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Emergency Medicine Program

Student presents research at UC San Diego's FMP Symposium

Learn about FMP's Emergency Medicine Program, where you can work in an emergency department for credit.

If you are interested in volunteering in the ER without the FMP, please see the School of Medicine's program website.

The Faculty Mentor Program Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program is a joint program through the Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) and the School of Medicine.

This program was created to expand research opportunities for students interested in careers in medicine or a future in clinical research.

Our program is committed to creating a positive atmosphere of learning. The emergency department is a wonderful place with a diverse patient population. You will have direct one-on-one patient interaction and will work closely with emergency department physicians and nurses on various clinical research projects. This will provide you with opportunities to develop relationships to obtain letters of recommendation and publish research papers. Topics currently being investigated include: chest pain, abdominal pain, and falls in the elderly.

Faculty Mentor Program's Emergency Medical Program also produces student seminars. Seminar topics may include: interviewing skills/ mock interviews, how to write a personal statement, what medical schools look for, and other important topics that will increase your chances of being accepted to medical school. 

Students receive independent student credit (199) through the School of Medicine. The program may not be taken for credit through the Department of Biological Sciences (BISP 199).

The difference between volunteering in the ER and participating in the FMP/ER program is that you will receive academic credit, attend seminars, and work for 10 hours a week with the FMP.  Regular ER volunteers work for 4 hours a week, receive no credit, and perform fewer research-focused activities.

Program benefits:

  • Work alongside emergency department physicians and nurses
  • Secure letters of recommendation for medical school or graduate studies
  • Publish research papers
  • One-on-one patient interaction
  • “Hands on” clinical research experience
  • Optional quarterly seminars on medical school application strategies

Application process:

Applicants must complete 3 steps:

  1. Fill out the online FMP application no later than September 29, and click “Yes” for the question “Are you applying to the Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program?”
  2. Write your cover letter and submit it online no later than September 29.
  3. Attend one of the following question-and-answer sessions -- RSVP required (email Dr. Castillo at emcastillo@ucsd.edu to RSVP):
    • Thursday, Sept 28, 2:00-3:30pm at Round Table Pizza on campus, or
    • Friday, Sept 29, 2:00-3:30pm at Home Plate on campus.

Important notes:

  • Students who are accepted into the program must be able to attend the mandatory UCSD Health Volunteer Services Orientation in the UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center on Friday, October 6th, 3:00pm-5:00pm. Current volunteers in good standing do not need to attend.
  • Please note that this program may not be taken for Biology independent study (BISP 199) credit; you will received credit through the School of Medicine (MED 199).
  • Read more about the FMP student application process.