente cares for patients from the northern and eastern sides of Sacramento and has an annual volume that exceed 115,000 patients. Roseville Kaiser Permanente seerves the eastern most part of the Sacramento region and has an annual volume that exceeds 115,000 patients. The Sacramento VA Medical Center at Mather Air Force Base serves veterans and their families and proovides residents with unique training opportunities not found at other larger hospitals. With physician staffing by Vituity, Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, CA is a level-2 trauma center, a STEMI receiving center, and the region's only Comprehensive Stroke Center treating over 80,000 patients annually. Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California is the West Coast's premier pediatric referral center for children with complex healthcare needs, including orthopedic injuries and burns. Residents spend approximately 70 percent of their time at the primary site and 30 percent of their time in the affiliated sites. The residency program is designed to meet or exceed all applicable ACGME requirements and to cover the entire core curriculum in Emergency Medicine over three years. While on Emergency Medicine rotations, residents are exclusively supervised by board certified/board eligible Emergency Medicine physicians. Graduates from the program are eligible for board certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) or the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM), if applicable.

Our large and diverse 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 offers advanced training in ultrasound, quality improvement and patient safety, and medical toxicology. The Department of Emergency Medicine supports several fellowship programs whose trainees actively participate in resident supervision and education. Residents, fellows, and faculty are supported through a culture of wellness that promotes personal resiliency, professional fulfillment, and career sustainability.

The clinical curriculum 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 for its educational value. With a multi-site program structure, we can choose 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 modified to maximize educational goals and objectives. Integral to the curriculum is a system 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

At least five hours per week is scheduled for academic conferences. Academic Forum includes grand rounds, morbidity and mortality conference, simulation training, invited local and national speakers, quality improvement and patient safety conferences,  oral board exam preparation, problem based learning, and presentations by residents. Clinical rotation schedules are arranged to allow maximum attendance at Academic Forum where faculty from all training sites present or facilitate small group discussions. Presenters utilize traditional lecture formats as well as interactive learning to teach the practice of Emergency Medicine. As such, the 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 topics in Emergency Medicine, develop skills to interpret the medical literature, and discuss practice implications of published findings. Advanced certifications in ACLS, PALS, ENLS and ATLS are offered early in the training program. The Department of Emergency Medicine offers nationally recognized postgraduate Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences at nearby resorts.


The emergency department at UC Davis Medical Center treats over 80,000 patients each year with high admission rates to medical/surgical, 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 annually. 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 PGY3 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 home to 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 area 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 referral from surrounding hospitals, 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 deliveries, 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.


South Sacramento Kaiser Emergency Department is located near Elk Grove, just south of downtown Sacramento. The ED 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. In addition to ED rotations, residents are hosted on several off-service rotations in each of the three PGY years. The clinical experience at South 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.

The North Valley Kaiser Permanente PGY3 rotation is configured to provide senior residents with exposure to the independent practice of Emergency Medicine in a community setting. This clinical experience is offered at the Kaiser Permanente Emergency Departments in Sacramento and Roseville, each site with annual volume of 120,000-130,000 per year. Residents provide care for patients with a broad spectrum of clinical problems typical for community practice. Although both sites are community hospitals, residents can access the full spectrum of consultative services typically only available at tertiary and specialty care centers while still obtaining exposure to the productivity and efficiency demands associated with community practice. Faculty at the North Kaiser emergency departments are board certified/board eligible in emergency medicine, and all hold academic appointments with the UC Davis School of Medicine.

PGY2 residents 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, gastroenterology and endoscopy services. The VAMC emergency department is a 911-receiving facility and provides 24-hour care to veterans and the public. The VA experience offers residents an opportunity to work in a small, single-coverage ED and to master the art of stabilization and transfer, when needed. UC Davis Emergency Medicine faculty supervise residents at the VA.

In 2019 (during the 2018-19 match cycle), the UC Davis Emergency Medicine residency program, in collaboration with the United States Air Force, will offer four 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 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 will be eligible for board certification by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Upon completion of integrated residency training, Air Force graduates will enter 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 during residency training, and residents learn on the job, during journal club, from research mentors, and during the development phase of their scholarly project. Clinical research continues to play a significant role in the academic development of the specialty. The resident scholarly project, presented in the senior year, may include a clinical research focus. 

The Department provides statistical and computer support for clinical operations, 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. Interprofessional 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 to that goal. All residents are supported to be successful leaders regardless of their intended area of practice after graduation.