Emergency Medicine Residency Program

A message from the Program Director

Thank you so much for taking the time to find out about us and our residency training program. In addition to the didactic and experiential curriculum, as well as the institutional and human resources of our program, we believe it is critical that you know the values and ideals, and philosophy of life and medicine that inform the program’s culture. Your residency is where you will spend three of the most important years of your life creating the foundations for the rest of your medical career. In other words, with regard to each program you read about and potentially visit, do you know the program’s answer to these two fundamental questions: Who are we and what do we stand for? Our answer is:

We are committed to building an Emergency Department (ED) that provides: a safe haven for patients, where the next generation of physicians are trained in an environment of scholarly inquiry, and where quality, patient-centered emergency medical care is delivered with respect, timeliness, operational efficiency and compassion. We are committed to the driving principles of honoring the human spirit, celebrating diversity, and combining the latest in science and technology with an ever-present awareness of the value of human touch as a power for healing.

Our residency in emergency medicine has been established to enhance the quality of emergency medical care for our community, contribute to the well-being of our patients, residents, staff and physicians. You can help us create a legacy that ensures the continuation of exceptional emergency medical care in the Hudson Valley and beyond for generations to come. Our goal is to deliver the finest possible training in the art and science of emergency medicine. We are committed to providing our graduates with the diagnostic, procedural, interpersonal and leadership skills to effectively coordinate an ED team. We are preparing residents to safely manage multiple unscheduled, undifferentiated, acutely ill or injured, clinically complex, non-established patients in a cost-effective and compassionate manner.

Our Emergency Medicine Residency Program will train residents to go beyond the didactic and experiential thirty-six month curriculum that comprises traditional emergency medicine residency training. We teach foundational principles of critical thinking and model timeless values and ideals that inform our graduates’ medical practice for the entirety of their careers in emergency medicine and throughout their lives.

Our program is designed and organized to support your personal and professional growth, maintain and enhance your well-being, and take you on an adventure of discovery. Through structured didactic, an experiential, innovative curriculum, and faculty and teaching attending supervision, mentoring, engagement and role-modeling, we empower our graduates to provide leadership in their emergency departments, institutions and communities. Here, you will fulfill your commitment to clinical and personal excellence.


Marc A. Borenstein, MD, FACEP, FACP
Health Quest Emergency Medicine Residency Program
Program Director

Program Structure

The Health Quest Emergency Medicine Residency Program is a three-year residency program centered at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC) overlooking the Hudson River, 75 miles north of New York City. VBMC is a large tertiary care hospital with an ACS-accredited Level II Trauma Center, Primary Stroke Center and STEMI Center. We are a high acuity, high volume ED servicing a very large population. Our ED currently treats 77,000 visitors annually (85% adult and 15% pediatric). To accommodate this ever-growing population, we are relocating to a brand-new hospital equipped with 65 individual care rooms, 3 trauma bays and a helipad. While the majority of rotations will occur at VBMC, the program is structured to ensure residents are exposed to a wide range of pathology and acuity in a variety of settings. For example, residents will gain community hospital experience during their rotations at Northern Dutchess Hospital (NDH) located in the historic, charming town of Rhinebeck, NY. In addition, residents will spend two months of immersive pediatric care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric ED at the renowned Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester, NY.

Residents will also have the opportunity to select elective experiences in order to tailor their residency program to meet their educational goals and objectives. Two months of electives are offered in PGY3 if residents meet their program and procedural requirements. A variety of elective options are available for residents; electives should be discussed and agreed upon with the Program Director. Elective rotations may be in any emergency medicine subspecialty, research month or any other acceptable rotational experience. Some examples of electives are:

  • Ultrasound
  • Toxicology
  • Addiction
  • Emergency medical services
  • Sports medicine
  • Research

An example of one resident’s training in this program is shown below. This is just an example and may be adjusted by the Program Director to ensure adequate experience and ACGME compliance. The Emergency Medicine Residency Program schedule runs on a month-long block rotation.

Academic and Research Offerings

Orientation – As a new resident, you will participate in an intern boot camp and orientation during your first week here. This will help you adjust to residency life and provide you with an overview of programs, topics and required information. Curriculum topics unrelated to patient care and medical knowledge are covered as well, including interpersonal communication skills, professionalism, systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvements.

TeamHealth Academic Consortium Zenith App– As a resident of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program, you will have access to TeamHealth’s educational resources and the Zenith app. This includes a variety of scholarly activities and educational resources such as videos, documents, electronic textbooks, webinars, presentations and additional information that can be viewed and downloaded

ABEM In-Training Exam – Residents’ medical knowledge and clinical reasoning will be benchmarked for measuring longitudinal growth through the results of the annual American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) In-Training Exam. All emergency medicine residents will complete the exam at the end of February every year. Results will be reviewed with the Program Director to inform discussions and individualization of the curriculum and clinical training (e.g., reading material, board prep and electives).

Academic Didactic Schedule

The academic didactic program is a critical element of the Health Quest Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Residents are allotted protected time to attend all required didactic and educational sessions.

Mandatory conferences are held every Wednesday morning in the Emergency Medicine Residency Program. All lectures are designed to provide residents with a broad range of knowledge on the ACGME competencies and prepare them to provide exceptional patient care.

The following lectures will occur:

Teaching Days – Weekly, half-day lectures on a rotating 18-month curriculum (utilizing Foundations of Emergency Medicine topics and lectures)
Interdisciplinary Conferences – Monthly, in conjunction with the Critical Care and IM Departments
Journal Club – Monthly and presented by a PGY1 or PGY2 resident
Grand Rounds – Quarterly and presented by core faculty
Quality and Process Improvement (Q&PI) – Monthly and presented by a PGY2 or PGY3 resident
Save of the Month – Monthly and presented by a PGY3 resident
Board Preparation – Monthly and presented by core faculty

Research Opportunities

All residents in the Health Quest Emergency Medicine Residency Program are required to participate in scholarly activity, research and quality improvement (QI). Additional research and QI participation by residents above the minimum requirements are highly encouraged. Residents are paired with a faculty mentor for all scholarly activities and quality improvement projects. This mentor is tasked with assisting residents in background research, feasibility, IRB approval, study design, implementation and analysis.

The goal of the emergency medicine scholarly activity curriculum is to advance each resident’s knowledge of the basic principles of research, including how it is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients and applied to patient care. Residents will be provided with a variety of resources to facilitate involvement in scholarly activity projects throughout their training. The Health Quest Emergency Medicine Residency Program requires residents to meet the following scholarly activity requirements prior to graduation:

  • One quality improvement project
  • One scholarly activity project – the following options are available:
    • Peer-reviewed published article
    • Non-peer-reviewed published article
    • Grand Rounds presentation
    • Poster/oral presentation at local, regional or national conference
    • Clinical research project

Residents will present all research either within the department, locally, regionally or nationally. Each year, the Health Quest Graduate Medical Education Department will sponsor a Resident Research Day wherein residents can present posters and oral presentations on ongoing or completed research topics.

How to Apply

Please email Ms. Julia Demboski, Program Manager


The following items are required for interview consideration:

  • Personal statement
  • Current CV
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • ERAS summary page
  • MSPE (Dean’s) letter
  • USMLE Step 1 CK Score
  • USMLE Step 2 CS Score
  • USMLE Step 2 CK Score

Important Dates

We will interview candidates during select dates in November, December and January. These dates will be provided to invited residency applications via Thalamus invitation. Other important dates include:

  • September 15 at noon ET: NRMP registration opens
  • October 1: MSPE (Dean’s) letters released through NRMP
  • November 30: Standard registration deadline for applicants
  • February 21: Rank order list deadline
  • March 16: Match week
  • March 19: Email notification of “You’ve Matched”

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Health Quest Emergency Medicine Residency Program! If you need more information, please contact us. Jdembos1@health-quest.org

Where will I train?
The majority of training takes place at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY, with some rotations occurring at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, NY. Residents will also spend two months at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester, NY, for their pediatric intensive care unit and pediatric emergency room experiences.

How many residency positions are there?
We accept 10 residents each year for a total of 30 residents within the program. We want our community to be tight-knit and each resident to feel they are an important part of the program while providing an excellent educational experience. We will only be accepting PGY1 positions.

When are the interviews?
Interviews will take place on select dates in November, December and January. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified via Thalamus.

Where should I stay?
The local hotels listed below have discounted rates for residency interview candidates.

Courtyard by Marriott Fishkill
17 Westage Drive, Fishkill, NY 12524

Courtyard by Marriott Poughkeepsie
2641 South Road, Poughkeepsie NY, 12601

Hyatt Place Poughkeepsie
2165 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Residence Inn Poughkeepsie
2525 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601