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Welcome from our Program Director


Welcome to the Upstate Medical University Dept. of Emergency Medicine residency program! Being an emergency medicine physician is one of the hardest jobs in medicine. The training you receive with us will prepare you to thrive in any ED environment – from an isolated rural hospital to the busiest tertiary care trauma center. 

During their three years with us, our residents are responsible for staffing the University Hospital ED (a tertiary care center), the University Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department (the region's only dedicated pediatric ED), the Upstate Community Hospital Emergency Department (a community hospital operated by Upstate Medical University), and the Syracuse VA Emergency Department. As the only tertiary care center in central NY, our catchment area extends as far north as the Canadian border and as far south as Pennsylvania. Despite living in a moderate-sized city, our patient volume between all four sites approaches 150K per year, and our residents are exposed to the full spectrum of emergency medicine care and pathology. 

Another unique aspect of training at Upstate is the number of fellowship-trained faculty and fellowships available. We currently offer fellowships in EMS and Disaster Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, Emergency Ultrasound, International Emergency Medicine, and Sports Medicine fellowship. This level of exposure to sub-specialty trained faculty is rarely seen in other residencies; it significantly increases the depth of training and allows our residents to fully explore all the areas of expertise that emergency medicine has to offer. 

In addition to fellowship exposure we offer our residents many other avenues of career development. Many of our residents participate in national and regional organizations and committees and attend the meetings necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. All of our second-year residents attend the NY ACEP meeting in July, and all of our third-year residents attend the national ACEP meeting in the fall. All residents are required to complete a research project with the assistance of a faculty mentor; this project will be submitted to a conference and, if accepted, the department will pay to send the resident to present at the conference. 

Although no residency is easy, we strive to make your work-life balance as good as can be, and our residents routinely comment that the collegial relationship between the EM faculty and residents is one of the best aspects of the program. Except at the VA, shifts in the ED are only 8.5 hours long. Our residents have an active social life, play on a bar league volleyball team together, and rock climb and practice martial arts (along with some attendings) at the local climbing and Jiu Jitsu gyms. Whether you’re single or married with children, Syracuse--and Central New York in general--has much to offer and is far more affordable than most major metropolitan areas. Syracuse University offers big time D1 sports; the beautiful Finger Lakes and their wineries are within an hour’s drive; the local restaurant, brew pub, music, and theater scenes are excellent; there is endless backpacking and canoeing both locally and in the Adirondacks; the summer and fall are beautiful, and even the winter can be great if you like to ski, skate, snowshoe, or ice climb. And, if you need that big city fix, New York City and Toronto are only a 4-hour car ride away. 

A common comment during our third-year resident exit interviews is that Syracuse is a hidden gem; once you’re here, it can be hard to leave. I hope you come and check us out for yourself. We look forward to hearing from you. 


Sincerely yours,  

David Andonian 

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