CanadiEM Junior Learner Primer App

Introducing the CanadiEM Junior Learner Primer App

In Education & Quality Improvement by Vincent LiLeave a Comment

We’ve developed the CanadiEM Junior Learner Primer App to help support junior medical learners during their emergency medicine rotations. In the fast-paced environment of emergency medicine, learners can often find themselves overwhelmed when faced with the acuity as well as the wide variety of cases. Communication and time management skills requirements can also be very different when compared to other specialities. To help make emergency rotations easier and more meaningful, we have created a digital primer that can orient them to common skills, practices, and patient presentations in the ED. They will be a few clicks away from the high-yield information and lessons that will continue to be valuable throughout their rotations.

What is it?

The backbone of this app is the CanadiEM Frontline Primer, which was published last year to support health care workers redeployed in the Emergency department during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Frontline Primer allowed users to quickly access knowledge and tools when managing ED cases.

To customize it for junior learners, our team has worked over the past year to modify content from the Frontline Primer and add new information. We have incorporated infographics, resources, and clinical pearls to help with learning and knowledge retention. We have also added new entries on common practices in ED to help prepare learners for the rotations.

The Junior Learner Primer is designed to be flexible with the learners’ requirements. Students and residents can quickly access information on differential diagnoses and management as well as decision aids. If they wish to read more about a certain topic, they can also use resources like the video modules, podcasts, and readings linked in the entries.

What topics are included?

The following topics are currently contained within the CanadiEM Junior Learner Primer:

Introduction to the ED

  • Emergency Medicine Mindset

Common Presentations

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Chest pain
  • Dyspnea / Shortness of Breath
  • Back Pain
  • Headache
  • Ischemic Stroke
  • Vertigo
  • Fever and Sepsis
  • Skin and Soft Tissue Infections
  • Musculoskeletal & Skeletal Injuries
  • Lower Leg Swelling
  • Early Pregnancy: First Trimester Bleeding
  • Epistaxis
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Trauma – General Approach
  • Trauma – Isolated Head injury
  • Ortho – Joint Pain
  • Ortho – Soft Tissue Abnormalities
  • Ortho – Common Fractures

ED Skills

  • Handling Personal Protective Equipment
  • Monitors and ECGs
  • ECG Interpretation
  • Approach to Pain Management in ED
  • Suturing and Wound Closure
  • Incision and Drainage (I&D)
  • Screening for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
  • Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care Review

Communication and Management

  • How to Reassess Patients
  • Consulting Others
  • Breaking Bad News
  • Safe Handover Practices
  • Safe Discharge
  • Clinical Debriefing (“Hot Debrief”)

Emergency Department Skills

  • Handling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Suturing
  • Incision & Drainage (I&D)
  • Monitors & ECGs
  • ECG Interpretation
  • Advanced Care Planing & Goals of Care
  • Screening for Intimate Partner Violence
  • Breaking Bad News
  • Clinical Debriefing (“Hot Debrief”)
  • Consulting Other Physicians
  • Safe Handover Practices
  • Safe Discharge


  • EM-Specific Canadian Free Open Access Medical Education

Check out the app and let our team know how we can improve going forward!  

This post was copyedited by Nicholas Swanson.

Vincent Li

Vincent Li is a second year medical student at McMaster University and a junior editor for the CanadiEM Junior Learner Primer. His interests include medical education, health policy and the use of technology in health care. Outside of medicine, he is probably road cycling in the summer and cycling indoors in the winter.

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