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Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (EMPA) Postgraduate Residency Program

The Zablocki VA Medical Center offers a 12-month-long clinical and didactic PA Postgraduate Residency program focusing on adult emergency medicine designed to produce highly competent emergency medicine physician assistants.

Through collaborative and evidence-based practice, this residency offers advanced training and experience in both high acuity and low acuity patient settings. The experience and skills gained through this program will enhance confidence in clinical practice and marketability for future career opportunities.

Upon completion of this program, PA residents should have confidence in initial management of critically ill patients, urgent care patient management and advanced procedural skills. It will also prepare a PA for the NCCPA CAQ emergency medicine exam in the future. 

This program offers a competitive stipend for one year of training, paid vacation, sick leave, and options for health insurance. Two (2) residents will be accepted for this program annually.

Application deadline: Jan. 30.

Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant residents hone their skills.

Milwaukee VA EMPA Program Mission Statement

To train highly qualified graduate physician assistants (PAs) to provide coordinated, high-quality, efficient care to patients receiving emergency medical care within the Veterans Affairs facilities.

Residency Overview

  • One-year commitment: Start date in August of each year. (Exact start date is based on graduation dates of accepted PA residents)
  • Education integrated with well-established Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Physician Residency curriculum
  • VA Advanced Practice Provider (APP) resident weekly conference
  • Dedicated simulation, procedure and point of care ultrasound training (every Thursday)
  • One year subscription to Hippo EM with over 100 hours of Emergency Medicine Category I CME
  • Diverse faculty from multiple hospitals within the area with interests including sports medicine, ultrasound, toxicology, quality and more
  • Scrubs and white coats provided
  • Federal employee status
  • Hiring preference within the VA system upon completion of residency
  • Two residents selected per year


Emergency Medicine Postgraduate Residency Program Rotations

  • Adult Emergency Medicine
  • ICU/Critical Care
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Community Emergency Medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Dental
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Dermatology

**Off-site rotations are subject to change**

Training Sites

**Off-site training sites subject to change**

Application Criteria/Process

  • U.S. Citizen
  • Graduate of an ARC-PA accredited program
  • Current BLS and ACLS certification (Both must be current at the start of residency)
  • Completed application form including resume/curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendations: Emailed or mailed directly to Program Director Carolyn Krech PA-C at and Medical Director Dr. Matthew Laudon at
  • Personal Essay about why you are pursuing this residency program
  • Official Physician Assistant School Transcripts sent to:

Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center
Emergency Department
Attn: Carolyn Krech PA-C
Office 1172
5000 W. National Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53295
Official transcripts can be emailed through school to

Dates To Remember

  • Application deadline: Jan. 30
  • Contingent offers for residency will be extended no later than March 25
  • Residency start date: Approximately mid-August
  • Residency end date: Approximately mid-August

    NOTE: Start and end dates contingent on when incoming PA residents graduate from PA School. Accepted residents must take and pass their PANCE exam prior to residency start date.


  • Do I need to be a Veteran to apply to this program?
    • No. You do not need to be a Veteran. You need to have a desire to serve our Veterans, however.


Is there sufficient patient volume?

  • Yes. This residency focuses on adult emergency medicine as the Veterans we serve are over the age of 18. However, pediatric emergency medicine education is supplemented through Hippo EM online asynchronous education material, Medical College of Wisconsin Emergency Medicine weekly conference and rotation at community emergency medicine locations.
  • Milwaukee VA emergency department had over 22,000 patient encounters in FY 2022.


What sets the VA residency apart from other residency/fellowship programs?

  • The VA has a unique academic relationship with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin (F&MCW) with the opportunity for coordinated education with the emergency medicine physician residency program and rotations in both community emergency medicine and trauma surgery through F&MCW.
  • There is dedicated time and curriculum for point of care ultrasound (POCUS).
  • There is dedicated time and resources for learning and improving procedural skills via tasks trainers and a high-fidelity manikin simulation center.
  • Annual stipend is highly competitive and is generally adjusted annually for cost of living.
  • Milwaukee VA Emergency Department offers opportunities to work with faculty from several area hospital systems, toxicologists, fellowship-trained ultrasound experts and fellowship-trained sport medicine expert.


Why Milwaukee?

  • When you're not working, Milwaukee offers a wide variety of activities both indoor and out.
  • Milwaukee and surrounding counties are family friendly and also boast many activities including music festivals, German Fest, Polish Fest, Festa Italiana, Irish Fest and so many more: VISIT Milwaukee - City of Festivals (
  • More Milwaukee fun activities can be found on
  • Milwaukee (MKE) International Airport is located about 10 minutes from the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
  • Home to Milwaukee Brewers! The Brewers' stadium, American Family Field, is located just off the Milwaukee VA property.

Former Resident Testimonials

“The program does a great job providing opportunities to practice skills and procedures as well as prepare you for a career in EM by teaching you how to approach assessing, diagnosing and treating a patient in the emergency setting. Additionally, the program provides a unique opportunity to rotate at a Level 1 trauma center which I found to be an invaluable experience.”  — Alex Boland-Goldberg, PA-C Class of 2022


“The MKE VA PA Residency equipped me with the necessary tools and experiences to operate as the confident and knowledgeable PA I knew I could become. Completing this residency was the best investment I could’ve made as a new PA, and I am forever grateful.” — Ivanna Hancovsky, PA-C Class of 2022


“The Milwaukee VA EM Post Graduate Residency program helped shape who I am as an EM provider. The program pushed me out of my comfort zone in a safe environment to learn and serve my patients through clinical experiences at the Milwaukee VA and Froedtert Hospital, in addition to monthly sim lab cases. Working closely with the Veteran population has helped me to learn common ER complaints, but also expanded my knowledge in mental health and addiction care, specifically. It was truly an honor to serve the men and women of the Veteran community through the VA. I was humbled by how much they taught me. 

I was able to work alongside physician residents and learn not only from the PA resident staff, but the MCW emergency medicine resident staff as well by working with them clinically and sitting in on grand rounds every week. We worked closely with the trauma team at Froedtert to understand the specifics of evaluating and managing trauma patients.  We were also trained extensively on point of care ultrasound which has expanded my role as an EM PA after graduation. I will be forever grateful for my time spent at the Milwaukee VA and the hands-on education they provided. It was one of the best choices for my education and allowed me to start my career in emergency medicine as a skilled and confident provider at a Level 2 trauma center”.  — Anna, PA-C CAQ-EM Class of 2021


“Completing the VA residency boosted my confidence in clinical decision-making and procedures prior to my first job. I have continued in emergency medicine/urgent care as a provider where I thrive because of the excellent foundation that the residency helped me build. Working one-on-one with toxicologists, fellowship-trained physicians in ultrasound and sports medicine really increased my competence in those areas. The residency also provided unique rotations, such as dental, mental health and PM&R. I use the skills from this education daily in my practice. I am grateful for the opportunity I had with the VA residency program and wish the best of luck to new providers who hope to continue in emergency medicine.” — Nora, PA-C Class of 2020

Where To Apply

Additional website resources


Carolyn Krech, M.M.S, M.H.A., PA-C
Program Director, Emergency Medicine PA Postgraduate Residency Director
Milwaukee VA Medical Center

Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant residents hone their skills.
Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant residents hone their skills.