CDEM Voice – Member Highlight


Caitlin Bailey MD
Medical Student Clerkship Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
Highland Hospital / Alameda Health System

Fun Facts about Dr. Bailey
Born: Boston, MA
Undergrad: Yale University
Medical School: Harvard University
Residency & Ultrasound Fellowship: Highland Hosp.
Previous Career: “Brief stint as a lab tech, where I was clearly not destined for greatness!”

Bailey photo



What is your most memorable moment of teaching?
The moment that sticks out in my mind the most is actually a small one. When I was an intern in the Emergency Department I was asked to explain the central line kit to a group of fourth-year students. It was one of the first moments in which I felt I had gained important knowledge I could share with learners after me. It helped me solidify my own understanding of the procedure and made me think through how to explain it in an accessible way.

I will also say some of my favorite teaching moments are actually bedside teaching moments with patients and family members, explaining the disease process in the patient and how we will treat it. I think a lot of what we do is medical education for patients.

Who or what is your biggest influence?
My biggest influence is my dad, who is actually a primary care pediatrician. While our specialties are very different, he is my biggest role model for professionalism, work ethic, and true devotion to his patients. Emergency Medicine can be wearing at times; my dad’s example reminds me that we are lucky to have this job caring for patients.

Any advice for other clerkship directors?
Take advantage of your local clerkship director community and the larger CDEM and CORD communities to hear how people running things and responding to common challenges. I could have learned a lot by chatting with other CDs in my area when I first became CD at Highland. Also, if you are affiliated with a medical school but not a primary site, connect with someone at the school of medicine to inquire how issues with “struggling students” are addressed.

What is your favorite part about being and educator/director?
I really enjoy helping students find their independent provider selves over the course of the clerkship– moving them from data-downloaders to managers of their patients. Being a clerkship director helps me clarify my own teaching style and constantly encourages me to focus on teaching.

Any interesting factoids you would like to share?
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and had never been to California before applying to residency. I fell in love with Highland, came out to train here and never left!


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