No job in clinical medicine today is more challenging than emergency medicine. The hallmark of our specialty is the ability to evaluate a patient in distress with an undifferentiated complaint and quickly stabilize, treat, and disposition. Emergency Medicine is a specialty of breadth. Our scope of practice touches on almost every medical specialty. Every shift is unique as one manages a variety of patients and problems in parallel in a high tempo environment. Military emergency physicians take this one step further. Not only are we required to know how to treat civilian emergent conditions but we must also have the capability to manage high velocity rifle wounds, severe blast injuries, and other unique combat injuries that may occur in a host of extreme environments. Practicing good medicine in unconventional environments is what attracts many of us to the specialty. Military Emergency Medicine requires the ability to think on one’s feet, improvise, adapt, and overcome.


The challenge of military emergency medicine is not the only reason to consider remaining on active duty for residency training. For most military physicians who complete an operational tour, annual income is three times the amount of civilian counterparts and nearly double that of those that accept training immediately after internship. Leadership opportunities are more plentiful for military residents and unique opportunities for duty stations are abundant. Graduates can serve overseas in Spain, Italy, Guam, Okinawa, and Japan. Primary EM billets in the United States include Portsmouth VA, Jacksonville FL, Camp Lejeune NC, as well as San Diego, 29 Palms, and Camp Pendleton, CA. Many graduates’ career paths see them serving with operational units afloat, abroad, or with Special Operations Forces. Emergency Medicine is a “Tip of the Spear” specialty.


As you will see in the remainder of this website, the Emergency Medicine Residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is arguably the nation’s premiere military emergency medicine residency training program. The program is strong in academics with a nearly perfect pass rate on written and oral boards. Our state-of-the-art simulation center allows realistic training on advanced and difficult-to-manage resuscitations improving patient outcomes when faced with similar real-life scenarios. Our curriculum is always improving with new rotations and innovative clinical advancements to enhance the learning experience. With your interest in emergency medicine, we will help you build an exciting and rewarding career.