Emergency Medicine

Program Features

EMS Training

The EMS training at Palmetto Health Richland combines several educational experiences to provide residents with exposure to a wide spectrum of out-of-hospital emergency care. The EMS curriculum consists both ground and air ambulance assignments during an intern year rotation.

Ground EMS

Richland County EMS transports more than 35,000 patients per year, the majority of which come to Palmetto Health Richland. Residents interface with Richland County EMS by riding with ground units and giving lectures to paramedics on emergency medicine topics. 

Aeromedical EMS

Our residents ride with the regional aeromedical EMS service, LifeNet. 

Tactical EMS

Work with the Richland County Sheriff's Department of Special Response Team and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Educational activities include exercises in care-under-fire, medical threat assessment, command responsibility, and care of the team. 

Children’s Emergency Center

The Children's Emergency Center occupies more than 8,000 square feet of space within the emergency department and cares for the more than 30,000 patients each year.

  • All emergency medicine attending physicians staff the CEC including three physicians double-boarded in emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine.
  • The CEC is a well-maintained clinical area with trained pediatric nurses, private rooms and a resuscitation bay.
  • While rotating in the emergency department, one-third of all shifts are done in the Children's Emergency Center. Interns also complete block rotation of exclusive pediatric emergency medicine shifts.

Trauma Center

Palmetto Health Richland provides the only Level I Trauma Center for the Midlands region of South Carolina. Within the emergency department are two spacious, state-of-the-art trauma resuscitation bays where more than 2400 major trauma admissions are seen each year.

The EM residents actively participate in all trauma resuscitations by providing airway management and by rotating on the trauma service during two months of their training. Approximately twenty percent of trauma admissions are for penetrating injuries.

Ultrasound Training and Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship

The Emergency Department at Palmetto Health Richland has been a national leader in emergency ultrasound education since 1997. There currently are seven ultrasound systems in the department exclusively for EM resident and attending use.

Residents are provided with a state-of-the-art, web-based education system on common and novel uses of ultrasound in emergency medicine settings. All residents complete hundreds of exams in an expanding number of uses. Since 1998, department personnel have been directing the 3rd Rock Ultrasound Emergency Ultrasound Course.

The Emergency Department also offers a one-year fellowship in emergency ultrasound. Fellows will receive advanced training in all areas of clinical ultrasound including cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, procedural, musculoskeletal and critical care.

Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Prisma Health Richland is home to an internationally praised Hyperbaric Medicine course that is open to interested residents as an elective rotation. Over tha past twenty-five years, this unique service has become nationally and globally prominent. Patients are transferred to Prisma Health–Midlands from all over South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia for treatment. 

Wilderness Medicine

The wilderness medicine rotation has been extremely popular with residents in emergency medicine and other specialties. Medical student positions are available for the rotation conducted every spring. The curriculum is a combination of live didactic lectures as well as outdoor skills stations. The rotation culminates in a four-day camping trip to the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina.

Simulation and Surgical Skills Procedure Lab

The Prisma Health Simulation Center is located on the Richland campus with over 10,000 square feet of surface area. It contains exceptional, state-of-the-art resources for this exciting and growing area of medical education. The center's director, Dr. Chris Gainey, is a faculty member with the department of emergency medicine and EM residents are assigned to educational exercises conducted in the lab on a regular basis.


The Palmetto Poison Control Center (PPC) is under the direction of Dr. William Richardson, a member of our faculty and the leading toxicologist in the state. The center is located in Columbia and serves all 46 counties in South Carolina and receives 37,000 calls per year for information and advice. 

Transition to Practice

The program's curriculum includes training and instruction on topics relevant to the challenges residents face after graduation. The lecture series includes talks on personal finance, contracts, job searching, hospital administration, medical malpractice, fatigue and interpersonal relationships.

Senior Retreat

Each spring, senior residents and their spouses participate in an out-of-town retreat. The retreat includes sessions on personal finance, interpersonal relationships, and medical malpractice.