University of Pittsburgh
Combined Clinical Years

Science of Resuscitation (EMED 5735)

4 weeksClifton W. Callaway, MD, PhD

Course Director
Clifton W. Callaway, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine

Course Director
Ankur A. Doshi, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine

Course Description

This course examines current issues in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), emphasizing how bench research in acute resuscitation science has been translated into clinical practice. We critically evaluate the primary evidence (original research) upon which the current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) protocols are based, and identify gaps in current knowledge. The didactic portion consists of journal-club style small-group sessions with the faculty on four days each week. During these sessions, the group critically evaluates practical actions advocated by ACLS using an evidence-based format. Small group sessions include simulations of clinical resuscitation and practical exercises with patient simulators in order to reinforce and demonstrate particular concepts and equipment. Structured laboratory experiences in resuscitation research laboratories emphasize how the physiological principles of resuscitation have been discovered. These laboratory experiences involve direct participation in animal research. Each student writes a critique of an existing clinical problem or a proposal for a new clinical research project, demonstrating attention to the basic science of resuscitation, as well as to important confounding variables that plague resuscitation research. During the course, students complete the required material for certification in ACLS.

This course satisfies the Integrated Life Science course requirement.

The overall goal of this course is for students to gain an understanding of the scientific underpinnings of resuscitation medicine.

The goals of the course are for students to:

  1. understand how basic physiology has been translated into clinical guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  2. develop proficiency in the practical skills of resuscitation.
  3. develop skill in critical analysis of the literature related to resuscitation.
  4. identify the major physiological influences affecting resuscitation and trace their implementation into clinical guidelines.
  5. be able to critique a clinical study of resuscitation.
  6. become confident in conducting a medical resuscitation, including use of relevant equipment.
  7. appreciate the practical and ethical issues surrounding research on emergency interventions.

Educational Methods


Journal club sessions Laboratories with large and small animals Simulation sessions Peer presentations

This course involves no weekend or on-call duties.



Grading is Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Directors Clifton W. Callaway, MD, PhD, and Ankur A. Doshi, MD are recipients of the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education. Dr. Doshi is a recipient of the Donald S. Fraley for Medical Student Mentoring Award. In addition, Dr. Doshi is a member of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.